Gmail Gets Smart Labels to Help Filter Messages and Fight Email Overload
Google has just announced a new feature in Gmail aimed at helping us address the pain of the email inbox. It’s a follow-up to some of the recent changes that Google has made to help tackle email overload, most notably with the addition of the Priority Inbox.
The new feature, only available in Labs at the moment, is called Smart Labs and it adds filters to your incoming email based on their type – Bulk, Notification, or Forum.
“Bulk” mail includes any kind of mass mailing, such as newsletters and promotional emails. These are filtered out of your inbox. “Notifications” are messages that are sent to you directly, but include things like billing statements and receipts. Email from group mailing lists are labeled as “Forums.”
If you already use filters to organize your messages, you’ll be relieved to know that these new labels won’t impact your system. You are able to edit your current filters so that they are included or excluded from the Smart Label categorization. You can also edit the Smart Label filters themselves.
If you don’t currently use an elaborate labeling system, then Smart Labels can certainly help you get started by putting some of these very basic filters in place.
Having a smarter, more manageable inbox isn’t just something that Google is working on. The new Smart Labels are reminscent of the service offered by OtherInbox, which also helps minimize your email clutter but then goes the extra step of sending you a nice email reminder with a digest of that “other stuff” so that you don’t miss important messages that aren’t in your inbox any more but in some other vast pile of unread messages.
To activate the new feature in Gmail, go to the Labs tab under Settings and search for Smart Labels.
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