GTD Gmail Filter Tricks

by Hunter Haugen

One of my favorite blog posts of all time on Gmail GTD techniques is this one by Neil Dixon (Edit: Link is dead. Use this blog post instead). Using this technique means that if I want to manage a todo list in combination with my email GTD workflow, I have to check two places to see my task list (even if I’m using the task list built-in to Gmail). How can I combine my email GTD with my todo GTD into one place?

A quick tip about a gmail feature that is not well known. You can append +anything to the end of your username for any Gmail or Google Apps domain and it will still be sent to you. For example, or can be turned into or

To integrate my Gmail GTD workflow with an email-driven todo list, I should theoretically be able to have any single email sent “from me to me and only me” be archived and labeled @action. Gmail filters don’t currently have a way to filter based on “to me and only me,” so I improvised.

Create an email filter for “” (or whatever) to auto-archive and apply your @action label (and optionally a “Todo” label via a second filter), and send an email to this address with your one-line todo sentence in the email subject line. Thereafter, when composing an email you should be able to type “todo” into the To: line and hit <tab> and have it complete for your Todo list.

Protip: If you have keyboard shortcuts enabled and are viewing your @action emails, you can use ‘y’ to remove the @action label without removing the Todo label, essentially marking it “complete.”