Gmail could soon transform your inbox by ‘bundling’

Hard to believe sầu, but it was just this past year that Google pulled the plug on its once-promising Inbox service.

You are reading: Gmail could soon transform your inbox by ‘bundling’

And you know what? While Inbox itself may be nothing more than a memory at this point, I”m still constantly thinking about ways to make my current inbox — the one that exists within Gmail — more organized và efficient. And more often than not, that involves coming up with crafty workarounds to bring Inbox-like elements baông chồng from the dead and into lớn that environment.

I”ve sầu talked before about how I still save sầu link and reminders inlớn my inbox — two core Inbox-esque elements that I recreated within Gmail and now use almost every day. On the desktop front, meanwhile, a series of interface adjustments and an invaluable extension made by a former Google designer go a long way in enhancing my email adventures và allowing me to retain at least a little bit of sanity whilst staring at message after incoming message.

But for all the progress I”ve sầu made & all the tricks I”ve sầu tried, there”s one bit of Inbox magic I”ve sầu never been able khổng lồ resurrect — & that”s the Bundles system Inbox used khổng lồ make actual gmail delivery more manageable.

Bundles, if you don”t reGọi, served two primary purposes: First, it organized your messages inkhổng lồ categories of sorts & then presented similar emails together in clusters within your main inbox view. You can kind of recreate that part, to lớn a degree, by using Gmail”s tabbed inbox option and then little by little customizing which types of messages get routed into which tabs. It”s by no means the same as Bundles in terms of scope, presentation, or customization — but it”s vaguely in the same ballpark, at least, when it comes to the core concept.

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Then, however, there”s the second part of what Bundles provided, & that”s where things get especially tricky. In Google”s Inbox service, y”see, Bundles would let you choose lớn receive sầu certain types of messages only once a day or once a week, even — with the idea that when it comes lớn things like bills or low-priority updates, you don”t need lớn be distracted & bothered every single time a new message trickles in. Instead, you can more efficiently khuyễn mãi giảm giá with all such messages in one fell swoop by having them show up together only at certain specified times.

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That”s the part of Bundles that was especially innovative and different, và that”s the part I”ve been longing for all this time.

Well, I”ve been trying out something in my Gmail inbox lately, & it”s the closest I”ve sầu come to lớn regaining that Bundles-reminiscent batch-delivery power.

The feature comes via a third-các buổi tiệc nhỏ Gmail add-on called Boomerang. If that sounds familiar, it should: I wrote about the service this past summer, specifically talking about how I”d become enamored with its supercharged snoozing setup (which gives you the handy option lớn snooze a message & then have sầu it return only if you haven”t received a response after a phối number of days — sensible, no?).

Boomerang has another feature called Inbox Pause, & while its name might, erm, give sầu you pause, it actually has the potential to be incredibly useful và Bundles-like in nature.

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Here”s how it works:

Once you”ve signed up for Boomerang và installed its desktop browser extension, you click a special button within Gmail to “pause” your inbox.That pulls up a configuration box where you can specify when exactly you want messages khổng lồ be delivered, with as many different times of day as you need.The box has another option where you can specify delivery exceptions, and that part is the key to lớn making this work the way we want. There, you can tell Boomerang lớn let certain types of messages through as they arrive sầu — messages from specific addresses or domains, messages addressed to lớn specific addresses, or messages with specific words in their subjects or bodies.



So it basically gives you a backwards way lớn mix up a Bundles-like periodic delivery system — Bundles unbundled, I guess you could say: Instead of configuring your low-priority messages to show up only at certain times, you configure everything to show up only at certain times. And then you specify your high-priority exceptions.

Maybe, for instance, you always want emails from anyone within your company lớn show up immediately. Maybe you want to include emails from your family in that instant-delivery danh sách as well. Maybe you want khổng lồ whitelist emails with the word “urgent” or emails sent khổng lồ a specific subaddress like yourname+urgent (you do know about that little triông xã, right?). Or maybe you want only emails from your Gmail Primary tab to lớn come through as they arrive sầu. (The triông chồng there, as I learned shortly after this column”s publication, is to put “category:primary” into the delivery exceptions box.)

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Whatever the case, once you”ve sầu added in all of your high-priority, instant-delivery-worthy scenartiện ích ios, you can have sầu everything else show up only once a day, four times a day, or even once an hour, depending on what seems appropriate for your own situation. No matter how you set it up, you”ll be setting yourself up khổng lồ khuyến mãi with less urgent messages in a more batch-lượt thích & efficient manner. And though the initial cài đặt has to lớn happen on the desktop front, once Inbox Pause is on, the result will be the same anywhere you access Gmail — via the website on your computer, via the phầm mềm on your phone, or anywhere in between.

“But what if I miss something truly important?” you might wonder. It”s a valid question — và one that was always present with Bundles in Inbox as well. The beauty of this particular arrangement, though, is that you can completely customize not only the types of messages that get through instantly but also the times at which everything else arrives.

So if you think you might get something vaguely important but unpredictable — say, an email from a prospective new client whose name you don”t know — you could tell Boomerang to bring all of your messages in at the top of every hour during your workday. Triaging your messages in bulk once an hour will still be immeasurably more efficient và less disruptive sầu lớn your day than dealing with every single individual tin nhắn as it arrives, & yet the hourly delivery arrangement means you”ll never go particularly long without seeing anything. The balance is totally up lớn you.

Now, for the catch: This feature, in all of its glory, isn”t miễn phí. And it isn”t exactly cheap, either: After a one-month trial, Boomerang charges you 15 bucks a month — or $12.50 a month, if you pay for a full year in advance — for its Pro plan, which unlocks the critical abilities khổng lồ specify high-priority exceptions & khổng lồ create your own custom delivery schedule. Only you can decide if it”s actually worth that cost, but when you think about it as a premium email ứng dụng — one that just happens lớn exist within Gmail instead of being its own standalone entity — well, the price doesn”t seem quite as extraordinary.

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(The Pro plan also gives you unlimited super-snoozing along with a handful of other advanced features, including the ability to lớn leave yourself a private note that”ll come bachồng up when a snoozed message returns lớn your inbox — another Inbox-reminiscent element that I”ve missed since that service”s demise.)

Oh, và if you”re worried about Boomerang”s ability khổng lồ access your private tin nhắn data — which is absolutely something you should think about! — well, what we can say is that the service has been around since 2010, has 1.5 million users on Chrome (và another 265,000-plus in the G Suite Marketplace), và has average ratings between four & five sầu stars, depending on where you look. The service does require full access khổng lồ your Gmail trương mục — invariably, given the nature of what it does — but its privacy policy và FAQ page make it clear as day that the company stores only the headers of messages for emails you process with it and never shares or sells any sort of personal data.

Allowing a third-party ứng dụng to lớn access any part of your Google trương mục isn”t something you should bởi lightly, but this specific service certainly seems trustworthy from the outside. And considering the clever & effective sầu way Boomerang brings Bundles-lượt thích batch delivery back inlớn Google”s gmail universe, it might be just the missing piece you need.

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