Gmail Smart Labels Does Intelligent Classification Of Emails From Forums, Subscriptions And Mass Mailing Lists

Great … not again, this forum has sent me two dozen messages in the last 6 hours since I signed up, I just wonder how many will pile up till next morning

People get a lot of email every single day. And guess what, most of these messages go to Trashwithout any second thought. You use custom labels, filters, priority inbox, nested labels and other ways to organize your Gmail inbox but there are two major problems with Email filtering and categorizing them in proper order.

First, there is no automatic categorization of bulk emails (those which are not junk, of course). The ones you receive from forums, Google Groups, newsletters and other news groups. They land to your inbox and creating a filter or editing existing filters for each and every source is just impossible. The second problem is that you don’t want to mark these notification emails as Spam; instead you need a better way to categorize bulk emails, an autopilot mode is just what saves the day.

The good news is that Gmail has just introduced another neat feature in Gmail Labs called Smart Labels. Smart labels performs an automatic categorization of incoming emails and labels them as either Bulk, Notificationor Forum. There are no settings to tweak, no need to specify the source addresses in your existing filters; all you have to do is activate the feature from Gmail labs and you’re good to go.


smart-labels-filterAs soon as the labs feature is on, you will notice that three new labels have been created and listed on top of your existing Gmail labels. The image on the right is an example of my Gmail inbox.

I must say Smart Labels is quite intelligent, all notification emails e.g messages from Facebook groups, Paypal billing, invoice payments, shipping orders from Checkout sites like TinyDeal goes to the Notificationsfolder. These messages are not spam but they are skipped from the inbox the moment they arrive, saving you precious amount of time.

Messages that have been sent to a large number of people goes to the Bulkfolder. Typical examples are offers, newsletters, subscriptions and of course those so called funnyemails when your colleague thought that embedding 40 pictures of Mickey mouse is really cool.


You can however replace your existing filters with Smart labels or keep both of them, Smart labels doesn’t gets in the way of your current order of categorizing and filtering incoming messages. Should you want to avoid specific emails being smart labelled, edit the required filter from Settings > Filtersand choose a proper category of your choice.

Overall, Smart labels takes the heck out of notifications, payment reminders, subscriptions, newsletters and other formalmessages that arrive your inbox every single day. As I said earlier, there is no setting to tweak and nothing to configure at all, set it On and forget. Do give this a try and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Amit Banerjee

Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee