Gmail Advanced – Multiple inboxes and work/home account separation

Just a quick one from me today, again spurred on from people asking me how they can get Gmail to show 3 ‘inboxes’ each with starred mail from a different account, all on the one page.

The first thing is to log into your gmail account, find the Labs section (it’s a little green flask icon up the top right of the screen), and enable the addon called “Multiple Inboxes”. Then, head to your Settings and click the new “Multiple Inboxes” tab.

My setup at the moment is having 3 boxes;

  • The top one displays anything that is STARRED OR UNREAD and is also filed under a specific label. This means that anything that comes in under one email account, i.e. my job account, is labled and then shows up above everything else. I can then read it, and if I want it to stay up the top, star it. Otherwise it will disapear from this top inbox. The filter code for this functionality is:
    label:YOURLABEL (is:unread OR is:starred)
  • The second box is similar to the top, but the opposite – it will display anything that’s starred from anything EXCEPT a specific label, which in my case means it shows anything I’ve starred but is not for work. This code is:
    is:starred -(label:YOURLABEL)
  • And the third is ofcourse the standard gmail inbox, which has everything in it.

The main benefit of using a system like this is in the ability to flag emails as tasks – starred – and having them appear in 2 separate sections. For me that’s work tasks and home tasks, but for you that could easily mean something else all depending on what labels you filter by.

Happy Gmailing!

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