I’ve been trying to get better at organizing my email in Google Mail [Gmail]. What’s the fast way to create labels and tag email messages?
I get a lot of email messages in Gmail. A lot. Thousands a week, actually. And without the ability to organize and sort content, it would be just about impossible to ever find any of the actual important messages. As a result, I put a lot of effort into working with labels on Gmail, which requires creating ’em, using them and, sometimes, deleting them.
Here’s what’s important to realize too: Labels exist independent of your email archive so if you create a new label or delete a label nothing actually happens to your email archive. I often get questions from people about whether deleting a label in Gmail will also delete the messages that are assigned to that label, and the answer is no, it won’t. Think of it like adding a post-it note to the page of a book: If you then remove the post-it, you haven’t lost or discarded that actual page from the book!
Let me show you how I quickly create and utilize labels with an email I just received about a sci-fi thriller film. I want to create a label and tag this message with the new label. First, the email:
Looks promising as a film, actually, but let’s stay focused! Above the email in Gmail is a row of icons. There’s one in particular we’re interested in:
You probably haven’t paid much attention to these buttons, but there are lots of cool capabilities in Gmail that are just a click away. Click on the “Move to” button and a menu appears, showing the current labels:
Near the bottom of the list, however, is the choice you want: “Create new“. Choose it…
As you can see, you can not only specify a mnemonic label like “Screening Links” but you can actually nest labels hierarchically if that’s what you prefer. In my example, perhaps I would have “Screeners” as a label, then sub-labels for the different studios.
Because you’re creating the label while viewing an email message, once the label’s created, the message is automatically assigned.
Now you can also search for the label and view all messages so tagged by just starting to type “label:” followed by the first few letters of the new label. Like this:
That’s it. Now you can have fun with labels knowing that you’re helping manage your email. Next up? You should learn about Gmail filters so you can automatically assign incoming messages with the appropriate label or labels!
Pro Tip: I have hundreds of Gmail tutorials here, please check out my Gmail help while you’re here.