How I Organized my Gmail Account with Almost No Effort

gmail logoIf you are like me, you have a Gmail account and never delete anything until you start running out of space and then delete the biggest files that you don’t need.  This seems like a very bad system to use (it is) but it is super convenient for the “me” who doesn’t care about “future me”.  A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I was spending too much time glancing at my phone every time a new email came in, only to see that it was another notice from a company I care very little about.  I said “care very little” because I do care a tiny bit.  They are the emails reminding me to pay my bills or updates from services I use.  I don’t need to see them right away but I do want to at least glance at their subject lines.

 The System

I was shocked at how easy this was and how much time it has saved me over the last 2 weeks. 

Step one: Create a label for all of your unimportant mail.  I called mine “Not Important”.


  1. a.      Click on the little gear in the top right corner
  2. b.      Click on “Settings”
  3. c.       Click on “Labels”
  4. d.      Click on “Create new label” towards the bottom
  5. e.       Enter a name and click “create”

Step two: Every time an email comes in from one of these places that you care “very little about”, filter it to skip the inbox and get labeled “Not Important” or whatever you called your new label.

  1. a.      Click the checkmark next to the email that you want to mark.  It could be many at the same time.
  2. b.      Click the “More” button at the top (middle) of the page
  3. c.       Click “filter messages like these”
  4. d.      Without changing anything, click “Create filter with this search” (blue text at the bottom)
  5. e.       Click “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” and click “Apply label” and then choose the label that you just created.
  6. f.        Click the bottom checkbox as well “Also apply filter to other matching conversations”
  7. g.      Click “Create Filter”

Step three: Repeat step two every time that a non-important email comes in.  It takes very little effort but after a while, your inbox will be clean and you will only receive important emails.

Step four: Check your “Not Important” label as often as you feel necessary.  I check mine when I am done working and then just glance through the subjects to see if there is anything I care about.

Step five: After glancing through the non-important emails that came in and realizing that you don’t need any of them, delete them.