Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Creating Filter in Gmail to Flag your Newsletters

A couple of incredibly power features in GMail is filters and labels. With a few clicks, you can setup filters to quickly organize messages by assigning useful labels to them.

A handy filter I've created allows me to quickly identify Newsletters. These are messages I receive weekly or monthly that I quickly peruse and then delete:

  • weekly flyer from Best Buy
  • travel deals from Expedia
  • Costco News
  • YouTube notices (someone has subscribed to your channel)
Most people understand how to create filters and people will spend hours ensuring they have a filter setup to address each message. But there's a way you can combine a number of filters into one instead of creating individual filters.

Let's look at the list above. I want to create a filter that will assign the Newsletter label to any messages send by these companies. First I need to identify the return email address:

  • Best Buy (
  • Expedia (
  • Costco News (
  • YouTube (
Normally you would create a single rule for each email. First you identify the criteria the filter is to look for:

Then you indicate the action that should be taken:

Now, instead of creating more filters that will do the same, you can combine all the email address together in the search criteria by separating each email with the word OR (in all caps).

Now I have one filter where I once had four! All that's left is to select all the messages, read through them and delete!  :-)

Tip: If you have a large number of emails to filter on, edit the list in a text editor (the filter field is very small). When the time comes, you can add your email at the beginning of the list.

What kind of message can you filter with this?