Gmail – The New Inbox

gmail's new inbox

image by RVO


Some of you I’m sure are already aware of Gmail’s new inbox. It’s not mandatory to switch and they made it so that you can easily switch back if you don’t like it. It really depends on how you use Gmail as to what you’ll do with this new inbox. Now, I did an initial test of it and they may have fixed some of the issues I found already as they are working on some things, but some things it is my understanding that the new inbox is not meant to address. So if you really like the old inbox and use it much like I do then you may not like the new inbox, but if you don’t like the old inbox and are looking for something different then you may enjoy the new inbox.

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My Evaluation of Gmail’s New Inbox

One the problem’s that I am seeing is the labels are coming over, but they are no longer collapsing or carry the exact same hierarchy that they do in the old inbox. For instance:

I have a label that says …

INBOXES: because I have multiple inboxes and under that each inbox name as a sub-label, and some of them have even more sub-labels. The new inbox is not able to collapse the sub-labels, and in fact it’s not even clear where the sub-labels really belong.

Another issue is Gmail’s new inbox splits them from bundled and unbundled according to whether or not they are filtered. I don’t like that at all as I don’t have all my emails filtered. I have a boat load of filters set up, but there are certain emails I simply want to come to my inbox, meaning I have not filtered or skipped the inbox in anyway and the bundling feature is not available to these so now my labels are split into to these new areas created called bundled and unbundled. I don’t like this feature either, but at least I can turn off the bundled ones.

Skip the Inbox : Gmail’s new inbox also splits the email labels further and forces me to look for labels in the skip the inbox section. There is no way to turn off this feature and I don’t like having things in my sidebar that I didn’t choose to put there. ALL features in here should be able to be turned off. ALL – for instance – I don’t keep drafts, sent, trash, or spam where I can see them. That is not productive to me. I don’t use them daily and don’t need to see them daily. Literally everything should be optional.

When I open an email in Gmail’s new inbox I have no idea if it’s labeled or not. That no longer is being displayed on the email. This is a feature that I like having and would miss in the new inbox.

I don’t want my archived emails automatically being checked as done and put into the done label. I want my archives to go where I archive them. I don’t have a need for all my archives to go into the done label. To me the “done” is more task related, and yes many emails are task related having the option to check if it’s done or not is good but automatically marking them as done when I archive them is not what I would like to see. I see archive and done as being two separate features and would like to see Gmail’s new inbox leave the archive feature as is and just create a new done feature and again let you decide if you want to use it or not.

I miss the being able to preview my emails in vertical view. I realize that cannot be done on a mobile phone, but if Google could somehow make that possible when on your desktop or a laptop as this is where I work a great deal of the time that would be nice.

There is no multiple select. That is a very useful feature. That is also missing in the new contacts. If I want to select all the emails in a search query I have to tick one at a time. One of the things that I do for my clients is clean out their inboxes. Some of my clients have upwards of 40,000 emails. Can you imagine ticking 1000’s of emails one at a time to delete or filter them.  Gmail’s new inbox needs to allow for multiple select or select all in the new inbox as well.

BIG problem with signature. It doesn’t work effectively.

First it won’t allow an html signature like I have in my old inbox. Being able to use a branded signature like before would be really nice.

Second it doesn’t allow multiple signatures for multiple emails. I need this as I have multiple emails. This feature right here will prevent me from using Gmail’s new inbox. I cannot use one signature for ALL my accounts. Especially, since some of them are client accounts. Can you see where this is a problem? I cannot have my signature attached to a client email nor do I want the same signature attached to all my own accounts as I have different emails for a variety of reasons.

toggl does not work with the new inbox – incidentally neither does any of my other apps or extensions. I’ve lost my ability to use my Yesware templates, my toggl timer, my Boomerang which returns my email to my inbox when I want it to (I may be able to replace that feature with the new snooze option – which I did not test), but Boomerang also allows me to schedule appointments right from my old inbox, track messages and request read receipts.

While I did not really care for Gmail’s canned responses because of the way it’s set up,  the idea is right and with a little tweaking could work well.  Canned responses is no longer available either.

I like that Gmail has allowed Google Keep reminders to sync with it, but it does not allow me to read the entire note inside Gmail’s new inbox and I have to open it in Google Keep to read it. Being able to read the whole note and edit it right from the new inbox would be a good addition. Also, being able to add a Google Keep note from here would be nice.

All that said obviously I’m not crazy about Gmail’s new inbox, but they are on early stages with it and everything evolves and I’m sure they’ll make mass improvements with this one as we are moving toward a mobile friendly environment. So I will be keeping my eye on it – as should you if you are a Gmail user. I love Gmail’s old inbox though and will be sticking with it for now.

Have you tried #Gmail’s new inbox? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments in the box below.

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Christian Mom of 2, animal lover, your virtual business partner helping you create success in your business, owner and CEO of Rhonda's Virtual Office and Partner of One Life ... Plan-It! discovering new passions in my business everyday and loving it!

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