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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Technology Tip: Redirecting emails into your Inbox

Updated: May 24, 2021

Have you experienced this issue with your email?

It happens to the best of us. Your email platform suspects certain emails are promotional rather than personal, so they don't show up in your Inbox. If you know what I'm talking about, you'll appreciate today's tip: How to redirect specific emails to your Inbox.

I’ll provide four different options to fix the issue of emails getting incorrectly treated like Promotions or Junk, using Gmail as the example email platform. While other platforms may not act exactly the same, they generally offer similar features. Also, for simplicity, I’ll refer to Gmail’s ‘Primary tab’ as your ‘Inbox.’

Let’s start with the easiest option:

1. Star that email. As a default, Gmail will show your Starred emails in your Inbox. (Note that adding a Star to the email is not the same as marking it as Important. And interestingly, marking it as Important doesn’t automatically put it into your Inbox – explained in option 3 below.)

Although easy, option 1 is only marginally effective because while this will let you see that particular email in your Inbox right now, it won’t help for future incoming emails. (That is, unless you create a Filter that would Star incoming emails – to be explained in option 4.)

Let’s move on to a much more effective option…

2. Add the sender to your Contacts list. As a general rule, Gmail will direct emails from senders in your Contact list to your Inbox. That is, unless it has a very good reason to suspect it's not a safe email. So this option works probably 99% of the time. While not perfect, it's an option I highly recommend.

Next, a not-so-effective-but-super-interesting option:

3. Mark the email as Important. While this doesn’t move the email to your Inbox immediately, it will help you teach Gmail whose and which types of emails are important to you. Over time Gmail will know it should direct those types of emails to your Inbox.

I would consider option 3 an experiment – use it if you want to see how long it takes Gmail to learn who your friends are, but don’t count on it to predictably get those emails to your Inbox.

And finally, here’s the most effective (and advanced) option:

4. Create a Filter to direct those emails to your Inbox. Using the Filter option, you can set up your account so that all incoming emails that match specific criteria (such as sent from a specific sender or domain) get directed somewhere of your choosing or are tagged in a certain way. In this case, you can ensure these emails get to your Inbox by setting up a Filter to ‘Star it’ as soon as they are delivered. (Remember in option 1 I explained that all Starred emails show up in your Inbox.)

Today's popular email platforms – including Gmail – have their limitations, but they also have some pretty amazing features. Filtering emails is one of them. And while Filters, when set up correctly, are very reliable, I still recommend occasionally checking your other tabs/mailboxes for lost or misdirected emails. You wouldn't want to miss that notification that you've finally won the hockey pool!

Until the next Technology Tip, happy emailing!

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