Gmail automations with filters

Save time with automations in Gmail. Examples and step-by-step guide to set up your own automations.

What are Gmail Filters?

Gmail filters are automated rules within Gmail. You can manage your incoming mail using Gmail’s filters to send email to a label, or archive, delete, star, or automatically forward your mail.

Gmail Filters Ideas, tips & tricks

Here a list of examples of what you can automation:

  • Filter email marketing newsletters, add to folder and skip the inbox
  • Skip social media notifications
  • Apply a label to email from a specific domain, e.g. *@tesla.com adds the label Tesla. Useful if you work for multiple companies.
  • Split email from colleagues (internal) from any other emails
  • Filter Calendar responses from Gmail, see Google support article as well.
  • If an email is sent to invoices email address and it contains an attachment, skip the inbox and forward to accounting system
  • If an email from person X comes in, give it a label
  • If an email from anyone at company Y comes in, give it the label CLIENTNAME
  • If it’s a Facebook Ad notification, archive and skip the inbox
  • If I CC myself, add the label ‘waiting for’ (so I know I’m reminding myself)
  • If I send an email to my ‘special’ email address (task@ewouduphof.com), add a task to my to-do system

How to create a Filter

Filters will save you a lot of time, so start improving your inbox with 1% every time. Here’s how to set up a Gmail filter.

Source Google

  1. In the search box at the top, click Show search options photos tune .
  2. Enter your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search.

From: Filter emails sent from a specific email address
To: Filter emails sent to a specific email address
Subject: Filter emails that use a specific subject line
Has the words: Filter emails that contain specified keywords
Doesn’t have: Filter emails that don’t contain specified keywords
Has attachment: Filter emails that include an attachment
Don’t include chats: Ignore Hangouts chats when applying filters
Size: Filter emails larger or smaller than a specific size

  1. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter.
  2. Choose what you’d like the filter to do. These are the options to choose from.
Skip the inbox: Archive the email so it doesn’t appear in your inbox
Mark as read: Have the email appear in your inbox as an already-read item
Star it: Automatically star the email
Apply the label: Apply a specific label to the email
Forward it to: Automatically forward the email to a different email address
Delete it: Send the email to the trash
Never send it to Spam: Prevent Gmail from tagging the email as spam
Always mark it as important: Automatically tag filtered emails as important
Never mark as important: Tell Gmail not to tag filtered emails as important
Categorise as: Automatically categorise filtered emails

Also apply filter to matching conversations: Automatically applies the selected conditions to every email in your account (new, archived, and deleted) that match the selected filter criteria.

  1. If you want the rule to apply to older emails, check the bottom ‘also apply filter to X matching conversations. When you create a filter to forward messages, only new messages will be affected. ​Additionally, when someone replies to a message you've filtered, the reply will only be filtered if it meets the same search criteria.
  2. Click Create filter.
Operator Function Example Use
OR The `OR` operator tells Gmail to filter on either one thing or another. unsubscribe OR browser Filter emails with either the word unsubscribe or the word browser.
- The minus sign (`-`) operator tells Gmail to exclude a specific item from the filter. -contact@zapier.com Don’t filter any emails that come from the address contact@zapier.com.
" " Surrounding text in quotation marks tells Gmail to look for an exact match of the text. "View in browser" Filter emails that use the exact phrase view in browser.
( ) Surrounding items with parenthesis tells Gmail to group those items together. -(contact@zapier.com OR support@zapier.com) Don’t filter any emails from either contact@zapier.com or support@zapier.com.
* An asterisk is a wildcard symbol that tells Gmail that it doesn’t matter what text appears there. -*@zapier.com Don’t filter emails that come from any address on the Zapier domain.
Chapter continues below
Ewoud Uphof avatar

I hope you enjoy reading this free chapter.

Read the full guide by clicking here.

Alias email addresses for Google Workspace

If you use Google Workspace you can create up to 30 alternative email addresses. These can be used as automation filters as well. Use the email to specify and trigger automations.

  • Add a different email on LinkedIn (to prevent spam from reaching your inbox, or to see where someone found your email if they send you a cold email)
  • Protect your login credentials by adding a ‘separate’ login email, e.g. login@gmail.com that forwards to your ‘real’ email inbox
  • Set up filters based on the ‘to’ email address. In this example, you can set up rules based on the aliases. A rule could be “if someone misspells my name, reply with an email that they change the address.”
Productivity for marketeers ebook

Premium guide available

You're reading the free version of this guide that will 2X your productivity. Do you want to get even more done?

10X your productivity with the full guide 'Productivity for Marketers'.

Bundle of 5 premium guides

PDF version & online access

Checklists & to-do's to get you started

Resources & templates to implement faster

SEe PRODUCT

About Ewoud

Ewoud Uphof

Ewoud Uphof is an experienced Growth Hacker, certified funnel optimiser and investor.

In the past decade he has co-founded multiple companies. As Head of Growth he has helped grow 50+ companies ranging from start-ups to multinationals. He has worked for Camptoo, NU.nl, Sophia Mae, Koffievoordeel and many more.

More About Ewoud
Productivity for marketeers ebook

Buy the ebook

You're reading the free version of this guide that will 2X your productivity. Do you want to get even more done?

10X your productivity with the full guide 'Productivity for Marketers'.

Bundle of 5 premium guides

PDF version & online access

Checklists & to-do's to get you started

Resources & templates to implement faster

read more about ebook