How do I add labels to incoming emails that I am sending to myself. I saw somewhere that it is possible to send emails to myself using specially formatted email addresses that are containing the labels in the email address, but never managed to make it work.

Is it possible this at all? if yes, how?


I have a filter (found under Settings | Filters) that takes any e-mail sent to myemail+todo@gmail.com and applies the "! ToDo" label to it. It looks like this:

To: +todo

Apply the label: ! ToDo

I have similar filters for "read/review" and "respond".


You can create filters in gmail using the 'settings' option. There you can specify various things such as. Sender's address, recipient address, subject line. etc. You can then add a label to these emails and this will show up in the left hand side of your inbox.

Also, if you want to filter by recipient address, you can reformat your email address. For example if your email address is joebloggs@gmail.com, you can send emails to j.o.e.b.l.o.g.g.s@gmail.com and it will still come through, any number of full-stops (.) are allowed. Another option is to use '+' which would be joebloggs+stackexchange@gmail.com. The email will come through to the same account every time.

I hope this helps.


Apart from "+ addressing", as suggested by NTulip you should make a filter with the "deliveredto:" operator, instead of "to:". That way you also catch BCC'd mails, mailing lists, etc.

See http://quietmint.com/2008/label-all-forwarded-messages-in-gmail for a clear explanation

  • Works great when emails are forwarded to your email address but it doesn't show up in the To field of the email.
    – Justin
    Sep 5 '14 at 0:13

Also, GMail is able to auto-tag an email depending on the recipient email address:

When i signup for say a new web app, i use the following email address:


Example would be: username+junk@gmail.com OR username+bills@gmail.com where the 1st email gets labeled "junk" and the 2nd get's labeled "bills".

Try it - i warn you that you must remember and assign the email correctly if the email address is also used as the username for the website you signup for.

  • Gmail does not auto-create labels.
    – ale
    Jun 5 '14 at 0:49
  • 2
    As of Oct 2016 such addresses do work, but don't create labels. Oct 27 '16 at 16:02

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