Here is a small trick to manage your mailing list subscriptions with your GMail account without cluttering your inbox.
-label:muted label:]-groups is:unread
What have we done so far? We have told GMail that we want a second inbox below our main inbox that
If you are subscribed to N mailing lists you need to create N+1 filters now.
First create one big filter for all your mailing lists. Set it up like so:
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com ... OR listN@example.com
At this point you would be able to see how many unread mailing list posts there are because the ] Groups label would become bold and display a number behind itself. However, it would be nice if you could see exactly how many unread items each of your subscriptions has. For this you simply need to add one more filter for each subscription:
So if you are following the Python users mailing list, you would for example create a new sub label called python-users under the label ] Groups.
This setup allowed me to follow 16 mailing lists during the last 2 years without drowning in content overflow. If a thread on the list is very active but you already know that you are not interested in following the discussion, just mute the conversation and it will no longer pop up in your second inbox.
Because the new filters make sure that those messages skip the main inbox, you will not get notifications on your Android phone for all these messages, which is another huge plus.
From now on it is just scanning through the headlines in your inbox and marking them all as read. Another good thing about this is that you will be able to perform searches in GMail to find old discussions.
Your new inbox should look like this: