This morning I woke up before my alarm went off and started mindlessly surfing the web on my phone. A few random clicks led me to this article about how Gmail’s Organized Inbox feature will literally change your life. I read through it, thought, Huh, that sounds kinda cool, and then fell back asleep, relegating my Gmail thoughts to my groggy subconscious. By the time I’d woken up again, gotten dressed, made breakfast, and turned on my computer, I had forgotten about the article I read earlier that morning … until I logged into Gmail, and, like the Manchurian Candidate carrying out an assassination order, mindlessly moved my cursor over to the “Configure Inbox” button, and clicked.
Boom! Life. Changed.
Here’s how it works: instead of having one catch-all inbox, Organized Inbox automatically sorts your emails into different sections, which can be accessed under convenient tabs. Tabs include Primary (where all your important emails and messages from real people go), Social (messages from Twitter, Facebook, and those incessant LinkedIn updates that ruin my life), Promotions (Ticketmaster concert announcements, airline specials, Groupons), Updates (PayPal receipts, bills, order confirmations, etc), and Forums (messages from online groups and blog comment notifications).
You can easily move messages from one tab to another, and when you get a new email in one of your tabbed sections, you get a little notification flag in the tab — noticeable enough that you won’t miss it, but it doesn’t intrude into your main inbox. This sectioned off approach means you get a hell of a lot less email clogging up your main inbox, which means a hell of a lot less stress. That article I read wasn’t lying; after an hour of using Organized Inbox, I really did feel like my life (at least the part of it I spend sorting through email, which is like 90% of it) had absolutely changed for the better.
To try the Organized Inbox method for yourself, go to your Gmail settings (the little gear shift icon in the upper right corner of your email home page), and click on “Configure Inbox.” From there you can choose the tabs you want to include in your newly organized inbox.
Seriously, try it. You can always go back to the old way if you don’t like it, but I doubt you will want to!
Contact the author of this post at her newly super organized inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.