Gmail’s New Priority Inbox for Overloaded Email Accounts

There was a time when I began using a timer to track of how much time I spent on what and see how I could streamline it – it turned out that on many days I easily spent well over two hours just getting through my inbox and handling my emails at the beginning of […]

There was a time when I began using a timer to keep track of how much time I spent on what and to see how I could streamline it – it turned out that on many days I easily spent well over two hours just getting through my inbox and handling my emails at the beginning of the day.  I began utilizing Gmail’s organizational features, setting up filters and settings, and reducing this time dramatically.  I also wrote a post on productivity and email management to share suggestions on how to deal with the problem.

This morning there was one promotional email I was very happy to see in my inbox – a notification of a new post on Google’s Official Blog.  The post is titled Email Overload? Try Priority Inbox and tells the story of how Google has come up with yet another way to make our lives a bit easier and help us get more done.

Gmail’s Priority Inbox will allow you to sort your priority emails into three categories: “Important and unread,” “Starred,” and “Everything Else.”

Spam filters are great as they let you filter out the utter cr*p from your valid inbox.  Setting up actions to label emails and have them skip the inbox all together is also very helpful.  But there are some types of emails that fall between the cracks and seem to (by default) fall either directly into your inbox, or out of sight all together.  These emails might include notifications, receipts, promotions you don’t want to miss, friend requests, and other odds and ends of information.  This is the type of information you do want to see, but you don’t necessarily want to see first thing in the morning or whenever you first log on to your email for the day.  Priority inbox will let you skip straight ahead to your important emails without having to scan through the whole mess.

You may be imagining (as I was) that you will have to set up all kinds of rules to tell Gmail which emails are to be treated with priority status and which aren’t – but as it turns out, Gmail will also help categorize your priority emails by looking at past patterns (such as which types of emails you normally reply to and which you don’t!)

The following video gives more information on how this will work (it’s also kind of cute):

At the time of this writing, Priority Inbox is not active yet but over the next few days, if you use Gmail, you should at some point see a link or tab for Priority Inbox within your Gmail account interface (in the tabs and/or at the top right).

Hope it helps!

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18 Responses to “Gmail’s New Priority Inbox for Overloaded Email Accounts”

  1. kobe@Trash Removal Washington Township
    September 10, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Aimed at providing users a way to get through their inboxes as efficiently as possible, Priority Inbox tries to learn your e-mail habits in order to decide which messages are important to you, and move them up to the top where you can see them first. Priority Inbox is more dynamic than anything you could put into a filter, as what’s important to you could change over time.It also factors in things that change rapidly, such as how quickly you reply to certain messages or how you apply stars.This is useful for users right away as something they can easily tune without knowing how to create filters.

  2. kobe@Trash Removal Washington Township
    September 13, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Priority Inbox is Google’s attempt to solve the e-mail woes of Gmail power users. At its core, the feature is an algorithm; Priority Inbox uses information such as keywords, the people you e-mail the most and your e-mail habits to select the most pressing e-mails in your inbox. Those e-mails are brought to the top of your Gmail and marked as important so you deal with them first.I think I’m going to have to use it for myself before I make a decision. In theory it sounds amazing, but it could go very wrong as well. Gmail has made my life easier for quite a while now, so hopefully this adds to that convenience..

  3. Steven@ellicott city locksmith
    September 13, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Personally, I think stuff like this is going to make it increasingly hard for SEO to be effective, and get your content past these ever-smarter automated filters. Eventually, marketers are going to need to be fluent in a combination of the genetics, psychology and sociology of their target audiences in order to forge solid enough relationships to give them access to individual customers.

    Why do we marketers always have to have it so hard????

  4. Abraham Kong@locksmith walnut creek
    September 16, 2010 at 3:20 am #

    While the prioritization Priority Inbox offers is welcome, I still find it visually complicated—more text in an already very text-heavy interface. Yahoo and Hotmail’s “from contacts” filters are easier-on-the-eyes. But Google’s automation saves you from having to designate contacts beforehand to see the important stuff float to the top, which is a big plus in these days of bacn-filled inboxes.

  5. Benjamin Irene@locksmith walnut creek
    September 18, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    The Priority Inbox segregates Gmail into three different categories: “Important and Unread”, “Starred”, and “Everything Else”. Gmail automatically filters incoming e-mail into either “Important and Unread” or “Everything Else”, while the middle category is populated by those messages that have been flagged for future reference.A tool like Priority Inbox that can intuitively sift the incoming e-mail so I can focus on the messages that need my attention the most can be a significant productivity booster.

  6. Horoscop Urania
    September 27, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    I think it’s a very good service from google. You can select which e-mail have priority and which doesn’t. It’s very good to reject spam e-mails.

  7. David Miles
    October 10, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I have been using gmails priority Inbox for a few weeks now… and i gota say its works like a charm : )

  8. Garmin Nuvi 205W
    October 26, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Yeah I do agree with you guys! the gmails priority Inbox is really cool. It saves our time and many more features. I do like this new gmail priority inbox.

  9. Rick
    October 29, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    It is both useful, but sad that email is so full of garbage that it needs to be filtered and sorted so many times.

  10. Frieling
    November 12, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Well, I wouldn’t have needed the change, but I think it’s a nice feature, I don’t want to miss.

  11. Amit Kumar
    November 30, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    both are inportant, but priority inbox provide benefits to get your inmortant mail at top always….

  12. Graphic Design Cleveland
    January 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    This is an ok idea but I just wonder what happens when you get an email from a new client and don’t see it because it isn’t marked as a priority.

  13. Anna
    January 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    @Genna – You still see all of your emails in your inbox as usual. You just see the priority inbox on top. If one of them gets categorized incorrectly, you just mark it as a priority email for next time. Nothing is “missed” unless you never look at the rest of your inbox at all.

  14. Brent@Oil painting sale
    February 9, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Gmail is certainly the most intelligent email service which I have ever used! Priority inbox and undo send options are my favorites. Kudos to Google!

  15. Amanda Hocking
    March 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    I have been using gmails priority Inbox for a few weeks now… and i gota say its works like a charm

  16. Cameron Law
    September 27, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    I like this priority feature. It’s helpful for me.

  17. sadewan
    March 8, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    Both are most impotent, i need to change.


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