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Use Gmail Labels to Focus in on your Inbox

The nature of my business lives & breathes via email most of the time. This can be overwhelming when you are working with multiple clients at a time. There are emails about an event happening in April stacked on top of emails about meetings that need to be scheduled today stacked on top of New Client Inquiry emails.

I can’t escape it, so I’ve had to find ways to focus in on my inbox. One habit I have I owe to my fascination with color coding as a child :) Gmail Labels…which can be custom color coded to your liking!!  

Each client/project I work on has a different color label. It’s part of my “New Client Intake Process” So, when I’m working in my 30 minute segments & focusing on Client A, if I know their label color is red, my mind focuses in on all of the red labels in my inbox without getting distracted by blues, greens, & purples.  

Did you also know that labels can be automatically applied? That’s right, you can create a filter so any email from a specific address, for example, automatically gets a color coded label you’ve created before it lands in your inbox. Genius!

A few how to tips if you want to try it out yourself: 

  • To give a label a color
    • Hover over it on the left side of your screen where your labels are all listed
    • A dropdown arrow will appear to the right of the title
    • Click that arrow & you’ll see options of default colors as well as the option to create a custom color label.
  • To create a filter for auto-labeling
    • Either open an email or select one in your inbox
    • Click on the “more” button which appears along the top of your inbox/reading pane.
    • You’ll see a “filter messages like these” option.
    • Select that & you’ll see all of the filtering criteria options you have. In most cases, “from” address is a good starting point.
    • Next, click “create filter with this search” & you’ll see action options.
    • Select “apply the label,” use the dropdown menu to select the proper label, & click the “create filter” button.

Happy color coding! :)

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