I don’t like moving unread mail to my GMail archive. But I do want to automate archiving my email, AND I like my inbox clean.
Here’s how I make it easy (for me).
1) Create a filter – for a friend, your work email, whatever. Have the filter apply both a label (or multiple labels) and have the filter star the item. Starring the item is important.
2) Read your mail when you can – it is already labeled and starred.
3) Once you read your email just click on the “starred” selection under “select”
4) This selects all of your starred email. Click “archive”.
5) Poof – all your filtered email is tagged and archived. You can deal with the unfiltered stuff separately.
It’s a really simple hack, but it works well for me.