A while back, I decided to start setting up some filters in one of my Gmail-based accounts to help organize my messages. I was accustomed to the way filters and rules work in traditional e-mail systems, so I was surprised to find out that I still received copies of the messages in my Inbox, as well as the folder (label) I’d set up.
I can completely understand the value of a setup like that, but it wasn’t what I’d wanted at the time. I wanted the e-mail messages to be delivered into just the folder I’d set up, without copies of those messages cluttering up my Inbox.
After a bit of help from friends on Friendfeed and Twitter, I figured out how to stop the copies from arriving in my Inbox. It’s pretty simple, really; and I’m not sure why I didn’t notice it when I was first setting up the filters.
To set up a filter, begin by logging into your Gmail account.
- Click the “Settings” link in the top right corner of the screen.
- Click the “Filters” tab
- Click the “Create a new filter” link at the bottom of the window
- Type in the search criteria you want to apply to your filter (for instance, to catch all messages from the HTMLCenter blog, you could type “[HTMLCenter Web Development Blog]” into the “Has the words” box).
- Click the “Next Step” button
- If you do not want a copy of each message cluttering up your Inbox, check the box that says “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)”
- Choose the appropriate label/folder from the “Apply the label” dropdown menu
- If you want to apply the filter to any messages that are already in your Inbox that match these criteria, check the “Also apply filter to XX conversations below” checkbox
- Click the “Create Filter” button