Let’s face it. Spam sucks. But sometimes we tend to create our own “spam.” And this is by subscribing to e-groups and mailing lists. True, they’re not technically considered “spam” because they’re not unsolicited. But if you’re a stickler for managing your email inbox, the volume of messages you receive from mailing lists can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, Gmail can make it easier for you to sort these according to topic/source. Well, actually, most email clients and webmail services give you this option. But somehow Gmail makes it easier. You actually have two options for automatically sorting inbound messages.
Firstly, let’s define how Gmail “sorts” messages. It’s not your typical email client that uses “folders” for organizing mail. Instead, Gmail stores ALL your messages in just one “folder” but then adds “labels” so the user interface will know when to show a message and when not to. For instance, your “inbox” is technically a label and not a folder. When a message is marked with the label “inbox”, Gmail will show that message in Inbox view. Otherwise, you can see all messages under the Archive view, which is actually the view you would need to see ALL mails (except for those in the spam folder, that is).
Now the first option for automatically sorting inbound mail is by using a suffix appended to your email address. Simply use the following to substitute for your usual Gmail address when signing up for mailing lists:
Where label is the Gmail label you want attached to all messages coming from that list henceforth.
However, there are limitations to this.
First, some mailing lists and mail servers don’t recognize the + sign as a valid character for email addresses. This might result in your getting an error message when you try to sign up with an firstname.lastname@example.org address.
Second, by default you just get the messages straight to your inbox plus the label you indicated. In some cases you might want your egroup messages to go straight to the archives so these don’t clutter the inbox (for later reviewing when you have the time).
Lastly, you might want to be able to reply to the mailing list, and this might require you to send using that email@example.com address, and not your usual firstname.lastname@example.org address (fortunately, you can set up Gmail to use “send from” using these instructions).