Email: Using Gmail Labels

Using Gmail labels is a simple way to manage Gmail. Labels allow you to filter, find, and sort emails that you want to keep.

Instead of folders, Gmail uses labels for organizing.

“Labels allow you to organize your email messages into categories. They are similar to folders however, unlike folders, you can apply more than one label to a single message.” 

How to Geek ‘Inbox Management and Labels’

These instructions from Google Support talk you through how to create labels and use them.

This icon designates a label. Deleted Messages and Junk are two labels created by Google.

Create a Label

To create a new label, scroll down the list on the left until you see More. Click on More.

Scroll down more until you see Create New Label. Click on Create New Label.

This box will pop up allowing you to type in the new label’s name. You can also nest labels. For example, you might have a label for the year, and then nested beneath it labels for receipts, medical and personal notes.

Here we have created a label called Receipts.

You can see this label name in the list of labels down the left side of the screen.

To label an email, single click on the email to select it. Then click on the label icon at the top of the list. You can see the list of labels available. You may click on as many labels as are appropriate.

This email in the inbox is now designated as being labeled Receipts.

Click on the label to see all of the emails with that label.


You can also use labels in conjunction with rules to automate filing/archiving of emails, giving you even more control over your inbox. For example, you could create a label called ‘newsletters’ and then create a rule to store emails from specific senders under that label. This can be done automatically, and can even be done retroactively.

These instructions from Google Support show you how to set up and use rules to filter your incoming emails.

To take full advantage of both of these functions you need to be logged into your Gmail account on a desktop PC or laptop. However, you can edit/create and add labels from the Gmail app on your phone.

Always remember that in Gmail there is only one copy of the email. If you delete the email in one location, you have deleted it everywhere. Instead, you might only want to delete the label, if the email is meant to reside under other labels.

If you have trouble applying this to your email, give us a call and we can help you set it up.

Scroll to Top