How to Organize Gmail Like a Pro

Over 1.4 billion people rely on Gmail every single day, but not everyone knows how to organize Gmail like a pro. This article is here to change that, listing several essential tips on how to organize emails in Gmail and describing the benefits Clean Email, an automatic bulk email organizer that makes it easy and fun to clean up thousands of emails.

How to Organize Gmail

Does it sometimes feel that the Gmail notification badge on your phone never goes away? If so, you need to familiarize yourself with essential tips on how to organize your Gmail. Since its launch in 2004, Gmail has seen countless feature updates, and the free email service developed by Google now has a whole host of excellent email management features many of its users don’t even know about.

1. Label Your Emails

Labels are like folders on steroids. A single email message can have multiple labels, making labels much more flexible than traditional folders. Gmail allows you to add colors to labels to make different kinds of emails distinguishable at a glance.

To create labels in Gmail:

  1. Open Gmail in your favorite web browser.
  2. Select an email by clicking on the checkbox to the left of it or open the message.
  3. Click on the label icon located right below the search bar. The label icon looks like an arrow pointing to the right.
  4. Label emails in GmailLabel emails in Gmail
  5. A drop-down menu will appear. Click the Create new button located near the bottom.
  6. Enter a new label name. You can nest the new label inside of another label, which is the Gmail equivalent of placing a folder inside of another folder.
  7. When you’re done, click the Create button.
  8. Create new labels in GmailCreate new labels in Gmail
See all labels in GmailSee all labels in Gmail

2. Use Multiple Gmail Accounts

You can create as many Gmail accounts as you want and for free, so there’s absolutely no reason not to have multiple Gmail accounts to separate personal and work emails. Gmail even comes with an incredibly useful feature that gives you a unified inbox for managing multiple email accounts, called Multiple Inboxes.

  1. To turn on Multiple Inboxes, go to the Advanced tab under Settings.
  2. Click on Enable right next to Multiple Inboxes.
  3. Click Save Changes and wait for Gmail to reload.
  4. Go to the Multiple Inboxes tab under Settings to customize the Multiple Inboxes feature to show email sent to your other address.
  5. Multiple inboxes in GmailMultiple inboxes in Gmail

3. Archive Emails You No Longer Need

All Gmail users enjoy 15 GB of free storage space. With so much space for emails and attachments, it doesn’t really make sense to delete each and every email just to keep your inbox clean. Instead, you should use the Archive feature, which basically hides emails from your inbox without deleting them. You can still view all archived email by clicking on the All Mail label located in the menu on the left.

To archive an email message in Gmail:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click on an email message.
  3. Click the Archive button in the toolbar under the search bar.

To unarchive an email message in Gmail:

  1. Click on the All Mail label.
  2. Select the email message you want to unarchive.
  3. Click the Move to Inbox button.

4. Make Unread Emails More Visible

Many people who receive multiple emails every day wonder how to organize Gmail inbox to make unread emails more visible. Nobody wants to receive an angry email from a boss, coworker, or client because of a missed email message that’s been buried 10 feet deep under a pile of newer emails. Fortunately, Gmail allows you to put unread emails on top, and all you have to do is change a single setting:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Click on the Inbox tab.
  4. Change Inbox type from Default to Unread first.
How to organize Gmail inbox

You can also change it to Important first, Starred first, or Priority first.

5. Learn Gmail’s Keyboard Shortcuts

You can save a lot of time by navigating Gmail using keyboard shortcuts. Yes, it will take some time to memorize them, but you’ll thank yourself for making the effort once you discover just how easier it is to organize Gmail with keyboard shortcuts. Just keep in mind that keyboard shortcuts work differently on PC and Mac computers. On PCs, you'll use Ctrl instead of . Here’s a short list of some of the most popular keyboard shortcuts:

6. Use Dots in Your Gmail Address

You might have noticed that a misplaced dot in a Gmail email address doesn't cause the message to return to the sender undelivered. The reason why this happens is simple: dots don't matter in Gmail addresses.

From the point of view of Gmail, the following three email addresses are identical:

You can use this Gmail quirk to your advantage by giving different email addresses to different people. For example, you can use the cleanest version of your email address for work, a version with a dot between your first name and your last name for communicating with friends

Even though Gmail ignores dots in email addresses, it's aware of their presence, so you can create filters to automatically separate different versions of your email address when they arrive and assign them colorful labels.

To filter a specific version of your email address:

  1. Click the Show search options (three lines) on the right of the Gmail search bar.
  2. Enter the email address in the To field.
  3. Click the Create filter button.
  4. Create rules in Gmail
  5. Choose what to do when a message that matches your filter arrives.
  6. Click the Create filter button again.
  7. Create filters in Gmail

Note: You cannot place dots in the domain name, which is the part of your email address that comes after the @ symbol.

7. Create Email Aliases in Gmail Using the Plus Sign

You can also create additional versions of your email address by appending the plus sign and any combination of words or numbers after your Gmail username. For example, you can modify the email address in the following three ways:

There are two major advantages to using email aliases in Gmail. First, you can easily filter email messages from different senders. Second, you can instantly tell who leaked your email address when you suddenly start receiving a lot of spam.

All you need to do is create a unique email alias each time you sign up for an online service. We recommend you make your email aliases as self-explanatory as possible so that you immediately know which email alias is used for what purpose.

It's also a good idea to set up a filter to automatically label email addresses to your email aliases when they arrive in your inbox. Read the first tip in this article to learn how to create Gmail labels and automatically assign them to email messages.

8. Pick the Right Inbox Type for You

Gmail lets you customize your inbox in a number of different ways. Click the Settings cog icon in the upper-right corner and go to the Density section. You can now switch between three different views:

Next, go to Inbox type section under the Settings and decide which inbox type you want to use. You have six options:

Finally, click the Settings cog icon one last time. Go to Inbox type section under the Settings and click Customize under the inbox type of your choice. By default, Gmail shows a tab for person-to-person conversations and messages that don't appear in other tabs (Primary), a tab for messages from social networks (Social), and a tab for promotional emails (Promotions). Mark the necessary checkboxes and click Save.

9. Use Hashtags Inside Your Emails

We've already explained how to organize Gmail using labels, but you can go a step further and use hashtags inside your emails to enable granular email filtering. All you need to do is include as many hashtags as you want in the body of your email message. Their placement doesn't matter, but we recommend you put them at the very end so they are not too distracting.

For example, you could include the following hashtags when emailing your client important project details: #follow-up, #project-details, #name-of-the-project. Gmail's powerful search functionality can quickly scan your entire inbox and track down all emails with the hashtag you're searching for.

10. Explore Gmail Add-Ons and Extensions

Gmail has many useful email organization features, but there's still a lot that it can't do, and that's where Gmail add-ons and extensions come in. By installing the right Gmail add-ons and extensions, you can make Gmail even more powerful than it already is and organize your Gmail inbox in ways you never thought were possible before.

Here are three Gmail add-ons and extensions all users should know about:

Bonus: Automate Your Gmail Management with Clean Email

As useful as Gmail’s email management features are, they pale in comparison with Clean Email, a popular bulk email cleaner that automatically organizes all of your emails into easy-to-review bundles, called Smart Folders.

Smart View feature in Clean EmailSmart View feature in Clean Email

If you’ve ever wondered how to organize Gmail by sender so you could apply actions to multiple emails from the same person, you’ve just found the answer. With a single click, Clean Email organizes your Gmail inbox using rules and filters to simplify email management, allowing you to remove, archive, move, or label groups of emails instead of selecting them one by one.

Organize multiple emails in Gmail inbox with Clean EmailOrganize multiple emails in Gmail inbox with Clean Email

Any action you apply with Clean Email can be applied automatically in the future to new email messages thanks to the Auto Clean feature.

Automatically move emails with Auto Clean in Clean EmailAutomatically move emails with Auto Clean in Clean Email

And just as easily, it’s possible to block unwanted senders or unsubscribe from unwanted emails thanks to the Unsubscriber feature.

Unsubscribe from emails in Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails in Clean Email


It doesn’t take much effort to learn how to organize Gmail inbox like a pro, and the amount of time you can save just by taking advantage of some of Gmail’s many email management features and bulk email organizers like Clean Email is significant.

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