how to create labels and folders in gmail featured

How to Create Folders and Labels in Gmail to Keep Your Inbox Organized

Many of us are Gmail users, but rarely have we organized the inbox with folders, labels, and filters. Believe me, if you frequently use Gmail and receive a ton of emails, these Gmail hacks will help you tidy up your inbox which will, as a result, boost your productivity too. In just a few clicks, you can filter the emails into various categories and also block emails based on your choice of keyword. You can also choose to move a particular type of message to a custom folder by creating rules on Gmail. So without any wait, let’s go ahead and find out how to create folders and labels in Gmail to keep your inbox organized.

Create Folders and Labels in Gmail to Keep Your Inbox Organized (2021)

Even though Gmail doesn’t have ‘folders’ per-se, the email platform’s ‘labels’ feature works pretty much the same way. It’s a handy way to organise your inbox to manage your email better. You can create labels in both the web version of Gmail, as well as the Gmail app on iPhone and Android.

In this detailed guide, we will tell you how to create inbox folders in gmail, and apply labels to emails. As always, you can use the table of contents below to navigate through this guide.

How to Create Labels in Gmail on the Web

First, let’s see how you can make folders (labels) in Gmail on the web.

1. First of all, open Gmail on the web and click on the cogwheel icon on the top-right corner. After that, click on “See all settings“.

2. Next, move to “Inbox” and keep the Inbox type as “Default”.

3. After that, tick the checkboxes for Social, Promotions, and Updates under the Categories section. This will smartly categorize the emails into multiple folders and will keep your inbox organized. If you want, you can also enable Forums.

4. Next, move to the “Labels” tab and scroll down. If you find unwanted labels at the bottom then hide them. After that, to create new labels on Gmail, click on the button.

5. Give it a name, say, “work”. So now onwards, you can move any work-related emails under the “work” label. You don’t need to select anything under the Nested drop-down menu.

6. To label an email, simply click on the “arrow” button up top and select the appropriate label.

7. To quickly find an email tagged with “work”, you can scroll down right below “Inbox” and click on “More”. Here, you will find the “work” label. You can also move a label to the top from the Label Settings page by hiding or showing them.

How to Create Labels in Gmail App (iPhone and Android)

If you use the Gmail app more often than the web version, you’ll be glad to know that you can actually create labels from within the app as well. Here’s how. I’m going to show you how to create folders in Gmail app on iPhone, but the method is the same for Android phones as well. So, follow along.

  • Open the Gmail app, and tap on the hamburger menu. Here, scroll down and tap on the option called ‘Create New’.
  • Tap on this option, and then enter a name for your new label. For this example, I’m creating a label called ‘Receipts’. Once you’ve entered a name, tap on ‘Done’.
  • Gmail automatically takes you to the new label. Obviously, it’s empty right now, but we will talk about how to apply labels and move emails into labels and folders in another section.

So, that’s how you can create inbox folders (labels) in the Gmail app on Android and iPhone.

How to Move Emails from Inbox to Folders in Gmail

Now that we have set up labels, let’s take a look at how to move emails into the new labels. There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can apply labels to emails in your Gmail inbox, or you can create filters in Gmail to automatically organise incoming mail into different labels for an even better set up.

How to Apply Labels to Emails

First, let’s take a look at how you can apply labels to existing emails in your inbox on both the web and in the Gmail app.

Apply Labels to Emails on Gmail Web

  • Open the email you want to apply a label to, and click on the ‘labels’ icon up top as shown in the screenshot.
  • From the drop-down list, choose the label you want to apply to the email. For this example, I’m gonna move this email to the ‘Receipts’ label. Once you’ve selected the labels, click on ‘Apply’.

Now, when you go to the ‘Receipts’ label from the sidebar, you will find your email within the label. Pretty easy, right?

Apply Labels to Emails on the Gmail App (iPhone and Android)

  • Open the Gmail app and select the email you want to apply a label to; then, tap on the three dot icon and tap on ‘Label’.
  • Choose the label(s) you want to apply, and tap on the checkmark icon on the top right.

That’s it, the new label will be applied to your email. Now, you can find the email within the label from the sidebar as well.

How to Automatically Apply Labels to Incoming Emails

Now that you know how to apply labels to emails, let’s take things one step further.

You can actually create filters in Gmail. These can automatically sort incoming emails into separate folders (or labels) so you don’t have to do it manually. Here’s how to create filters in Gmail to automatically apply labels to new mails.

Note: You can only create filters in Gmail on the web app. Unfortunately, this functionality is not available on the Gmail app on iPhone or Android.

  • Open Gmail on the desktop, and click on the ‘Show Search Options’ icon in the Gmail search bar (see screenshot).
  • Here, enter the conditions for the filter. As you can see, filters can be created based on any one (or a combination) of things like the sender, subject, body text, attachments, and more. Just set it up the way you want to, and click on ‘Create Filter’.
  • Check the box next to ‘Apply the label’ and choose the label you want to apply. In this example, I’m applying the ‘Receipts’ label. Once done, click on ‘Create Filter’.

Gmail will now automatically apply the selected label to any email that matches the filter you have created. This is a great way to organise your Gmail inbox automatically.

How to Create Sub-folders in Gmail

As you must have realised by now, labels in Gmail are really powerful and useful. Plus, they are a great substitute for folders. So, if you want to create nested labels (or sub-folders, so to speak) in Gmail, here’s how you can do that as well.

Note: Nested labels (sub-labels) are only available in the Gmail web app.

  • Open the Gmail web-app. Hover your mouse over the label within which you want to create a nested label, and click on the three dot menu icon that shows up.
  • In the context menu, click on ‘Add sublabel’.
  • Give your new label a name, and click on ‘Create’.

That’s it, the new sublabel will show up nested inside the parent label now. You can also create filters to sort emails into sub-folders on Gmail if you want, which is pretty useful.

How to Edit or Delete Labels in Gmail

Careful as you may be, there will be times when you realise you need to make changes to a label, or maybe even delete it entirely. Fortunately, if you misspelled a word in your label, you don’t need to delete your label and make a fresh one. Here’s how to edit (or delete) labels in Gmail.

Edit a Label

  • Open the Gmail web-app. Hover your mouse over the label which you want to edit, and click on the three dot menu icon that shows up.
  • In the context menu that shows up, click on ‘Edit’.
  • You can now rename the label, and make other changes to it. Once done, just click on ‘Save’ to finalise your changes.

Delete a Label

  • Open the Gmail web-app. Hover your mouse over the label which you want to delete, and click on the three dot menu icon that shows up.
  • In the context-menu that shows up, click on ‘Remove Label’.
  • Click on ‘Delete’ to confirm, and that’s it.

Tidy Up Your Gmail Inbox With a Few Changes

So these are the best ways to clean up Gmail and have an inbox that is free of clutter, spam emails, and promotional messages. I have also mentioned some ways to create rules and filters in case you want to block a particular type of message or route them to a separate folder. And the best part is that you can apply these Gmail hacks on both your smartphone and the web. Anyway, that is all from us. If you are still not impressed with Gmail’s built-in smart features, you can find out the best Gmail alternatives from our linked article. And if you have any questions, comment down below and let us know.

Leave a Reply