PC Doctor March 24, 2017

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Dear PC Doctor:

I used to use Outlook for email.  Now I use Gmail.  Gmail lets me mark messages with a ‘label’, where Outlook let me set up folders.  I’m having a little trouble getting used to it.  Labeled messages still show up in my inbox, even though I’ve dealt with them.  It used to be that, once I had taken care of a message, I could put it in a folder for my records but it wouldn’t clog up my inbox, making it harder for me to see what still needs to be done.  Can you help me?





Dear Overwhelmed:

Yes, Gmail and Outlook have some slightly different features, and there are benefits to each.  Let’s focus on Gmail, since that’s what you’re using right now.

Gmail allows you to give messages a label.  What’s nice is that you can give one message several labels, where programs with folders only let you put the message in one folder.  Also, with folders, if you delete the folder, all the messages inside are deleted, too.  In Gmail, if you delete the label, the messages stay.  (It’s up to you whether you think that’s a plus or a drawback!) 

Gmail does have an ‘archive’ feature.  To use the ‘archive’ feature, log into your Gmail account.  Open the message you want to archive or check the box to the left of it.  To archive multiple emails, check the box next to all emails you want to archive.  Near the top of the page, click Archive.  It looks like a rectangle with an arrow pointing down.  (If keyboard shortcuts are turned on, you can also click e to archive an email you're looking at.)  

To search for a message you’ve archived, log into your Gmail account.  On the left side of the page, hover your mouse over the label list.  At the bottom of the list, click ‘More.’ You may need to scroll down to see it.  Click ‘All Mail.’  Your archived messages will be there.  You can also find your archived messages by using the search box at the top of your Gmail window.

I know this is not the same as the folders you had in Outlook, but I do hope it will help you feel less overwhelmed.


Until next time,
Happy Computing!

    PC Doctor