For those of you using Google Mail or Gmail, chances are you're familiar with the "stars" feature, which serves as a visual reminder to follow up on certain messages or mark their importance. You may not know, though, that you can use different types of stars. To do so, click on the Gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen, click Mail Settings, and on the General tab look for the Stars section.
You will see many different types of stars that you can cycle through. Drag the stars between the lists that you want to use and in the order you prefer. Another neat trick is to use the name of the star to filter messages. Simply hover over the star to learn its name (i.e., "red-bang"), then use the "has" prefix to filter by star name. For example, typing "has:red-bang" in your search box will show all messages with that star name.