Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Google Mail: Folders vs. Labels

In Outlook, we filed our emails in Folders.  Then when our inboxes got too full, we would archive our messages, which were then saved on our U: drives.  This wasn't a perfect process, but we all got used to it.  Now with the new email system, many people are wondering how they organize their emails.  The answer is Labels.

Here are some basics on Google Labels vs. Outlook Folders

Google Labels
  • An email can have more than one Label
  • If you delete a Label, it doesn't delete all the messages with the label
  • An email can have many Labels at once (ex - inbox, reading, 2013-2014, assessments) making it easy to find it later.
  • You can search emails by Label (ex - label:tech-tips)
Outlook Folders
  • You can only put messages in one Folder
  • If you delete the Folder everything in the folder is deleted as well
  • You have to remember which folder you put the message in so you can retrieve it later
  • You can't always do folder specific searches
So, how do you label your emails????

Step 1: Select the email you want to label, either by opening the email, or clicking the check box in front of the email.  NOTE: you can select multiple emails with the checkbox method if you are looking to add the same label to multiple emails.

Step 2: Now you have a choice.  
LABEL and Leave in Inbox
If all you want to do is add a label/s to the message, then select the icon that looks like a tag.  You can select multiple labels by holding down the ctrl key while selecting labels.

LABEL and Move out of Inbox
If you want to add labels and remove it from your inbox, then select the icon that looks like a folder.  You can select multiple "folders" by holding down the ctrl key while selecting folders.

If you just added labels and left your message in your inbox, but decided later you want to only have it in the "folders" then you simply need to click the Archive button.  This will take away the "inbox" label so the message will only be "in" the other labels you had designated.

If you trash an email, it will go in to the Trash label.  Once a message has been in the Trash for 30 days, it will be automatically deleted.  DO NOT STORE FILES IN YOUR TRASH!