Top 13 Gmail Labels Tips and Tricks to Organize and Manage Them

You can add Labels in Gmail for spotting the important ones and organize them systematically. Gmail gives you a few pre-defined labels such as Trash, Spam, and Draft. We will share tips to help you create the new Gmail labels to categorize and organize all your existing and incoming emails.

One of the cool things about Labels is that a single email can have multiple labels. For instance, you can create labels for email based on task priority (high priority, low priority), people (manager, editor), subject, type, and more.

Here are some tips that will help you how to organize and manage labels in Gmail.

Where Do You See Labels

You can view labels from the left sidebar on the web version of Gmail. Click on any label to view the emails inside it. Alternatively, you will find the labels before the email subject in the list of the emails.

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You will also find labels next to the email subject when you open the email.

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1. Create Labels in Gmail

There are two ways to create a label from the Gmail website. Firstly, open Gmail and click on Create new label from the left sidebar. If you don’t see it directly, click on More > Create new label.

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The New label pop-up will open. Type the name of your label and click on Create. The new label shall appear in the left sidebar.

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Another way to create a label is from an email itself. Let’s say you are reading an email and you want to add it to a label. But you don’t find any suitable label. You can create a label instantly.

For that, open the email. Click on the Label icon at the top and select Create new label from the menu. Type the name and hit Create.

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Note: You cannot create, edit, or delete labels from the Gmail Android app. However, you can do it on the iOS app.

2. Add Label to Emails

After creating labels, it’s time to apply them to your emails. For that, open the required email. Click on the Labels icon. Check the box next to the labels you want to apply to your email and hit the Apply button.

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When you apply a label to an email, it will continue to have one of the existing labels such as Inbox, Update, etc., where the email initially arrived. Adding a label will not remove it from those folders. So you can access it from the primary inbox and the added label. In case you want to remove emails from existing labels, check how to move labels from the next section.

Tip: Find out what is a Forum in Gmail and how to create one.

3. Move an Email to a Label

If you want a clean inbox, you can remove your Inbox label emails and keep them in their dedicated labels only. When you do so, you will find the emails only under the labels added to it and not in the primary inbox.

You can move an email to a label in three ways. Firstly, open the required email and click on the Move to icon. Select the required label from the menu.

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Secondly, add the required label to your email first. Then click on the cross icon next to the labels from which you want to remove the email. Let’s say Inbox. Keep only the labels where you want the email to appear.

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Lastly, drag and drop the email from the emails list onto the required label in the left sidebar.

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Tip: Find out what is an archive in Gmail and how to archive emails.

4. Add Color to Labels

To easily identify your emails, you can color code the labels. For instance, you can use red color for high priority emails or add brand colors to labels, etc. The colored labels will show up in the list of emails.

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To add a color to any label, hover your mouse over the label from the left sidebar. Click on the down arrow or the three-dot icon next to the label name. Select Label color from the menu. Then choose a color from the list. If you don’t like the colors offered, click on Add custom color.

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5. Rename Labels

To rename any label, click on the three-dot icon next to the left sidebar label name. Select Edit. Then type a new name for your label. It will automatically apply to the emails under that label.

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6. Create Nested Labels

Nested labels are like subfolders. You have the main label, and then you can create nested labels under it. That way, you can further organize your emails in a much better way. The email will only appear in the nested labels. But the label name will have the names of all the top labels added to it. For instance, you can have a main Bills label followed by nested labels – electricity, gas, water, etc.

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Tip: You can create multiple hierarchies of labels, i.e., you can have a sublabel under a nested label.

To create a sublabel under a label, click on the three-dot icon next to the label name. Choose Add sublabel.

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Alternatively, while you are creating a label, you must have noticed the Nest label under the new label option. Check the box next to it and select the label under which you want it to be the sublabel.

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Tip: To nest an existing label, click on the three-dot icon next to it. Choose Edit. Then from the pop-up, select Nest label under.

7. Remove Label From an Email

To remove a label from an email, open the email. Now click on the cross icon next to the label name to remove it. Alternatively, click on the Remove label button at the top. You can also uncheck the labels that you don’t need from the Labels option.

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8. Remove Multiple Emails From a Label

Sometimes, you want to remove a particular label from multiple emails. If you use the above method, that will be time-consuming. There’s a better alternative.

Open the required label from the left sidebar in Gmail. You will find all the emails having that label. Select the emails from which you want to remove the label. Once selected, click on the Remove label button at the top.

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9. Find Emails Without Labels

Before you remove labels, check whether the email has any labels. If an email doesn’t have any label, you will not find them in the Primary inbox. Such orphaned emails go to the All Mail folder that can be accessed from the left sidebar.

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10. Merge Labels

Suppose you want to merge emails from two existing Gmail labels in a new label. There are multiple ways to achieve that.

Firstly, create a new label. Then select all the emails from the first label and drag and drop to the newly created label. Similarly, move emails from the second label to the new label. Then delete the first two labels.

Tip: Instead of drag and drop, you can use the Move to option to move labels.

In the second method, you need to take the help of Gmail’s search. Firstly, create a new label. Then enter the name of the labels that you want to merge in the search bar. They should be in the format’ label:name1 OR label:name2′, where name1 and name 2 are the labels’ names. For instance, label:notes OR label:GT. Select all the emails that appear in the search results. Drag and drop to the new label or use the Move to option. Delete the original labels.

Tip: If your label name has space, replace it with dash -.

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11. Automatically Add Labels to New Emails

With Gmail filters’ help, you can create a filter where received emails meeting the filter criteria would automatically apply a certain label.

To do so, follow these steps:

Step 1: Click on the Settings icon in Gmail. Then select See all settings from the menu.

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Step 2: Click on the Filters and blocked addresses tab. Then click on Create a new filter.

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Step 3: Set the criteria of the filter in the pop-up window. You can use the email’s Subject or From address. Click on Create filter.

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Step 4: You will be asked to choose an action for the filter. Check the box next to Apply the label and select the label from the list. Click on Create filter.

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12. Show or Hide Labels

The left sidebar in Gmail can accommodate 500 labels. I’m sure you wouldn’t require those many labels. However, instead of deleting labels, you can hide labels from appearing in the left sidebar. You can display only the required labels.

To do so, click on the label’s three-dot icon in the left sidebar. Check the box next to Show/hide wherever required depending on your need. Alternatively, go to Gmail Settings > Labels. Here you will see all labels, including System labels. Hide or show them as per your preference.

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Tip: Find out how to create an email signature in Gmail.

13. Delete Label

If you don’t require a label at all, you can delete it. Deleting a label will not delete the associated emails. They will continue appearing in other labels if added. However, if no label is added, you will find them under the All Mails folder, as shown above.

Note: Deleting a label will delete all its sub labels.

To delete a label, open the menu from the label’s three-dot icon. Select Remove label. Alternatively, go to Gmail Settings > Label. Hit Remove next to your label.

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Organize Gmail

Labels are just one of the ways to organize your Gmail inbox. You can use other features such as archive, tabs, etc. Check out our guide on how to organize Gmail efficiently.

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