Gmail has a really neat feature that allows for selective forwarding of emails. Priority Matrix uses this filtering to send important emails straight from your email inbox to your Priority Matrix inbox. Follow these steps and you will be all set to get automatically delivered emails from certain people, emails with certain words (like due!!), or even emails without certain words (like Robert’s colleagues calling him Bobby, so only getting emails to “Bobby”). You can also set the filter that will delete the email from your gmail inbox as soon as it gets into your Priority Matrix so that you don’t have the same emails in two places.

Although it looks complicated, most of the following steps take only a second or two for the benefit of many hours of better productivity.

  1. On the Priority Matrix inbox, there’s a small link called “Configure” next to three connected dots. Click this and select “Email.”
  2. This will open to a choice of either emailing your secret inbox address or copying your secret inbox address. Click on the one to copy. A box will appear saying that it successfully copied the link.
  3. Log into Gmail and click the gear (typically on the upper right) and choose “settings.”
  4. Look across the tabs until you find “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” and select that option.
  5. Click on the box that says “Add a forwarding address” in the first rectangle.
  6. Paste the link copied from your secret inbox address into the box and hit “Next.”
  7. Gmail will send an email to your inbox. Once it comes in (and it may take a few minutes), it will appear in your inbox with a confirmation code and a link back to Gmail to confirm that you wanted forwarding. Click the link. It should direct you to a webpage that says you want to confirm. Click on confirm and it will tell you that your email is now allowed to forward to your inbox.
  8. Go back to the Settings page on Gmail (from step 3) and look for the tab that says “Filters and Blocked Addresses.” In the middle of the page, there will be a blue link that says “Create a new filter.” Once chosen, a box will come from the search bar with different ways to filter the email. See below for examples and specific help on the most useful filters.
  9. Input the ways you would like to have emails filtered and click on the blue link that says “Create a filter with this search.”
  10. On the next screen, there will be a number of options for different ways to handle any emails the filter catches. You may want to have anything that’s going to your Priority Matrix inbox automatically marked as read or maybe you want it automatically marked as important. Check off as many or as few options as you’d like, but include the box to “Forward it to:” and choose your secret inbox address (the one that’s a string of letters and numbers Click on “Create filter” and you are all set!

To filter by incoming email address:

This would be for emails from specific people, like your boss or your kid’s soccer coach.

Type in the addresses you want (Google should autofill them for you as you type) or the names (again, Google should autofill the addresses) and either add another type of filtering or move on to step 9.

To filter by subject:

This is for emails that you know always or nearly always have the same subject line: things like “timesheet reminder” or “Confirm: meeting with Joe and Anna” are great examples.

To filter by words included:

This is for grabbing all emails with words in it. Perhaps “due,” “overdue,” or “timeline.”

To filter by words excluded:

This is for grabbing all emails without certain words in it. Excluding words like “babe” or “break room” is a good way to make sure that anything coming into your Priority Matrix inbox is work related and productive.

To filter by emails that have attachments:

This is for making sure that anything with an attachment gets into Priority Matrix.