How to Use Gmail Inbox | The Muse

We all love to hate email. For good reason: it’s time-consuming, boring, and requires constant attention. But while email isn’t going away in the foreseeable future, your worst email problems could be gone.

last month, google launched inbox, a new email interface. It’s like Gmail’s younger, more modern sister: clean, sleek, and loaded with lots of productivity-boosting features designed to help make managing email less of a hassle.

In other words, if you currently use Google products at work, your professional life is about to change. These are just a few ways your inbox has answers for your biggest email complaints.

1. if you constantly forget important emails

You’ll love the “pin” feature. simply hover over an email, tap the pushpin icon, and you’re good to go—the message stays front and center in your inbox until you remove it. you can even enable a feature that will only show pinned emails.

put it to work

Your boss sends you extremely detailed instructions for a project. Instead of having to search for the message each time you work on the task, simply pin the email to your inbox. You will have it open in your browser in two seconds.

2. if you hate wasting time opening messages just to see the attachments

You’ll love the future of “preview”. with regular email, attachments are indicated by a small clip. but the inbox goes much further by showing you what the attachments are and allowing you to open them without opening the email. this includes documents, images, excel spreadsheets, videos, you name it.

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put it to work

You’ve been waiting for your client to send you a revised contract and finally see your name in your inbox. Instead of spending time opening her email, scrolling to the bottom to see if she’s attached it, and then downloading it, you can quickly check the contract and get to work.

3. if you hate how messy your inbox gets

You’ll love the “package” feature. Grouping automatically sorts your email into categories, kind of like Gmail’s main, social, and promotions tabs, but much more sophisticated (and easier to use). Built-in categories include Travel, Shopping, Finance, and Updates, and you can add your own as well. emails from the same category will appear together in your inbox.

put it to work

You’re planning your vacation and you’re inundated with ticket confirmations, tour reservations, hotel reservations, etc. meanwhile, your mom keeps sending you old photos she’s found and your boss has emailed you several spreadsheets for you to review. Instead of all those emails appearing jumbled together, a one-way ticket to the city of distraction, they each appear in separate little boxes, making it easy to handle each task one at a time.

4. if you hate emptying your inbox

You’ll love the “sweep” feature. this allows you to archive entire packages at once: simply click the checkmark on a package and it will be lost from view, saving you the hassle of manually reviewing and archiving individual messages.

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and don’t worry, if you pinned a message, it will stay in your inbox.

put it to work

You just went through tons of linkedin and google+ invites and now you want to clear your inbox. you scroll down the social pack and click sweep. the package vanishes!

5. if you hate having to remember to answer emails

You’ll love the “snooze” feature. If you get an email at an inconvenient time, the inbox lets you schedule it to come back later. just click the clock icon and choose a time (from an exact day and time to “some day”). it will disappear from your inbox until then, so you don’t have to remind yourself to reply yet.

put it to work

at 8 a.m. m., his colleague sends him an email requesting the latest sales figures, but he won’t have them until the afternoon. you postpone his email until 3:00 p.m. m. so you remember to contact him when you can.

love the sound of your inbox? email inbox@google.com to request an invite. I received mine within a week, so yours should arrive shortly. let me know what you think, and if i missed any cool ways to use it!

inbox photo courtesy of shutterstock.

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