- Internet & the Web
The new Google Inbox - an organizers dream!
It's not an upgrade to Gmail
Google's new Inbox is currently "invitation only" ( go to google.com/inbox to request yours), but it doesn't seem to take long to get that, so I'd suggest doing it right now. It took less than a week for my invitation to arrive and my wife's arrived after just two days.
Don't worry, you do not have to give up Gmail - you can use Gmail and Inbox side by side, allowing a full test drive before you commit to anything. Inbox does not affect Gmail in any way. Your messages are not harmed, you won't lose anything.
The interface is very different
Google Inbox is clean and modern. Once you have your invitation, you can download free apps for your smart phone or tablet. These apps are good looking, but it does take just a little bit of understanding before you will understand how to use them to their best potential.
Use Chrome on your computer
If you want to access Inbox from your computer, you need to use Chrome as that is the only supported browser right now. The interface is just as clean and modern as it is in the apps.
I prefer Chrome anyway, but even if this is all you used it for normally, there's nothing wrong with having another browser on your computer. If you love Firefox or Safari or something else, simply do not allow Chrome to be your default browser - think of Chrome and Inbox as though it were a standalone mail app.
New features - Snooze and Reminders
Google Inbox adds two nice features and extends another that is already found in Gmail.
Snooze lets you take a message out of your inbox until some later date. Once you do that, the message no longer appears in your Inbox, but it will magically reappear at the selected time. This is perfect for email that doesn't have to be dealt with right now. It won't clutter your mail until you say that its time has come. You can also "snooze" indefinitely, though for that you would have to manually check your snoozed mail.
Reminders are just what they sound like. In Gmail, I'd often send an email to myself, but this is a much neater way to do it. Reminders can repeat and yes, you can "snooze" reminders!
Have you tried Inbox yet?
New Feature - Bundling
Bundling is the heart and soul of Google Inbox. It is similar to the category tabs that Gmail has now, with some important differences. Things that are bundled appear right in your Inbox: Promos, Social and Updates in the screen shots above are all standard bundles. You can remove any you don't like, but best of all, you can add your own.
Bundling starts by creating a tag or label, which of course you can already do in Gmail (and all your Gmail labels will be available in Inbox). If you add a filter rule to a label (see picture below) you have a choice of bundling it to your Inbox or not.
Once that is done, any new messages that match the criteria will show up "bundled" rather than scattered throughout your email. This means you can ignore them easily or open them to deal with them all at once. You can even dispose of them all at once - I often just sweep away many Promo emails after just reading the subject.
I have bundles for email from my wife and a few of my larger and more prolific customers. I also bundle invoices from the companies whose products I resell. Basically, anything that I'm apt to get more than once a day is a candidate for bundling. But it can also be used for less frequent items - you can bundle things up daily or weekly, too.
What you choose to bundle is up to you, but if you choose wisely, this is a very powerful way to organize your email for quick access and quick action.
It does take a few days to get the idea of it. I hope this brief introduction helps you see the potential.