I’m getting used to the new tabs in Gmail and it’s pretty good, but every so often it decides that somethig I want in my regular inbox should actually go into the forums or promotions tab. So I often don’t find it for hours or even a day or more. Not so good. Is there a way I can redirect mis-filed incoming mail in Google Mail?
There is indeed a simple way to move messages from the wrong tab in the new tabbed version of Gmail to the correct tab, and it’s so well thought out that it even asks if you want it to be a permanent redirect so that new messages from the same sender also go to the new location too.
The trick is remembering that Gmail, like most of Google’s properties, is now interactive in a way that old school Web users never remember: it supports simple drag and drop behaviors.
It’s curious, actually, how often I find myself still making assumptions about how non-interactive Web sites are, wanting to click and find settings, etc, rather than just doing things like double-clicking or click-dragging to move things around. Google Maps is a great example: it’s highly interactive and as sophisticated in its interaction as a separate program would be, but all within the browser. Handy.
Back to Gmail. So here’s the scoop. First off, here’s what your tabs setup probably looks like, with some tabs empty (as “Social” is) and others with new messages (as “Promotions” is showing):
If I click on the Promotions tab, I’ll see the new message that’s been automatically filed in that category:
Here’s where it gets cool.
Let’s say that I’d rather have messages related to the TelcoVision 2013 conference come to my Primary inbox rather than be filed as Promotions. That turns out to be pretty easy to accomplish by clicking anywhere on the message entry in this view and immediately dragging the message onto the desired tab.
Mid-process it’ll look like this:
You can see all the other tabs pop up and say “Drag here to move me…”.
I drag and drop it onto “Primary” and a status message pops up at the top of my Gmail window:
You can see that the second question is the key. Simply click “Yes” and all future messages from email@example.com will automatically show up in “Primary” rather than be filed as a Promotion.
Don’t want to make it permanent? Just don’t click on “Yes” and the next time you get a message from that sender, it’ll go through the standard filing rules and end up Promotions, or whatever other tab your messages have been dropped into.
Easy enough once you think about dragging and dropping, I’d say!