For the past several weeks we have looked at Gmail Settings. Because of email questions I have received lately we will continue on today in that vein and look at Gmail Filters.
You get to Filters the same way you got to Labels last week. You must first be logged into your Gmail account (gmail.com). Then look to the upper right corner and hover the little "gear" icon. It should say "Settings". If not, keep hovering until you find it. Now click it, then "Settings." Finally, click on the fourth tab, "Filters."
In Gmail they are called Filters; however, in most other email applications they are called folders. If you are familiar with rules, say in Outlook, filters are what you are looking for in Gmail.
We have to have a scenario to work on for a filter so we will pretend that every time I get an email from my buddy Rob in Waynesboro I want to immediately delete it. Just kidding Rob, this is just an example.
I go to the filters in Gmail as described above and click "Create a new filter" which is found near the bottom of the window. A small window then opens in Gmail with several labeled blanks. You are not required to fill in all of them but you do need to use the ones that make sense. In this example I need to enter who the email is coming from, "firstname.lastname@example.org." Notice you could also enter who it is to the subject line, words found in the email, words not found in the email or if it has an attachment.
You may also combine these items and can end up with a very specific list which basically searches your arriving emails qualifying for these conditions. Once done there click, "Create filter with this search" and you get many choices.
The first choice is one which I rarely use, "Skip the Inbox (Archive it)". Archiving moves messages from your Inbox into your, "All Mail" label, so you don’t have to delete anything. But to me it is just another place to search to find an email. You can play with and figure out many of the features here, but we want to delete this email. I will choose, "Delete it" for Rob’s emails. Next time I get an email from him it will go straight to my "Trash" label/folder.
You can also set specific emails to go into a specific label which we talked about last week. I could also create a filter for Rob’s emails instead of deleting them to, "Star" them to mark as important.
I have one created for my wife so that when I receive any emails with something about "vacation", "Travelocity", "Orbitz" etc. it will automatically forward those emails to her…for obvious reasons.
You can even create an "auto-response" for emails which will send a message you created so it looks like you just answered it.
Have fun experimenting. The way I try out filters is to set one up using another one of my email addresses. Come on admit it, you have more than one too. If it works the way I want it to I just edit the filter and put in the email address I want it to respond to.