Google Inbox is the latest in the round of email apps with a task management spin to it. With Inbox, you don’t mark an email as Read, you mark it as Done. Just another four letter word. But one that signifies a hell of a philosophical change.
Inbox turns your email from a boring list of messages into something actionable. It organizes things by categories, time, type, importance, and more. All the heavy lifting is done by Google’s algorithms.
Some people have rightly referred to Google Inbox as the Facebook-ization of Gmail. You don’t see all the updates, just what Google thinks is important. But there’s a way to customize things as well.
Inbox then makes it easy for people who want to deal with email as quickly as possible. Read on to find out how to make the most of this email task management system.
1. You Snooze, You Don’t Lose
Google Inbox takes a page out of Mailbox’s book. But it’s a good one. You’ll see a Clock icon next to each email. This lets you put off the email to a set time. We all do this already, but with Inbox, there’s actual follow up.
Tell Inbox that you don’t want to act on that email till tomorrow, Tuesday, or next year. Even give it a specific place from where you want to reply and it will remind you, like your own personal Samantha (only not as creepy).
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2. Create a Bundle
Gmail veterans must already be familiar with filters. Bundles are the natural evolution. Inbox’s UI is split between different boxes, with similar content clubbed together. These are “Bundles” Google’s algorithms made. But you can have a go at it too.
Create a bundle from specific contacts, the ones really important to you, like your boss or your wife. Now, their email will always have a special place instead of getting lost in the abyss.
3. Set Reminders
Google Now and Keep do this really well and all that technology is now integrated with Inbox. You can set time, person, and place-based reminders and they will be carried over all the devices that have Inbox installed, not to mention Google Reminders.
Reminders in Inbox go beyond just “remind me to send an email to X tomorrow”. Using Google’s immense data collection, you can pinpoint things like “remind me to book a flight to LAX” or “remind me to call X Inc” and Google will provide all the contextual information like details of the flight or the company’s number.
4. Pin Emails
Pinning an email is like bookmarking it. It will always stay put no matter if it’s read or archived. It’s a good way to put something on hold and have a constant visual reminder for it.
The iOS and Android apps have a Pin toggle in the top toolbar. Toggling only shows emails you’ve pinned.
5. Get Familiar with the Gestures
Inbox’s iOS and Android apps support gestures. Swipe to the right to mark an email as Done. Swipe to the left to bring up the Snooze until.. menu. Swiping to the left on a Bundle marks all the emails in it as Done.
6. And the Keyboard Shortcuts
A lot of keyboard shortcuts in the Inbox web app are similar to Gmail. But it can’t hurt to take a refresher. Especially because Inbox brings task management features and new terminology.