If you work with a lot of people on a regular basis, your inbox probably looks like a lot of jumbled up words, text, snippets, and other bits and pieces of confusing information. When does all the madness stop? Well, if you're using GMail, you're in luck. Google has set up GMail to be highly customizable, and that means that you can take control over your inbox quite simply.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A few minutes of your time
  • The email addresses of those people that contact you often
  • Patience

Ready? Here's how to fully customize your GMail inbox.

Set Up Filters


The first thing that you'll want to do is set up filters. Follow these basic steps:

  • Click on the small gear icon at the right top side of your GMail screen
  • Select ‘Settings'
  • Click on the ‘Filters' tab at the top of the screen
  • Choose ‘Create New Filter' at the bottom of the screen
  • In the ‘From' box add the email address of anyone that might contact you
  • In the ‘To' box add the same email addresses
  • Decide where to put those messages (options will appear)
  • Create filter

You can create as many filters as you want to with this setting option. Those filters will appear at the left side of your screen when you are looking at your inbox. Next: let's jump into GMail ‘Categories.'

Setting Up GMail Categories


Categories are different from filters because these sit at the top of your inbox. This is a relatively new GMail feature, and it's one that's helpful if you get a lot of social media or other messages. But, Categories, in the GMail sense, are frustrating too. Why? Because you cannot change the name of these categories.

Google automatically offers you the following Category options: ‘Primary,' ‘Social,' ‘Promotions,' ‘Updates.' If any of these categories will make your life easier, set them up. You can always erase some options when you want to. To do this, just click on the ‘+' sign at the top right of your inbox screen.

Setting Up Dual Email Addresses

Google is generous. This company lets you set up two different email aliases (or email addresses). Here's how to make that work:

  1. Go to that gear icon again
  2. Click on the ‘Accounts' label at the top of the screen
  3. Choose ‘Add Another Email Address You Own'
  4. Click on that options and add your other email address
  5. Google will ask you to verify that you own this email address, so you will have to enter a code that's sent to your other email

Once that's done, you can send messages from either email address.

Wasn't that simple? Now, you can have  an inbox free of messy clutter, missed messages, and other issues. The only thing that you have to do now is read the emails that you've skipped, get your name off of any annoying newsletter campaign signup, and figure out how to get back to all of those people in a timely manner. I know, it's a rough life! But, you can do it!

Need help with your GMail? Let me know, and don't forget to check out our hosting comparisons and reviews while you're here!

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