The blue star: a gmail productivity hack.

With one click within gmail, I can bring up all my “to-do” emails.

To show you what I mean:

I click on the “To-do” link under Quick Links and pending emails appear, magic!

Then once done, and with one more click, an email is removed from the blue-starred “to-do” queue:

The idea is very simple. When I must delay replying until later during the day/week, I simply click once on the star next to the email, making it a blue “to-do” star.

Later when I finally get to sit and reply to emails, I click the “To-do” quick link and all the blue-starred emails come into view!

Once done with replying to an email, I click once on the blue star to remove it and the email no longer appears in the “has blue star” filter.

To do this you must enable gmail labs, enable quick links, then add a quick link with a filter for ‘emails with a “blue star” tag’.

Now, a step-by-step guide on how to do the above:

1- To enable Gmail Labs, head to your settings > Labs, enable them.

2- After enabling labs and from within the labs tab, search for and enable Quick Links.

3- Still in your settings, head to the General tab, and make sure your stars look like this:

You now cycle between Blue (to-do) and Yellow (Important) stars by clicking on the star next to each email.

4- Under the chat box on the left, you can access Quick Links by clicking the gadgets tab titled “…”

5- In the top search bar, search for “has:blue-star”, your search will yield no results but don’t worry about that.

6- Click the “Add Quick Link” and enter a title “To Do”.

7- That’s it, now go back to your inbox and tag an email -to revisit it later- by clicking the star next to it and set it to blue.

8- Voila! Now each time you click on the saved “To Do” link, your blue-star tagged emails appear.

9- Once done with an email, click on the blue star to remove it and you will no longer see that email when filtering for blue-starred emails!

I hope you find this useful, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Yahia Intabli

Digital strategist at, the video-gaming marketing agency.