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Jan 13, 2015

Managing GMail with eMail Filters and Searches

Over the Xmas break it became time to finally get my e-mail cleaned up. To do that, I needed to add filters to my accounts using two main resources.

  1. GMail Advanced Search Options - This page documents all the things your can search your e-mail for. You can search by age, name, To, From, etc… This rules can be use with filters, in many cases, to create filters. In addition, they can be used alone to help automate administrative chores.
  2. Filter Documentation - Documentation on using filters in GMail. This is pretty short but covers the basics.

So basically, you can write filters for any message that hits your Inbox. However, this is the only way a filter can be activated. You can’t, for example, clean up old messages in a folder automatically. However, you can create a search to find the old messages and then bookmark the search. This makes it easy to repeat the search and perform the task repeatedly. Although not completely automated, it still makes some of the message management pretty easy.

For example, to get a list of all messages older than 21 days in the webaffiliates folder I could write:

label:webaffiliates older_than:21d

The messages that match the search are returned. You can select the messages and perform any actions you wish.

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