Gmail - Have Sent mail showup in your Inbox

Do you use Gmail and want your sent mail to show up in your Inbox?

When you send an email it can be seen in the sent Label/Folder but is not in the Inbox. If you have the conversation thread feature turned on you will see your replies but otherwise you need to go to the sent messages or archive/All Mail. You might not like this and if you use Thunderbird/Outlook or some other external program on your computer or smart phone for reading mail via IMAP. When you reply to someone your answer is in your Sent Folder and not in the Inbox folder of the message you are replying to. You might want them together and usually delete many of the thread except for the last one in the conversation. Personally, I see no reason to keep forever a message saying, "sure meet you in an hour" and all those replies, junk that makes later searches for important emails that much harder. So, you want that message in your Inbox for quick delete. Yes, you can always go to your Sent mail Folder if you want to do it that way but you might not want to jump back and forth between Folders.

Like the feature of Labels instead of folders. Resulting in emails having the ability to have multiple Labels and thereby be visible in multiple Label searches (what you might think of as Folder views).

This is all great and you can create filters to have your mail automatically have added labels and even skip the Inbox. Great way to have all your mail from a certain person, specific subject line, automatically get a special label and even forwarded to others automatically. Unfortunately, there is no obvious add Inbox Label to mail I send.

Solution via Gmail Filters

Create a filter with the From having the two letters "me". This filter will catch all mail coming from you and then in the actions select "Never mark as spam".  This will cause your mail to no longer skip the Inbox and get that special label added. Result, all emails you send will now be visible in Sent and Inbox via GMail web interface and remote access via IMAP driven applications. There is not a solution to have labels added based on the label of the message you are replying to, for that see Thunderbird bonus below.

Solution via Thunderbird

A solution I have used for years is to configure Thunderbird to place a copy of sent messages in the Inbox. This works great with two drawbacks and one nice advantage. Drawback one is every email is sent to the IMAP server twice. Once to send the message and once to place the copy in the Inbox. This results in double bandwidth usage and can be slow when sending large attachments. Second drawback, it only works when sending via Thunderbird and when you use your smartphone or GMail web interface you won't get the message in the Inbox requiring another work around of including yourself to be placed in one of the To/CC/BCC fields. The nice bonus feature of using Thunderbird to copy your sent messages to your Inbox is you can specify in case of reply to put the message in the folder to which you are replying. This mostly works but note if the email a la GMail labels has multiple labels, aka is in more then one folder, Thunderbird will just label it with the folder from which you hit reply and not add all the labels. How to: Open your settings in Thunderbird, select "Copies & Folders", select "Place a copy in:" and select "Other:" put in your GMail Inbox. For the bonus select "Place replies in the folder of the message being replied to".


Solution via To/CC/BCC

Another solution is to include your email address in the To, CC, or BCC list of recipients. The message will then show up in your Inbox. This is the oldest solution and works with many mail providers but often results in you being told you have new mail and it might show up as unread vs. the other two solutions which have the message marked as read.

1 comment:

Kurt D said...

Cool tip Adam. Thanks.