A lot of people have asked me if they can sort their Google Mail by sender and I never really understood what they meant. Gmail is basically built on search, not sorting. It doesn’t have very many sorting features because it figures you can use their advanced search features to find any email you like.
I have to agree. In terms of sorting by sender, after talking to my friends, it seemed they wanted a way to go through all the emails that had accumulated in their Inbox and move them to the appropriate labels. They didn’t have filters setup, so obviously sorting by sender would be nice because you can just select 10 emails from one sender quickly and archive them rather than going through each email sorted by date and having to re-do the same work over and over again.
In this article, I’ll mention a couple of ways to hopefully get you the result you want from Gmail. You can basically search for the sender and then see just the emails in the Inbox and then quickly archive or move those emails. If you have a different solution you use for a particular purpose, post a comment here and let us know.
Method 1 – Recent Conversations (Emails)
There is a nifty little feature in Gmail that lets you quickly view all recent conversations with a particular email address. Go ahead and open Gmail and then click on an email. Hover over the name of the person and a pop up will appear:
You’ll see a link at the bottom called Emails. If you click on that, it will bring up all the recent conversations to and from that person.
Note that you can also just do a search in Gmail using the To and From options. If you can’t remember that, you can always click on the small down arrow at the very right side of the search box, which will bring up the search options.
Now that you have the emails from that person, you can quickly move them to the appropriate label by selecting all of them and archiving them.
It’ll only select the emails on the first page of results, but you’ll see a box at the top where you can select all the emails that match that search. Of course, this will bring up all the emails from that person whether they are in the inbox or in a label. Yo may just want to see the ones from the Inbox.
Note that if you have a bunch of emails from someone in the Inbox and you want to move them to a label, you can either create a filter and move the current ones plus any future ones or you can add another option in the search called label:inbox. For example, here I am seeing all emails from my friend that are just in the Inbox.
This makes the process of quickly sorting out the emails from one sender while looking at just the inbox. Then you can go back to the Inbox view and start the search with another email address and then move those to a label and archive them.
Method 2 – Labels & Filters
If you want something a little more permanent, the other solution is to create a label and then create a filter to move all the current and future emails from someone into the new label. You can search and find a thousand tutorials on how to create labels and filters in Gmail, so I won’t repeat any of that here.
Once you have created both the label and filter, then just clicking on it in the left-hand pane will quickly bring up all emails from that sender by date.
Again, though, most people are searching for a way to do this in order to archive emails stuck in the Inbox into a label, so setting up labels and filters is useful for not having this problem later on down the road. Enjoy!