Using Google Inbox

I am always willing to try something new.  Sometimes that has been a curse (like being 20 years ahead of the videoconferencing curve) but sometimes it has been a blessing in that I occasionally find a gem that I never expected to find before anyone else.  

Google’s Inbox is a gem.  (Albeit one with limitations, but, hey, even beautiful diamonds have some flaws).

My Email Habits

I like to use folders or “labels” to store my incoming emails.  An email would come in, skip the inbox, and go directly into a folder or “label”.  That folder would then show me that an email is sitting there unread.  I know by the folder the email resides in if I want to tackle that email today or put it off for tomorrow.

Because I do this….my Inbox is nice and clean.

As I read emails, I also like to “delete” them (if I think I won’t need it, or it deserves it) and I mark emails as “spam” and mark emails that I keep, but did not read, as “read”.

Based on the above I would be vary happy with an email app or program that:  Has folders, allows me to delete, allows me to mark as spam or as read.

Working with Google’s Inbox

When I first downloaded Inbox in October 2014 (I asked for an invite and got it) I could not get the hang of it as I got confused with my existing folder / label situation.  After some deliberation,  I decided to start with a clean slate at my relatively new, permanent, email address at mikepihlman@gmail.com and let Google Inbox decide where to put the emails until I felt comfortable adding my own folders (assuming I got to that point).

inbox original folders

Inbox did a good job of separating emails for me.  I am impressed with how well only a few folders were utilized, and utilized very well.

As I became more comfortable with Inbox, and started using it more (mostly on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4) I saw the need to add my own folders. This is easily done and works well.

my folders in inbox

As expected, when an email comes in that fits into one of these folders I see it in my Inbox. And I have the option to read the email or just click “Done”. When I click “Done” the email is not deleted, but, rather goes into the “Done” folder where I can look at it later should I decide I need to.

Features I LOVE

note 4 home screen shot

After using Inbox now for a couple of months (mostly on my Note 4), I tried to go back to Gmail, but, did not feel comfortable.  I am Inbox convert!  🙂

Here are the reasons:

>I love the ability to “pin” the email to the Inbox to let me know that the email is important and as a constant reminder that I need to take action when I am ready.

pinned inbox

>I love the fact that I can just swipe an email away (or check all of them instantly) if I don’t want to read it, and know it will be in the “Done” folder, just in case I screwed up.

>I love that I can set an email on “Snooze” for any length of time (that I determine) and it magically pops back up to remind me to take care of it.

>I appreciate that it is a relatively new way for me to handle emails, but, that after using it, I have come to depend on it.  Google has made Inbox intuitive and easy to use.

Features NEEDED

>The most glaring feature is the lack of a signature in the email.  I want people who get my emails to have my contact information embedded in the email.

>I want to be able to see my contact list, add new contacts, etc.

>I can’t send an email to a contact “group”.  For example, ADautogate has three people the invoice email needs to go to, so I have them all in one “group”: ADautogate.  I can’t send to all three by typing in “ADautogate” in the To: field within Inbox.  I need to!

>I want to be able to filter a current email (and all that I have gotten, all that are yet to come) into spam, trash, etc.  I have to go to my computer, and Gmail, to do this.  I CAN put individual emails into trash, spam etc, but, other than building a new folder, I can’t build an email filter to handle ALL (past and future)…I hope I explained that well enough.

That’s about it…..

Summary

Google’s Inbox is a new way to handle my emails, and I love it.  I used it initially on my Note 4, but, and now also using it on my laptop. A few features need to be addressed, but, overall this is a tool I can’t seem to live without.

 

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