Jack Wallen guides you through the process of creating a Gmail filter so you can always spot important communications.

Image: PixieMe / Adobe Stock

Gmail is my primary business address, and it’s a steady stream of incoming messages from around the world and for any purpose. With so many emails coming into this account, it’s pretty easy to miss things. That’s why Google has added a very powerful search filter tool that simplifies the process of filtering your email according to your needs.

For example, every day you receive a specific email that includes the word backup (you may have created an archiving solution that sends you alert emails). You certainly don’t want to miss this email. So how do you prevent this email from getting lost in the flood? You create a filter.

Let me show you how.

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What you will need

All you need for this is a Google account, so sign in and get ready.

How to create a search filter

Creating a search filter is done in the Advanced Search tool. To access the tool, click the settings icon at the right end of the Gmail search bar (Figure A).

Figure A

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. Gmail search bar and related settings icon.

Click the settings icon to reveal the search pop-up filter (Figure B).

Figure B

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. The Gmail Advanced Search Filter pop-up.

Let’s just say, for simplicity, you want to create a filter that will mark each incoming email with the word backup in the subject as important. Obviously, you can go much further with this, such as searching for words in the body of the email, defining the size or date, adding senders and / or recipients, defining specific locations, and even defining whether the email has an attachment. But for our example, we will write a backup copy of the topic and click Create Filter.

In the resulting pop-up window (Figure C), select Always mark it as important and click Create filter.

Figure C

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. What do we do with each email that meets our criteria?

Now, when an email arrives with the term backup in the topic (it can only be part of the topic), you will find this email listed on the “Important” label (Figure D).

Figure D

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. The “Important” label, as found in Gmail’s compact layout.

Of course, you can always get a lot more creative with your search filters, but you already have an idea of ​​how you can make them work for you. With this handy tool, you can easily filter out any email you need and activate it automatically so you don’t miss these important communications.

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How to create a search filter in Gmail so you don’t miss important communications

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