How to Add More Control To Your Gmail Inbox With Syphir

I bet a lot of Gmail users out there would like a little more control over their inbox. I know I have felt a little limited at times. The nice thing about most Google products, is they allow other applications to add to the core Google application.

The other day I was scanning my Twitter stream and someone mentioned Syphir. Like I do most of the time, I bookmarked it until I got home. When I took a look at it and watched the demos, I was pretty excited at the addition control it adds to Gmail’s filters.

How it’s different

Right out of the box Gmail can sort incoming emails into folders or labels by sender, recipient, subject or if the email does or does not have a particular keyword.

syhir - gmail

For some people, these are not enough. What Syphir adds is more ways to filter incoming messages. Some of those new options are: number of recipients, arrival time and reply probability.

How to use it

Using Syphir is just as easy as using Gmail’s built in filters. To use these, go to and sign in with either your Gmail or your Google Apps email address.

syphir - signin

From the Syphir log in page, you are taken to your actual Gmail or Google Apps log in page.

syphir - signin2

Once you sign in, you are taken back to the Syphir site. If you want to look at a few samples before you dive in and make your own rules, a link with examples are provided. Otherwise, click on the big blue Create New Rule button.

syphir - main page

Creating rules

Creating a rule is a two step process. You have a condition and an action. The combination of the two is where you can really get specific with how your inbox handles your email.


These are things like who the email is from, to, if there is an attachment or what time the email arrives to you.

Choose all that apply to the incoming emails you want to target.

syphir - rule conditions


These what is done with the targeted email. Most of these are similar to the normal Gmail options. However, there are a couple additions; Remove Label, Alert iPhone, and Delay Email are the new choices.

syphir - rule actions

The result

Using a combination of conditions and actions you can do things like, postpone work emails until first thing Monday morning. You can also sort all emails into a label based on the likelihood you need to reply.

Are you seeing how useful this could be? If you add a little creativity to creating some of the rules, you can really master your inbox.

Here is a sample rule I made up.

syphir - completed rule

This rule will basically deliver any emails from my fictitious boss received on the weekend to me at 8:15 am on Monday. You could also make up a rule that postpones any forwarded emails from family and friends until you are on your own time.

Having this additional flexibility is can really open up the doors for some creative filters. Just don’t spend too much time trying to create overly complicated rules or it my be a little counter productive.

What tips do you have for taming your inbox?

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