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May 29, 2013

Gmail's Inbox Tabs

Gmail has a lot of cool features that let you organize mail, but not many people use them. Creating filters is complicated and manually labelling messages is time consuming. That's why Google added features that automatically classify messages: Priority Inbox finds important messages, Smart Labels categorizes messages and lets you find notifications, bulk messages or automatically archive them. Gmail also has different inbox styles that prioritize important messages, starred or unread messages.

Now Gmail's inbox started to include a few tabs powered by Smart Labels, a feature from Gmail Labs. "On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. (...) Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what's new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when. You can easily customize the new inbox - select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab."

There are tabs for social updates from sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+, promotions (newsletters, offers and other bulk messages), notifications/updates (confirmations, bills, receipts), forum messages (online groups, discussion boards, and mailing lists) and a primary tab that shows all the other messages. This way, you can focus on important messages and read everything else later. The Smart Labels feature also has a checkbox that allows you to automatically archive messages, so that notifications, newsletters and social updates skip the inbox.

A similar feature will be added to the mobile Gmail apps for iOS and Android.

The nice thing is that inbox tabs are customizable, so you can hide some of them or even all of them.

The new feature will roll out in the coming weeks, but the updated mobile apps should be available sooner. Until then, try Smart Labels.

{ via Gmail Blog. Thanks, Mike. }

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