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!