I just started a new job where all communication is managed via Google – e-mail, calendar, and chat. This being my first intensive experience with Gmail, I quickly discovered that the sent folder will drive me crazy.
Let me explain: I am a huge advocate of the inbox zero. I even take it so far to include my sent box. If something I send out cannot be categorized into a folder, it does not belong in my e-mail. This makes Gmail’s sent box particularly annoying.
Gmail’s sent box is not a label like inbox or any other label you create. “Sent Mail” is actually a filter of all e-mails that have your e-mail address in the “From” field. This means that, even if you add a label to a sent e-mail, it remains in the sent box.
The only way to fix this is to create your own custom “Sent Mail” label. Here is how I created mine:
- In Gmail, click on the gear icon and click on “Settings”.
- Go to the “Labels” tab. Click on “hide” next to “Sent Mail” and uncheck “Show in IMAP”.
- Create a new label called “_Sent Mail” (without the quotes), or something similar.
- Go to the “Filters” tab and click on “Create a new filter”.
- Enter your e-mail address in the “From” field.
- Enter “has:nouserlabels” (without the quotes) in the “Has the words” field.
- (Optional) Check “Don’t include chats”.
- Click “Create a filter with this search”.
- On the next screen, check “Apply the label” and select the “_Sent Mail” label you created earlier. Also check “Also apply filter to matching messages”.
- Click “Create filter”.
You can create more advanced folders and filters with this technique as well; check out Gmails documentation on Advanced Search options.