Gmail ProTips #2 – Priority Inbox

So my friends asked me to send out some tips for how I set up my email and I got some good feedback from it, so I guess I’ll post this next one on my blog…

I have been using gmail’s new Priority Inbox for some time now and I really like it. Basically, it automatically sorts the emails that are important to me from the ones that are less important. From what I’ve seen, this is mostly determined by who the sender is, and how many recipients there are. IE, a message sent from someone in my contacts to only me is likely more important than one sent by Facebook to a mailing list.

So… to get set up with priority inbox, simply go to your email settings screen

and click on the Priority Inbox view.


Select all the options as you see here:

Once this is all set up, you’ll have a link on the top of your left hand menu for Priority Inbox. Clicking on that will take you to a screen similar to this:

As you can see, my emails are now separated into unread messages that Gmail has classified as Important, messages I’ve starred, important messages I’ve already read, and then everything else. Now, Gmail isn’t perfect when it comes to figuring out what’s important to you, but it can actually learn from you as you use the priority settings. If you get a message that should be marked important and isn’t, or one that isn’t important but got labeled as such, you can change it’s importance by selecting it and pressing the little  keys. Gmail will learn to mark these messages correctly over time.


This really helps to weed out all the miscellaneous stuff I get from social networks and forums and highlights the important messages I get from actual people! Pretty Cool!

Gmail ProTips #1 – Infinite Email Addresses

I know some of you wanted more deets on filtering spam and such, so here’s my set up that seems to work pretty well.

What you mainly need to know is that you can add a + to the end of your gmail name and add whatever you want and it will all go to your account. So if my email were, I could have people send mail to or or whatever and it will all come to the same inbox, and unless you’re looking for it, you won’t even notice a difference.

So what I do is, any time some service asks for an email and I don’t particularly want any junk from them, I use and then in my gmail I create a filter where I have the word “spam” in the from box and automatically send it to the spam folder. That way I can get the confirmation email out of the spam box when it’s sent to me and ignore anything else from that address.

You could take it a step further by using the name of the service, like,, and then when I start getting spam sent to that address, I know which service sold my email address.

The other thing I was saying is that a lot of websites won’t let you put a + in their email address fields, so for those I use an email address like

You can add a period anywhere in your name and it will also be sent to you. So I have another filter looking for and doing the same thing.

So there’s my Gmail tip of the Day! Tune in next time for Priority Inbox and Keyboard Shortcuts!