Updated October 2022
Trying to organize your email, especially if your inbox fills up fast – not easy. I use Google’s Workspace for business and standard Gmail for personal correspondence.
I tried all the tricks. First, I tried to create rules. But the Google tabs and their rules kept getting foiling my best efforts. Then, I created 18000 folders. Then I forgot about the email once it was so nicely tucked away.
Then I heard about the Google Labs for multiple inboxes. This functionality became so popular that it’s now standard practice and accessible from the Inbox Tab in Settings.
Click on the gear icon on the right-hand side. Choose ‘See All Settings’ from the drop-down menu.
Choose Inbox Type.
Deselect social, promotions, or whichever tabs you have checked off. Then, change your inbox type to Multiple Inboxes. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and save your changes.
This will kick you back out to your inbox. Select the gear icon on the top right and hop back into your settings.
Select Your Symbols.
Scroll down in the General tab to the Stars section. I’ve chosen to use the green star, yellow bang, orange guillemet, purple question mark, and blue information symbol.
Manage multiple inboxes.
Here’s where the magic happens. When you navigate back to the Inbox section of Settings, you now have the option to create up to five panes.
Note the “is:” command in the search query, and instead of spaces, use hyphens, e.g., has:blue-info.
The Panel Title is optional, but I like to label mine with kick-in-the-butt action words. You also have options to choose how many conversations each pane displays and where you’d like to see the panes on your screen.
Save your changes, and yes, Gmail will kick you back to your main inbox screen. But you’ll see your brand new inboxes alongside your original Inbox.
To organize your incoming mail, simply click to toggle the stars on the message to allot them the appropriate category. You can do this right from the inbox or within individual emails.
If you’re aiming for Inbox Zero, go ahead and file those messages or archive them. Then you’ll see…
A whole new *organized* world.
There! No more excuses for losing track of emails and projects in a cluttered inbox!
Wait – did I miss anything? Leave a comment if I’ve left something out or if you have your own way of organizing your inbox that you’d like to share.