Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Teacher Gmail Gets Cluttered: Create Filter to Skip the Inbox


Email is the primary form of communication among educators these days. A common pain point most of us share is too many emails. While the majority of the messages we receive are important and need our attention, many are nice to have, but clutter the inbox. A cluttered inbox can make you miss important messages. 

In my role, I support multiple school sites and, each day, I receive "daily bulletin" emails from each. Daily bulletin emails are important, but usually don't require my immediate attention. Using filters in Gmail, I created a system where these messages bypass my inbox and go directly into a label (folder) for daily bulletins. I know if I ever need to see a current bulletin or one from the past, I can open my Bulletins label and find the message. This system is one way I keep my inbox decluttered.

Below is a screenshot of my work Gmail account. On the left you see a Bulletins label and on the right you see the messages filed in that label. Each message in this label has the word "Bulletin" in the subject line. These messages never once appeared in my inbox. They immediately were filed in the Bulletins label upon receipt. I know that if I ever need to go check a bulletin, I can find it in my Bulletins label.

Start by clicking the weird little control panel looking button at the far right of the search bar at the top of Gmail.

A dropdown menu will appear. In this menu, you have a plethora of options for which to filter your search of Gmail. You can filter by who sent it (From), Subject and much more. If you are looking to filter emails from a certain edtech coach, this is the tip for you. In the example below, I chose to create a filter for emails with the Subject "Bulletin". Any email with the word "Bulletin" in the subject line will be put into this label.

After clicking Create filter, in the next pop up, you will set some more rules for your filter. To bypass your inbox and be placed into a label, first check the box for Skip the inbox (Archive it). Next, check the box for Apply the label. This option will let you select which label the message will be sent directly to. If you haven't created the label yet, you have the option to create a new label here. 

Creating filters for messages to skip the inbox is one way to declutter your inbox. You can create these for virtually any type of message you get often. F what will you create a skip the inbox filter?

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