Not Spam

This entry is part 12 of 23 in the series White Belt
One of the main reasons I, and many others, love Gmail is for its excellent spam filtering capabilities. Spam is a term used for those annoying advertisements typically regarding your health or finance. In some cases this content can be as high as 90% of your email traffic. Gmail does a pretty good job at automatically recognizing this type of content and moves from your inbox to a separate location labeled “Spam”. However, nothing is foolproof and every once in a while a conversation ends up in the spam folder by mistake.

Fortunately, there is a quick and easy way to retrieve the email and identify it as a valid message; at the same time have Gmail learn not to make the mistake again. By clicking the Spam link on the left you will be shown all the conversations that have been identified as questionable content.

At the top of the conversation index, you’ll see a couple buttons. The first is labeled “Delete forever”. This moves any selected conversations to the Trash folder. After 30 days they are completely removed from the system.

The second button is labeled “Not Spam”. By selecting one or more conversations and then clicking “Not Spam”, the content will be moved back to your Inbox and Gmail will learn not to make the same mistake.

If you are Gmail search savvy, there’s a catch to this. First, click on the Spam link on the left and take a look at the search box at the top of the screen. See how it says “in:spam”? As of this writing there is a minor bug in Gmail. If you type the search “in:spam” manually, you will be brought to a standard search results screen which does not have a “Not Spam” button. Ironically, you are now looking at all the mail that has been tagged as spam, but you still have the option to report it as spam with the “Report Spam” button. Hopefully Google will correct this oversight at some point.

Here’s today’s quick tip: If you have used the Gmail contacts to create groups of people, you can type the group name and address multiple recipients with one single label. For example, if I want to send my entire family an email, and I have created a group called “Tomasi family”, I can compose a new message and use the address “Tomasi family” in the To, Cc, or Bcc line for quicker addressing.

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