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Inbox by Google


2014/11/21

First up, this was a dumb name to choose for a new mail app. By calling it "Inbox", Google has made it effectively impossible to use Google search to find out anything you might want to know about how to use it or its bugs. So, good luck with that!

Second: this is NOT an upgrade to Gmail. If you want to keep on using Gmail, go ahead. You can even use Gmail and Inbox concurrently, which is what I've been doing for the past week or so.

Third, Inbox takes some getting used to. It is very, very much not like Gmail even though it does automatically inherit some things like Labels.

Fourth, I'm still not sure whether I like it or not.

On the plus side, there are features I really like. One is "Snooze" - this makes the message disappear from Inbox until the time you set. Next week, next month, a specific date, when it comes around, the message comes back (note that doesn't affect your view of the message in Gmail).I like the "Reminder" ability. That saves you from having to send yourself an email to keep something in your Inbox. I like that a lot.

I like that the interface is clean and simple. You can only access it from Chrome on a computer, but i use Chrome anyway::

Inbox has a clean interface on Chrome

Though sometimes I think that the phone/tablet app is too clean:

Inbox IOS app

Bundling

"Bundling" is the heart and soul of Inbox. You see it in the picture above: Promos, Social, Updates. Although arranged differently, this is very similar to the Tabs sections that were added to Gmail a while back. However, unlike Gmail Tabs, you can make up your own Bundled categories. For example, I bundle everything from my wife:

Bundling groups messages

That automatically puts everything from her into one section. This is an organizer and list maker's dream. It's neat and simple, it unclutters the chaos. Properly used, this could really save you a lot of time dealing with email.

So why am I still unsure about Inbox? It's because I am NOT that person. I appreciate organization and neatness sometimes, but I'm much more used to jumbled chaos. So, I keep switching back and forth, unsure of where I want to settle.

As I right this, Inbox is still invitation only, but it doesn't seem to be difficult to get an invitation.



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