Gmail Labels Email Addresses

Gmail labels email addresses instead of using folders. Working in a land of expanding and collapsing trees, I find the concept of tagging to be something of an all or nothing proposition. When my Gmail inbox started flooding with untagged messages, I knew it was time to change tactics.

I tried sorting my incoming email by eight very broad tags (labels), such as Family, Friends and Conversations. Keeping the filters updated has become a boring, tedious chore. Can you imagine having to deal with a spreadsheet like this?
Gmail Labels Email Addresses
Spreadsheet with Gmail Labels and Email Addresses

I’m part of the problem, of course. I am always signing up for stuff. And don’t get me started on blog notifications! At first, I was happy with the filters. However, over time, some of them had to be split, because Gmail has a limit on the number of characters in each filter. So, instead of maintaining eight labels with eight filters, I was using twelve filters.

I finally got sick of it all and threw the label baby out with the filtered bath water. I got rid of most of the labels and ditched every single filter! Now, I will be thinking of how to tame my inbox, once and for all. I will be looking at the following:

  • Gmail Labs Smart Labels
  • Third-party solutions
  • Unsubscribing from everything

Smart Labels do a pretty good job of labeling newsletters and forum email as Bulk. That’s a good start. I’m going to be careful about 3rd-party add-ons, as I don’t really like giving authentication privileges out. Of course, unsubscribing from everything will not be possible, but I suppose I could cut back.

Keep your eye on the Twitter feed! I’ll share the progress as it occurs.

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