A few quick tips from the second technology training session on Gmail:
1. The difference between delete and archive : delete moves the message to your trash and after 30 days will vanish forever; archive hides the message from your inbox but you can still search for it and it will appear in the All Mail view
2. Use labels in the same way you would use folders for files. The only difference is that messages can be attached to more than one label. Click More to access the label options:
3. Create your labels and once a message has been dealt with use the move option (the folder icon at the top of the message) to get them out of your inbox. The icon that looks like a luggage label lets you assign more than one label to a message:
4. Star really important messages that you want to have easy access to or want to refer back to:
These starred messages appear in the Starred view or you can actually change the layout of your inbox so they always appear at the top in a separate section. Click the drop down arrow next to Inbox to get to these options:
5. Using the search function within Gmail can sometimes give you too many results and what you are actually looking for can be hard to find. Use the advanced search to limit the results. Click the arrow to the right of the search box to see these options:
Use these techniques to keep your inbox as empty as possible. Delete the messages you don’t need, archive the ones you have read but think you might need sometime in the future and use folders and stars to organize the rest.