Gmail was a fantastic email client when I first started using it. Over time, I subscribed to forums, newsletters and various promotional offers and plagued my Inbox with more email than I wanted to read. Eventually, there came a point where I had to search for email from the real people I connect with daily amidst the loads of notifications and promotional emails. Using Gmail was starting to become taxing. Luckily, I found Gmail Smart Labels. It is actually an old Gmail lab feature, which unfortunately still remains unnoticed in the background. Had it been part of the Gmail interface, it would have served us better. If you still haven’t made use of Smart labels, get started right away. It helps you categorize Gmail messages more effectively so that you can see your most important mails right away.
How to Activate Smart Labels
Smart Labels it may be, but it isn’t smartly integrated into Gmail. Here’s how you activate it.
1. Login to Gmail.
2. Click the Gear icon and choose Settings.
3. On the Settings page, navigate to the Labs tab.
4. In the Labs page, in the search box, type smartlabels.
5. The Smart Labels app will be picked out for you. Click Enable and then click Save changes.
When you go back to the Inbox, you will notice that Gmail has automatically categorized your messages.
Smart Label Categories
Smart Labels features categories such as Social Updates, Promotions, Forums, and Notifications. Messages that are promotional in nature such as special offers or marketing materials are automatically categorized as Promotions. Messages from forums or groups you register with online will be earmarked as Forums, messages that are auto generated by machines that generally don’t require you to reply to are marked Notifications, and messages that arrive from social media platforms such as Google + will be labeled Social Updates.
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Making the Best Use of Smart Labels
You can further customize the smart labels to make it more meaningful to you. Here’s how:
Add a Color Code
In the left navigation pane, scroll down, hover over a smart category item and click the drop-down menu.In the label color section, select a color code for that category.
Auto Archive Smart Categories
By default, Gmail bulk archives messages that are labeled Promotions, that means you don’t see them in your Inbox anymore. However other labeled items stay in the Inbox. If you want to archive your social updates and notifications here’s what you need to do.
1. In the left navigation pane, select the category labeled Notifications/Social Updates/Forums to display all email messages from the respective category.
2. At the top-right corner of the screen, check Archive incoming Promotions (skip the Inbox).
All future messages with such labels will be automatically be archived and skip the Inbox.
But what about the existing email messages?
1. In the category page, select all the messages. From the More menu, select Archive.
Gmail Smart Labels are a great way to organize your Gmail messages and de-clutter your Inbox. Try this cool Google lab app today, and make a world of difference to the way you work.