Thursday, December 19, 2013

Organizing Whitmail with Filters

Filters are powerful tools to keep e-mail accounts tidy and organized. The purpose of filters is to allow users to manage incoming messages by automatically labelling, archiving, deleting, starring, or forwarding them using rules that they create. Whitmail utilizes Google’s e-mail service, which has a variety of simple yet impressive options for filters.

Why Need a Filter?
As soon as you log in to your Whitmail, you will notice many e-mails that may be irrelevant to you. However, some of those e-mails can also be useful when you need a ride or want to sell or buy something, so you might not want to delete them. What you can do is create a filter to keep them out of your inbox, but at the same time stored in a safe place when you need them. This is not all what filters do: Maybe you do want to delete some annoying emails coming from websites jamming your inbox with useless ads, exclusives or deals you signed up for but would never use in your life. You need not regret that moment you entered your email address and hit subscribe because you can use a filter to automatically delete those!

How to Create a Filter?
1. When you are logged into your Whitmail account, on the right hand side click the sprocket icon () and then hit settings.
2. Click on the filter tab and then choose Create a new filter.
3. If what you want to filter messages that you receive from one e-mail address, then type it in the From text field and then hit Create filter with this search.
But if you want to filter e-mails sent to a list to which you belong, type in the e-mail address of the list in the To text field and then hit Create filter with this search. This way, all the e-mails sent from any address to the list are filtered.
4. If you choose to delete the e-mails coming from the address you provided in the previous point, just choose delete it and make sure you tick also apply filter to matching conversations.
However, if you decide to keep these filtered e-mails but you don’t want them in the inbox, you want to select skip the inbox AND you MUST select a label or create a new one (and tick the label box). Otherwise, you have to go through the process again to change this!

Importing Filters
You can also import already-made filters by going to the filters tab in settings and then clicking on the import filters button in the bottom. Browse by clicking on Choose File and select the file of the filters that you have (more about this in the Listserv section below) and click Open file.
After choosing the filters file, select the filters you would like to have, tick the checkbox Apply new filters to existing email and hit Create filters.
How to Keep Your Whitmail Tidy Using Filters.
By now, you should be able to create all kinds of filters and know how to label, delete or do whatever you wish with them. So in this section, we present Whitmail-specific useful ideas to manage and organize your messages using filters and labels.

1. Listservs. Yes, listserv e-mails can become annoying when you’re trying to maneuver through them to read your important messages. With filters you can organize them under specific labels. You can use the To section mentioned above for each of the four main student listservs.  For create a filter and make a label for it named Student listserv. Next, you have to go through the same process again to do Lost and Found (, For Sale ( and Rides ( If you do not want to go through this process, import already made filters by downloading THIS file.

2. Work. Many students work on-campus. These jobs usually have a mailing list for the employees. If you would like to organize those e-mails or keep them away from school related ones, you can filter the messages that go to the work listserv!

3. Clubs. You like your club, yet you still don’t want those club e-mails to fill your inbox? Welcome to the club! Filtering the club related messages would do the trick.