Help me organize my Gmail account
February 9, 2012 12:16 PM   Subscribe

In gmail, is there a way to search for emails that don't have a specific label or don't have any label?

I have something on the order of 10,000 emails. I have only sporadically organized my emails (eg when I send out writing submissions, I do religiously add the "submissions" label, and I have used labels to identify emails to do with specific projects). Probably 9/10ths of my email is not organized in any way. I know I can search by the to: or from: email address ("") and I can search for stuff by label ("label:submissions") but is there a way to do the reverse, i.e. to search for all the emails I haven't labeled yet?

Are there other handy ways to search for things that would help me do this faster?
posted by joannemerriam to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could try searching like this:

-label:{Label1 Label2}
posted by KokuRyu at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2012

Best answer: Actually, this thread should make more sense
posted by KokuRyu at 12:24 PM on February 9, 2012

I am taking a leap since I'm not at my home machine right now, but you should be able to do this with Thunderbird synced to Gmail over IMAP (if you are worried about the time it would take to download everything, there's an option for downloading headers only). It should be as simple as looking at "all mail" and sorting the label column.

FWIW, the current version of Thunderbird has really fast and powerful search capabilities. Worth a look if you haven't used it recently. Gmail is great but Thunderbird makes it way better.
posted by quarterframer at 12:59 PM on February 9, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, KokuRyu! That looks like it will do the trick.
posted by joannemerriam at 1:25 PM on February 9, 2012

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