Everyone thought Google was pulling a fast one over us on April Fools’ day in 2004 with Gmail. One gigabyte of storage? They can’t do that! Eleven years later and it’s still going strong. To me the stand-out features of Gmail are never deleting anything (and the search all your emails instantly that goes with it) and the amazing spam filtering. Since it’s debut Google has added many bells and whistles to the service, some of them oriented at organizing your inbox.
But last year they released Inbox by Gmail which takes organizing email to a whole new level. Inbox does a nice job of categorizing emails, and then puts them into bundles. This means that an order notification from Amazon, as well as the shipping notification automatically to into bundle called Purchases. What’s great is, by default, these bundles don’t generate a notification to your phone. Updates from forums that you may frequent do the same thing. You can then add additional emails to these bundles or create your own. It’s all drag and drop, and Inbox learns as you go. The purpose of these bundles is to allow you to browse the emails within them at your leisure. For example I tend to browse my forum notifications over my lunch hour.
Another great feature is that you can snooze an email. This completely hides an email from your inbox (unless you’re browsing the snoozed bundle) until a time that you choose. I tend to snooze emails that deal with stuff I need to do around the house until Saturday morning. At the appointed time, they pop up again just like a new email.
There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it, it’s a very powerful tool.