Searching through your Gmail for specific messages is about to get a lot easier—if your organisation uses G Suite, at least. You’re still free to be a keyboard warrior and fill Gmail’s search bar with parameters, like from:[email protected] before:2020/2/20, or use its drop-down menu to get specific with your searches if you don’t remember these operators. But to make things a little easier, Google will now drop handy little “search chips” into the interface that you can use to filter your overflowing inbox.
Yes, I also hate the phrase “search chips,” but that’s what Google is calling them. And here’s what they’ll look like:
Google’s screenshot isn’t great, but you can just kind-of see those new little boxes underneath Gmail’s primary search bar. You’ll be able to click on multiple boxes to set up whatever filter you want once the feature rolls out, which should happen within the next 15 days for G Suite users.
Unfortunately, regular Gmail users like you and me won’t get these handy search chips to play with—at least, not yet. Google told TechCrunch that it’s planning to bring the feature to Gmail once it’s done rolling it out to G Suite, but there’s no ETA for when that might happen.
If you don’t want to memorise Gmail’s useful search operators (which I wholeheartedly recommend doing), you could use a utility like AutoHotKey to create custom keyboard shortcuts for your most-used searches. That’ll at least spare you from having to look up the right verbiage for your search each time.
I haven’t found any great extensions or services that could make your life easier, as far as Gmail’s search features go, but I’d also be a wee sceptical about giving third parties direct access to your Gmail anyway. Gmail Tabs looks to be the best option, as it allows you to create custom tabs within your Gmail interface that filter messages based on whatever search parameters you want. Otherwise, waiting for Google’s “search chips”—I just can’t say it anymore—is what you’ll want to do, and hopefully it’s not a long wait.