Taking Control of Your Clogged Gmail Inbox

gmail overload by ario_j.

I have a love/hate relationship with email.  Each day I open my Gmail in the expectation that I will get a great email from a family member or friend that will just make my day.  Those are the emails I read immediately.  But there are countless other emails that greet me as I open my inbox. 

 I have recently spent time unsubscribing from several automated emails, but there are other automated emails  I still wish to receive but may not have the time or inclination to read pronto.  They sit in my inbox – a reminder that if I don’t know exactly what to do with an email, my inbox never seems to get cleared out.

So this morning when  I stumbled across the “Problogger” blog, I was overjoyed to read  the post entitled “From 10,000 to 0 Emails in an Inbox in 24 Hours” . It  inspired me to try Gmail’s filtering feature to alleviate the Inbox Clog that I typically experience.

Use the Gmail Filtering Feature

To set up filtering on your Gmail, click on “Settings,” “Filters,” and then “Create a New Filter.”  You can then choose from five different search criteria:  “From,” ” To,” ” Subject,” ” Has the Words,” ” Doesn’t Have. ”  Type in your terms, click on “Test Search,” and analyse your results.

From there, you can choose:  “Skip Inbox (Archive It),” “Mark as Read,” “Star It,” “Apply the Label,” “Forward it To,” “Delete It,” and/or “Never Send it to Spam.”  Then click on “Create Filter” and take control of your Inbox! 

You can also choose to color code your labels.  Find the box on your Gmail Inbox page labeled “Labels.”  Click on the box to the right of the label you wish to color code and choose your color.  

Google also provides a demo of using labels and filters.

Be Ruthless

You may create as many filters as you wish.  Be ruthless – take control of that Inbox!

Any other suggestions on how to tame my inbox?


Image attribution:  Gmail overload  http://www.flickr.com/photos/20645801@N00/20732186

Handling Information Overload

Information Overload

Ever suffered from information overload? Wasted time surfing on the Internet because your searches return too many results? I can answer “Guilty” to both so this summer I want to further hone my searching techniques.

Google Basic Search

Most of us have executed numerous basic searches on Google, only to be bombarded with thousands, if not millions, of hits.  For example, this basic search on Edward Cullen turned up 6,260,000 results.  Quite a bit to look through. 

google search for edward cullen



















Google Squared

Google Labs introduced Google Squared at its second Searchology event in May of 2009. 

“Unlike a normal search engine, Google Squared doesn’t find webpages about your topic — instead, it automatically fetches and organizes facts from across the Internet.”  from the Official Google Blog

The same search on Edward Cullen in Google Squared produced this square:

googlesquared search on edward cullen


To try out this new search feature for yourself, go to Google Squared and enter your search term in the box.  Click on “Square It” and see how Google has organized information about your topic.  If you have an iGoogle account, you can save your searches.

Benefits of Google Squared?

I’ll have to do quite a bit more playing with Google Squared to determine if it make locating the information I need more quickly than an Advanced Search.  I love the idea of an organized result list, but did you notice that Bella is listed as a Guinea Pig under Species and Emmett is listed as a Rainbow Trout?  Hmm….much different story line would come from those ideas.


I would love for others to share their tips for efficient and effective searching techniques.   What works best for you?