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How to organise your mail with the Gmail app

Use labels and priority inbox to get the most out of your mail with this helpful tutorial.

Even if you’re not the busiest of person, it’s pretty likely that your Gmail inbox sometimes looks like it could do with a cleansing fire to clear it out. Whether it’s work emails, friends connecting, or just the steady stream of special offers and voucher websites that fill up your inbox everyday, it can feel like a daunting task trying to get on top of things. That’s where labels and your priority inbox come in.

These handy inclusions in the official Gmail app let you keep a close eye on what actually matters to you, and leave the rest to read when you’ve got a spare minute. Here then are some simple tips and tricks to help you get a better hold of your on the move email communications. With a bit of tinkering and some sensible labeling, you’ll soon be the master of most of the mail coming your way, and that’s a great feeling. These tweaks will change your internet email inbox too, giving you almost complete control.

  1. Find your priorities

    First up, open the Gmail app on your Android device. Depending on what screen size you’re using, you should either see Priority Inbox in the list on the left, or be able to bring it up by tapping on your account name.

  2. Navigate to your priority inbox

    Tap on the priority inbox and you’ll be confronted by a series of emails, all with a yellow symbol next to them. That denotes them as important, and tells Google to set them as a priority.

  3. Toggle the importance

    There are two ways to change the importance of an email, and so the sender of that email, in the Gmail app. First you can do it from within an email by bringing up the menu and changing the setting to important or not.

  4. Or you could do this

    Alternatively, select an email from your inbox, then tap the label icon to toggle its importance. This is more useful if you want to change whether or a large amount of emails are important at once, but also lets you change at a glance.

  5. Change your settings

    Obviously the more emails you mark as important, the more information Google gathers about what you class as important, and the better the service becomes. Next go into the menu and tap Manage Labels, then tap on Priority Inbox.

  6. Get alerts for important emails

    Here you can change the way your Android device sends you notifications, setting it up so you receive alerts when you get emails to your priority inbox. If you still want to receive notifications about regular emails, there’s a trick to telling the difference.

  7. Set the tone

    Set up your priority alert with a different tone and you’ll be able to tell whether the email you’ve just received is one that demands your attention straight away, or one that you can check back on when you get a chance.

  8. Choose your favourite

    Finally, head back to your inbox and bring up the settings menu, then tap on your account. You can now set your Priority Inbox as the default inbox, meaning that you’ll get all your important emails the second you open up the app.