Blogging Tips: Using Gmail Filters for Author Newsletters


So this isn’t strictly a blogging tip, but I don’t have a “reading tips” or “email tips” category on my blog, so I’m makin’ do with what I got.

See, I’m actually not a big fan of author newsletters because they clutter up my inbox. It’s why, until recently, I was signed up for very few, just those of my favorite authors. But it’s difficult to keep up with new books in series when you don’t sign up for newsletters because you have to actively go check for new books every so often. I wanted to be able to sign up for more newsletters without feeling overwhelmed about my inbox, and this solution was born! With filters, you can send certain emails straight to their own folder and keep them entirely out of your main inbox. Obviously this can be used for anything you want to organize in your email, but I’ll be talking about newsletters since that’s what I’m using it for.

This is actually a really simple thing and you can find a million other how-to pages for creating filters in Gmail, but it wasn’t something I hadn’t even thought to do until recently, and I figured other people might also simply not have thought of it and could therefore find this post helpful.

Create a New Label

First you need a label for the newsletters that will function like a folder.

1) Bring down the drop down on the left side by clicking “More.”

2) Click “Create new label.”

3) A pop-up will open asking you to name your label. Choose a name (I used “Newsletters”), and click “Create.”

4) You new label will now show up on the left side under the “Drafts” folder.


Add Filters Using Email Addresses

There are numerous different ways to create filters. You can use keywords or ask Gmail to filter other emails that are similar to one that you specify. The most specific and foolproof way of doing things is by inputting specific email addresses, so here’s how to do that.

1) Start by going into one of the newsletter emails and copying the email address it was sent from. (I don’t have an image for it, but it’s right at the top next to the name of the sender.)

2) Find the little gear-looking button on the upper right side and click that.

3) Click “Settings.”

4) Click “Filters and Blocked Addresses.”

5) Click “Create a new filter.”

6) Paste the email address into the “From” field

7) Click “Create filter with this search.”

8) Check off the box for “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” and the box for “Apply the Label:” and choose your Newsletters label.

9) You can also click “Also apply filter to 1 matching conversation” if you want to move any past emails into your new label.

10) Click “Create Filter.”

That’s it! You have to do that for each individual author, but, once you do it once and understand how to do it, it only takes 60 seconds, if even that, to do each one.


Extra Tips

A tip to make it go faster if you’re doing a whole bunch in one sitting: Open your Gmail in two different internet tabs, one with your inbox to access the emails, one with the “Settings –> Filters and Blocked Addresses” page. That way you can just keep adding new filters without having to open up the settings page over and over.

Or, if that’s overwhelming, just wait for a new email to come in and move that author’s emails to the label then. Then you only have to do this a few times a week or less, depending on how many newsletters you’re signed up for, until they’re all in the correct label.

There are other ways to add filters, but they didn’t work very well for me for this particular purpose, but you can experiment with them if you want. I’m happy sticking to this one though since it works šŸ™‚


Talk to me!

Do you sign up for a lot of author newsletters?
Do you use Gmail filters for anything?


Your Thoughts


43 thoughts on “Blogging Tips: Using Gmail Filters for Author Newsletters

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  1. Greg

    I don’t think I get any author newsletters, I kind of avoid them for the same reason- I get enough stuff in my inbox already. I’m probably in the minority though. Do I miss some new releases because of it? Eh, maybe, but I figure I’ll find out about them eventually anyway. Still this is a great tip for using filters. I would definitely do this if I was getting a ton of newsletters or anything else like that.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I just checked, and I currently have 17 newsletters going to that folder. Most of them don’t even send once a week, so it’s not like a TON, but I like that I don’t have to hesitate or fret about it anymore if I like an author and want to sign up for their newsletter. But yeah, filters can work for all kinds of things!

  2. chucklesthescot

    Author newsletters are becoming the bane of my life right now. One author said she’s send one per month then I got three in three days from her advertising other books that had nothing to do with her writing. I signed up for updates on HER books not a pile of others! Gah! I just unsubscribe each time that happens now. I’m sticking with Indie apocalypse and zombie newsletters and the odd UF writer now. It was WAY out of control for a while! I had about 90 going in because of those competition giveaways I entered but I’ve weeded out the ones that don’t interest me now so it’s not too bad. Very helpful guide to filters!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, for a while I just basically stopped using my other email because that was the one I used for all those giveaways, but then one week I went through and unsubscribed and deleted and finally took control of my email again. Now I rarely enter those types of giveaways because it’s not worth it. But whenever I do, or get a book from instafreebie or something, I just unsubscribe from them all immediately. But there are some authors I actually do want to follow to keep up with their books and whatnot, so that’s what I use the filter for. Thanks!

  3. Evelina

    I do this ALLLLLL the time! I am self-employed, so otherwise my work emails would just drown among all the blog notifications šŸ˜€ Gmail really is pretty good šŸ™‚

  4. Angela @ Simply Angela

    I think that I’ve only signed up for maybe three or four author’s newsletters and that’s mainly because they offer bonus material, like short stories and such. And I don’t really mind having those in my inbox.

    What makes me growly is when author’s take it up themselves to sign me up to their emails. I really wish that Yahoo would off some type of filtering system, but so far, they haven’t.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Three or four isn’t bad, but I have like 17 I’m signed up for right now, and yeah, I don’t want to miss out on freebies or bonus material or giveaways or new books.

      I hate that so many giveaways nowadays sign you up to a whole bunch of newsletters. Same for getting books from instafreebie. I’ve decided it’s just not worth it anymore for those things.

  5. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    Okay, this is crazy because I had exactly the same issue with newsletters. Back when I didn’t blog I was signed up for every author known and for the past few months I’ve been unsubscribing from my personal email and sorting them on gmail. Cool post!

  6. kris @ lemon-notes

    OKAY SO I signed up for way too many author newsletters recently and forgot that gmail is trying to make my life easier with it’s nifty little sidebar of goodies. THANK YOU FOR ALERTING ME TO THIS. I get sooooo many emails. Between my normal personal email, my school email, and my newer blog email (had to try and separate a little bit lol) I am OVERWHELMED WITH EMAILS HOLY CUCUMBERS. You are the angel savior of my inbox.

    1. Kristen Burns

      YAY! “The angel savior of my inbox” definitely wins best compliment of the week, haha. But I’m so glad I could help because that was the exact reason I posted this! There are tons of tutorials about this, but I figured they wouldn’t do people any good if people didn’t even think to do this in the first place!

  7. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    This is quite a useful thing to know. I knew it was possible, I mostly get all my author newsletters sent to a folder in my inbox for me to look at or delete as I want but I didn’t know how to set it up myself. My inbox was just smart enough to figure it out for itself. I’ll be adding to my posts I need to keep for future reference when I can’t be bothered to Google things for myself.

    1. Kristen Burns

      You mean the promotions tab? I get numerous things in that tab though, like blog tour things and publisher ARC newsletters, so I wanted to have a separate area just for author newsletters. And lol I’m flattered you would choose my post over Google šŸ˜‰

  8. Dina

    How very clever! I don’t really subscribe to anything by email because my anxiety and OCD would make me do nothing else but check my email then. But, this is good information to know. I need to check out your blogging tips because you’re super smart. and I have a lot to learn from you *Pats*

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m sorry your anxiety makes it too hard for you to sign up for newsletters :-/ But if you’re ever able to, now you’ll know how to organize your inbox! And aww, thank you for the compliment, you’re so sweet! <3 <3

  9. Mareli Thalwitzer

    Halloooooo!! How are you?? Ever the savior I see! This post is great. I am saving it. I’ve always wanted to know how to do that. Because yes – my inbox is a nightmare. Every couple of days I try to do “something” about it, but it actually only leads to more and more things adding up! LOL!

  10. Michelle @ FaerieFits

    I don’t actually really use filters for my blog gmail account, which is weird because I’m normally OBSESSED with them. When I was in college, especially, I had filters like no other. Part of this MIGHT have been a result of being BORED OUT OF MY MIND in my two business computer classes, wherein I reorganized how I filed my emails twice a week because it was more entertaining than the lecture/demos. (I really was NOT a fan of being taught how to use a computer; really people, you’re teaching millennials — that program did get better after I took it though).

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol that does sound like an incredibly boring class. I had never used filters before now though. I’m kinda tempted to make more and get super organized, haha.

  11. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Honestly, this IS something I should do. I haven’t, and I like your idea of just doing it as each one comes in, because I know I won’t have the time or patience to do it all at once šŸ˜‰ But the worst part- and this is my own ridiculous fault- is that I have signed up with two different emails, my personal one AND my blog one which makes things extra challenging. And my favorite is that I signed up for SOME with my OLD blog email address, which forwards now to both my personal AND my blog email, so those I get twice ? I have made a mess of things, but this could be a good start! Maybe even unsubscribe and re-subscribe under ONE email!

    I probably subscribe to… maybe 20 or so author newsletters? I save it for my real favorites! Though somehow I recently “got” subscribed to a whole bunch that I KNOW I never signed up for so that has to be stopped immediately- through unsubscribing, not filters šŸ˜‰ But I love this idea for the ones I DO want!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Doing it as each comes in is definitely a less overwhelming way. But oh my, you do sound like you’re in a bit of an email mess lol. I have no tips for that šŸ˜› I find the whole forwarding thing to be really confusing and it makes me feel less organized than just having two separate accounts.

      Yeah, I’m subscribed to like 17 or something. You probably got subscribed to all the new ones because of one of those giveaways where they give away lots of books. Those ones usually subscribe you to the newsletters of all the authors participating. I used to enter those but it’s just not worth it anymore having to then take the time to unsubscribe from 20 newsletters -_- Thanks, glad you like my idea!

  12. La La in the Library

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this! I read about it a few months ago, but never found the motivation to research or experiment. I am bookmarking this and will also be linking it on my The Sunday Post. šŸ™‚

  13. Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads

    The funny thing is that I knew about filters for emails, but it somehow never occurred to me to use them for author newsletters and the like. Even though I do always hesitate to subscribe to them because I’m afraid to clutter my inbox. So this is the perfect solution! Thanks for the tip šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s exactly why I thought this post might be helpful! It took me forever to come up with that idea, so I figured maybe other people never thought of it either! Glad I could help šŸ™‚

  14. Olivia Roach

    As I have two gmail accounts to take track of, and don’t like to waste time on spam/rubbish, I use the filters option a lot! It makes life so much easier šŸ˜€

  15. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    Ohhh that’s such a good tip, thank you for sharing it! I don’t follow a lot of author’s newsletters because my inbox is already so full, but well, with that filter thing I think it might make me feel less overwhelmed by it all šŸ˜€

  16. Lola

    This sounds pretty neat! I usually just move e-mails manually when necessary, but this sounds pretty handy too. I am sure most e-mail providers will have something similar. I don’t really mind receiving newsletters in my inbox, but I can also see the benefit of having a separate map for that, so you can easily read them all in a row. I so sign-up for a lot of newsletter so my inbox can get crowded sometimes with them. So I might consider looking into this when it gets too much.