Notifications on your phone can become an irritation and a distraction at times. Silence Gmail notifications on your Android phone except for important messages and get fewer distractions.

The sounds, the vibrations, the call to action making you pick up the phone, it can become too much when you need to get work done or you are doing something important and don’t want to be disturbed.

What if you could choose which people or topics of conversation you get notifications for? Ordinary email messages would be silently received by your phone, but when there is something important, really important, that requires your immediate attention, you get a notification.

This would be much more convenient and notifications would not waste your time by causing you to check your phone only to find that it is something trivial that could have waited until later.

There is a way to choose which types of email trigger notifications on your Android phone.

To set this up we need a computer though. It can be a Windows PC or Apple Mac, it does not matter. You just need to go to Gmail on the web (mail.google.com) and open an email that is important.

Click the More button and select Filter messages like these.

 

Gmail

 

There are several possibilities here and at least one of the boxes must contain information. For example, you might want to be notified when a particular person emails you, when there is a particular word or phrase in the subject, or if the message includes certain words.

Let’s assume you want to be notified when someone emails – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Click Create filter with this search.

 

Gmail filters

 

Now you choose what action to take with emails that match. Tick Apply the label and click Choose label. Select New label in the list that appears.

 

Gmail filters

 

Enter a name to label these email messages with. For example, you could call it My Stuff. Click Create.

 

Gmail filters

 

Here is the finished filter in which we apply the label My Stuff to emails from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Gmail filters

 

Open the Gmail app on your Android phone. Tap the menu button and then tap Settings. Tap your email account. Make sure Notifications is ticked. Tap Inbox sounds & vibrate.

 

Gmail notifications  Gmail notifications

 

There are two notifications settings here. Label notifications and Notify for every message. If you tick the first and clear the second, then Gmail only notifies you if an email has a label.

This means that emails with the label we created (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) will trigger a notification on your phone, but other emails won’t because they don't have the label. Your phone will be silent.

You can create other filters in Gmail to add labels to other messages and if you just have the domain in a filter, somewhere.com, then all emails from that domain trigger a notification. That is useful if you always want to be notified about emails from a particular company, no matter who at the company send them.

With fewer notifications and only important messages alerting you, your life will be calmer and have fewer distractions.