So here's more detail on the work flow I need.
First, I'm subscribed to multiple open source mailing lists. Ok, awesome, I filtered those into the "Forums" tab so I don't have look at those emails, like, pretty much ever. (I read them about twice a week these days since I'm not as active with those projects any more.) That works.
I get all the usual promo emails. There's a few, like Brad's List that I actually like as well as my Skymiles emails, ok, awesome, I filter those to the Promo tab so I never have to see them.
Then, I'm on my local city council. So I have a bunch of email that spills in related to that. Those just get dumped directly into my inbox because there's no easy way to filter them since I have no idea where they're coming from. Those are tough. And I have to keep them/archive them since it's official business.
My new work related emails I've attempted to apply filters to since I mostly know the domains they originate from. But the label that's applied is gray, and my normal inbox has a gray background. I don't know how to change that color and it makes it pretty useless to have a label. Now, I can click on the Label in the left nav, however it's normally hidden because Gmail insists on showing hangout information at the bottom and it clutters the labels list.
And we haven't gotten how to manage the rest of my personal email.
What sucks is all of that shows up all in one puked up blah of a Primary mailbox. Those are three radically different areas of my life and it looks like a trainwreck to my brain because when I'm thinking of work, the past thing I was to see is an email from my mother with the subject line of, "Did you get the cookies yet?" Then I'm completely distracted thinking about a) going to the post office and b) cookies.
I think the simple paradigm here is, I want my inbox to be "Everything Else" but instead it's "Everything".