With a constant flow of email from teachers, parents and students, there is more than one time this year when I’ve been caught off-guard and/or let important communication fall through the cracks.
I’ve found it easier to stay informed since implementing Gmail’s multiple inboxes lab [editor note: George Polzer notes that this only works when Priority Inbox is switched off!!!], which uses filters to keep pertinent information “above the fold” when I’m online:
Multiple inboxes can be switched on from Gmail’s settings> Labs > Multiple Inboxes. Once enabled, you can set up inboxes using any search parameter you choose (or a combination using Boolean operators):
|from:||Used to specify the sender||Example: from:amyMeaning: Messages from Amy|
|to:||Used to specify a recipient||Example: to:davidMeaning: All messages that were sent to David (by you or someone else)|
|subject:||Search for words in the subject line||Example: subject:dinnerMeaning: Messages that have the word “dinner” in the subject|
|OR||Search for messages matching term A or term B*
*OR must be in all caps
|Example: from:amy OR from:davidMeaning: Messages from Amy or from David|
|– (hyphen)||Used to exclude messages from your search||Example: dinner -movieMeaning: Messages that contain the word “dinner” but do not contain the word “movie”|
|label:||Search for messages by label**There isn’t a search operator for unlabeled messages||Example: from:amy label:friendsMeaning: Messages from Amy that have the label “friends”
Example: from:david label:my-family
|has:attachment||Search for messages with an attachment||Example: from:david has:attachment Meaning: Messages from David that have an attachment|
|list:||Search for messages on mailing lists||Example: list:email@example.com
Meaning: Messages with the words firstname.lastname@example.org in the headers, sent to or from this list
|filename:||Search for an attachment by name or type||Example: filename:physicshomework.txt
Meaning: Messages with an attachment named “physicshomework.txt”Example: label:work filename:pdf
Meaning: Messages labeled “work” that also have a PDF file as an attachment
|Used to search for an exact phrase**Capitalization isn’t taken into consideration||Example: “i’m feeling lucky”
Meaning: Messages containing the phrase “i’m feeling lucky” or “I’m feeling lucky”Example: subject:”dinner and a movie”
Meaning: Messages containing the phrase “dinner and a movie” in the subject
|( )||Used to group wordsUsed to specify terms that shouldn’t be excluded||Example: from:amy (dinner OR movie)
Meaning: Messages from Amy that contain either the word “dinner” or the word “movie”Example: subject:(dinner movie)
Meaning: Messages in which the subject contains both the word “dinner” and the word “movie”
|in:anywhere||Search for messages anywhere in Gmail**Messages in Spam and Trash are excluded from searches by default||Example: in:anywhere movie Meaning: Messages in All Mail, Spam, and Trash that contain the word “movie”|
|Search for messages in Inbox, Trash, or Spam||Example: in:trash from:amyMeaning: Messages from Amy that are in Trash|
|is:importantlabel:important||Search within messages that Priority Inbox considers important.||Example: is:important from:janetMeaning: Messages from Janet that were marked as important by Priority Inbox|
|Search for messages that are starred, unread or read||Example: is:read is:starred from:DavidMeaning: Messages from David that have been read and are marked with a star|
|Search for messages with a particular star||Example: has:purple-star from:DavidMeaning: Messages from David that are marked with a purple star|
|cc:bcc:||Used to specify recipients in the cc: or bcc:fields**Search on bcc: cannot retrieve messages on which you were blind carbon copied||Example: cc:david Meaning: Messages that were cc-ed to David|
|after:before:||Search for messages sent during a certain period of time**Dates must be in yyyy/mm/dd format.||Example: after:2004/04/16 before:2004/04/18 Meaning: Messages sent between April 16, 2004 and April 18, 2004.*
*More precisely: Messages sent after 12:00 AM (or 00:00) April 16, 2004 and before April 18, 2004.
|is:chat||Search for chat messages||Example: is:chat monkeyMeaning: Any chat message including the word “monkey”.|
|deliveredto:||Search for messages within a particular email address in the Delivered-To line of the message header||Example: deliveredto:email@example.comMeaning: Any message with firstname.lastname@example.org in the Delivered-To: field of the message header (which can help you find messages forwarded from another account or ones sent to an alias).|
4 thoughts on “Gmail: Multiple Inboxes keep you informed”
I realized that in order to use Multiple Inboxes you have to turn off “Priority Inbox”. God! Nobody explained that so I’ve been running in circles trying to figure out why my Multiple Inboxes weren’t showing up.
Thanks for the tip, George. Edited the article to reflect your discovery.
Thanks for the tip George, I would have been none the wiser without your comment!
This is great! I’ve been using multiple inboxes for a while but only for “important” and “starred.” This makes multiple inboxes so much more useful!