If you’re anything like me, it feels optimal to put things in their appropriate place. This also applies to my GMail Inbox. Of course, GMail has the idea that you shouldn’t “throw away’ any emails, and I totally agree, but they don’t give you a really good alternative.

So unless you explicitly delete it, the “trash” just piles up.

Step 1: Think of Labels as Folders
Make yourself some new Labels. The easiest way is when you’re reading a message that you know you’ll want to file somewhere. This also brings us to our next step.

Step 2: Create Message Filters
Under “More Actions,” click “Filter Messages Like These.”

The box that appears on the top has some info in it but I just let Google choose unless it really messes up the address.

Click “Next Step.” On the subsequent screen, click the checkbox next to “Apply the label:” and choose your folder in the drop-down.

I always like to make sure eeeeeverything’s cleaned up at the time I make the filter and I always check, “Also apply filter to …”

Click “Create Filter” and viola! You’ve basically programmed your email to automatically apply a Label to it when it arrives in your inbox.

Step 3: Archive
If you click on “Inbox” on the left you’ll notice that despite applying a label your email hasn’t disappeared. This is where Google’s never-used “Archive” function comes into play.

The easiest way to do this is to select them all. On the left you should have a list of filters. Click the one we created earlier and you’ll notice you now see only emails with that filter.

Click the “All” link above and if you see something like, “All [X] conversations on this page are selected,” click the link next to that, too.

Now go up to “More Actions” and choose “Archive.”

Click the “Inbox” link once again and the messages are now gone.