How To Create Gmail Rules

Team Polymail

Emails have remained an important style of professional communication since the beginning of the internet. 

It allows you to create a professional email which can be sent whenever you have time, and it then goes into the recipient’s inbox, which can be checked when they have time. 

To make email even more appealing, you can send pictures, files, and important documents instantly, no matter where you are. This makes tasks such as professional deals and even buying a house more streamlined and easy to handle. 

With so many companies understanding the potential for internet marketing, your inbox may quickly become cluttered with messages that are far from important. No matter how many you seem to delete, they seem to add up just as quickly. 

Even important emails can become cluttered, quickly pushing important information into the bottomless pit known as your inbox. You can’t simply delete these messages, since you might need the information later. 

Similar to paper documents, it’s time to file these messages away. 

The Importance of Organization

Without utilizing folders and rules, your inbox will become filled with every email that you receive. This will include important messages, spam, junk mail, subscriptions, and much more. 

While using just your inbox’s basic features, important messages can quickly become buried under the quickly growing junk mail. Even once an important message is opened and read, you may need to return to the document to re-check information or resolve the message. 


Called Labels within Google, folders are a great way to organize your emails into easy-to-access sets. These folders are completely customizable within Gmail, which allows you to create a structure that works best for your business. 

These folders can then be broken into sub-labels, which are folders within folders. This means you can organize items into main categories, such as a folder for your subscriptions, which then could be broken into sub-categories such as each company's subscriptions. 

Gmail Rules

Rules can be applied to all incoming emails to determine what should happen with the email. This could be a range of options from filing them away directly into the labels, or maybe you want emails deleted without even looking at them. 

Creating Labels

If your rule will involve messages making their way into folders, you should first create the label

To create a new label:

  1. Click on a message you would want within your new label, you can either click the small box on the left side, or click into the message.
  2. Along the top, find a filing folder with an arrow on it. As you scroll over it, it should say “Move To”.
  3. Clicked this folder, a drop down will show all current labels. At the bottom, click “Create New”.
  4. Enter your new label’s name
  5. If the new label will be a sub-label, check the box showing “Nest Label Under”.
  6. The dropdown box will show all available primary labels.

To manage your labels, you can also access all labels and label options by the following. 

  1. One the Gmail screen, at the top right near your profile picture there is a small gear. Click the Settings gear.
  2. A dropdown should appear with a range of Settings. You should consider playing with these layouts to find what best fits your needs. 
  3. At the top of this list, click “See All Settings”.
  4. Along the top, there will be a list. Click “Labels”.
  5. This screen will show System Labels, which are not customizable categories and labels. 
  6. Scroll down to labels -- you will have the options to Create a New Label, Adjust the Visibility of current labels, Edit, or Remove each label. 

Knowing how to adjust the visibility of each label will allow you to move and adjust unused folders later on. 

Once labels are created, they will be seen on the left side of your inbox screen. 

With the cursor over the label, it will show 3 white dots which can be clicked to adjust visibility settings:

  • Color changes the tag color that will appear on the left side of your screen. Consider making labels with highly important information red, so you can instantly see if there is an unread message in this label with a blimps. 
  • Label Lists controls when you will see the labels along the left of your screen:
  • Show will display the label there all the time. 
  • Show will display the label if there is an unread message. 
  • Hide will remove the label from sight, which can be adjusted within the settings.

Creating Rules

Now that you have labels in place, rules can be created which control the emails. 

  1. Select a message you would like to create a rule for.
  2. At the top of the screen you will see various options. To the right, click the “More” button. 
  3. Scroll down, click “Filter Messages Like These”.
  4. Fill in the various rules that you would like to apply. 
  • From - select emails from one or more senders
  • To - select emails sent to specific recipients
  • Subject - text found in the subject bar or title of an email
  • Has The Words - text found within the body of the email
  • Doesn’t Have - text not found in the body of the email
  • Size - filter messages based on the size of the overall message
  • Date Within - filter messages based on the timeframe in which they were sent 
  • Search - limit the filter to specific folders or labels
  • Has Attachments - only look at messages containing attachments such as files or images
  • Don’t Include Chat - apply the filter only to emails, avoiding teach chats
  • All filters will search for words anywhere throughout the emails. If you’re looking for specific phrases, be sure to write them within “quotation marks” and it will search for words in that exact order. 
  1. Click the “Create Filter” box.
  2. A new box will appear stating “When a message is an exact match for your search criteria:” at which point you should select the action you’d like taken on the emails. These include:
  • Skip the Inbox (Archive it) - placed out of sight, but still could be found if needed
  • Mark as read - great option for promotions and other material that will be there, but you don’t need to read it
  • Star it - a visual reference for you to find later
  • Apply the label: - sent to a specified folder
  • Forward it - sent to someone else or another email address
  • Delete it - get rid of the email
  • Never send it to Spam - ensure these messages won’t end up in spam, regardless the other remaining content
  • Always mark it as important - mark the sender as important, adding it to a specific folder
  • Never mark it as important - if a message falls into this filter, it will remove the important mark
  • Categorize as: - placed into categories, or pre-determined folders. 
  • Also apply filters to matching conversations. - when selected, it will apply changes to messages you have received previously

Now that you’ve created rules that will apply to your new emails, you can expect far less clutter within your inbox. It’s important to update your rules and preferences as you sign up for new promotions. 

What if you need to make changes? 

  1. Start on the Gmail main page
  2. At the top right, click the gear showing “Settings
  3. At the top of this dropdown, click “See All Settings
  4. Along the top click “Filters and Blocked Addresses
  5. You will see a list of each rule
  6. On the right side, you can Edit or Delete these rules 


While folders allow you to organize your inbox and stay organized, placing each email where it needs to be takes time. Utilizing rules will place these emails where they need to be, without you doing anything. This means less time looking through unwanted emails.

While your email can be used as a simple inbox, it also has the potential to become an in-depth messaging management software when paired with Polymail

Get started today risk-free with Polymail’s free trial by clicking here.


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