Using Labels in Google Mail

So, if you were comfortable using Outlook, and you were a neat freak that liked to organize everything in folders, Google Mail may surprise you a bit. For one thing Google Mail does NOT use folders. All those folders I helped you import from Outlook? They've been converted into labels. Labels are a good thing.  Let me tell you why:

  1. If you set up folders for different categories of email, a message can only go into one folder. On the other hand, in Google Mail, a message can have multiple labels. That makes it easier to find later.

  2. For example, let's say you get an email from me talking about a new website you can use with your Smartboard for state assessment practice. Now, in Outlook, what folder would you put that in? Technology? Smartboard? State Assessment Resources? In Google Mail, you can create and attach all of those labels to that one message.  

  3. You never have to worry about accidentally deleting a message in Google Mail.  In Google Mail, even your Inbox is just a special label that gets attached when you get a new message.  If you "Delete" a message, it just removes the "Inbox" label and attaches the "Trash" label.  The only way to get rid of the message would be to go to the Trash label, choose the email, and click "Delete forever." It's a safeguard built in to Google Mail to make sure you really want to delete something.

So, all those "folders" we imported from Outlook are labels now, so go ahead and rename, color code, or remove the labels entirely! Your messages are still there. You can even group labels into categories. Click the arrow next to a label and choose "Add sublabel" to put another label in that category.  Or, click Edit and you can "nest" a label under another label.

Want to find out more? Watch these videos!

Labels Overview -->


Drag and Drop Labels -->


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