How do people organize their Gmail

Manage Gmail efficiently with the Multiple Inboxes Lab

Most people have more than one email account and if you use Gmail it's easy to tweak the settings so that all of your messages can be found in the same place. However, if you prefer to keep things "together yet separate", the Multiple Inboxes - Labs feature can help you work more efficiently with email.

I have amassed e-mail across numerous addresses over the years, including - for the shame! - a Hotmail address that I don't want to get rid of. It's not that there's a sentimental attachment to Microsoft's email service, it's an address that has been used to sign up for various online accounts and newsletters, and it's easier to get those emails filtering in Gmail than checking, or taking the time to change the address associated with numerous accounts.

Filter and combine

The whole point is that many of us have at least two email addresses, and we've previously looked at how it's possible to put them all into a single Gmail inbox.

To make it easier to identify e-mails If an e-mail has been sent to a specific account, you can set up filters so that e-mails that meet certain criteria are given the same names as e-mails that arrive in your inbox.

But to some extent, you put it all togetherEmail this way can be a bit overwhelming. Multiple Inboxes is a feature from Google Labs that allows you to get the best of both worlds. You can still receive all of your email in the same Gmail account, but your inbox can be split into multiple sub-inboxes for easy separation.

Multiple inboxes

Sign in to your Gmail account and click the gear icon in the top right corner of the page, under your user picture, click Settings. Go to the Labs section and scroll down until you find Multiple Inboxes - or you can search for it.

Select the Enable option and then scroll down to the bottom of the page where you need to click the Save Changes button.

When your inbox reloads you'll find that it has been split into a series of sections with a separate inbox that pulls out flagged messages and lists them together. However, we are interested in customizing the add-on so that the emails are grouped by the email address they were sent to.

Return to the Settings section of Gmail you are in. Now at the top of the page is the Multiple Inboxes tab. You can configure up to five additional areas that will appear in your account. Each of these areas can be set up to display emails that match the search terms you specified.

Use Search

To display e-mails sent to a specific e-mail address, enter the search query "to: ([email protected],)" in the first field in one of the panes and add a title if necessary added.

You will be returned to your inbox and the windows you selected will appear above your main entrance.

Of course, you can add as many or as few windows as you can, you can also customize the number of messages that appear on each side of a window. Just change the "Maximum Page Size" option on the Settings screen.

Here you can also choose where the additional panels should be positioned. By default, they're added above your inbox, but you can also move them to the right or bottom of the screen.

With widescreen monitors, that's the norm now, so choosing to display the windows to the right of your inbox makes the most sense in terms of space usage. However, this is at the expense of the width of the subject line. You have the choice.

You can also experiment further with a number of search parameters to manage your inbox the way it works for you.

Are there any features from Google Labs that you can't do without? Let us know in the comments below.