You've been away from your desk for an hour--just one hour!--and already, you've got 20 or 30 email messages stacked up in your inbox. It could be nothing more than the usual pile of newsletters, retail promos and updates from company mailing lists--or it could be something big. The only way you'll know is if you stop what you're doing and take a peek.
If that scenario sounds all too familiar, you're a likely candidate for Inbox by Gmail, Google's ambitious solution (or so they hope) to your chronically overflowing email inbox. Available for Android and iOS devices as well as on your desktop web browser, Inbox sorts through your email, filing away the not-so-important missives and only bugging you about the messages you really need to see.
That's the idea, anyway, but Inbox isn't for everyone--or at least, not yet. For almost every time-saving feature that Inbox brings to your smartphone or laptop (like the ability to "snooze" incoming messages), there's a drawback (such as no support for non-Gmail accounts) that'll make you think twice.
Read on for five pros--and four cons--to Inbox by Gmail, starting with the pros...
Inbox by Gmail: The pros
1. You can ignore and delete big batches of not-so-important email
One of Inbox's killer features is that it scans and automatically sorts your incoming email. Any message that looks important will head straight for your inbox. Anything else gets "bundled" into one of seven categories: Purchases (think receipts), Finance (for banking statements and the like), Social (for alerts from Facebook, Twitter and your other social networks), Updates (for, say, the transit alert newsletter you signed up for), Forums (miscellaneous newsletters and mailing lists), Promos (like email flyers from retailers you've shopped with), and Low Priority (random messages that aren't quite spam, but flirting with the line).
You can set Inbox to notify you only of "important" messages and leave you alone when a message gets "bundled"--and if you do, the flood of must-see email in your inbox will slow to (hopefully) a trickle.
Even better, you can set certain bundles--like "Promos"--to pop up only in your inbox once every 24 hours or even once a week, perfect for keeping compulsive email checkers from opening dozens of random messages throughout the day.
Best of all, you can mark as "Done" (essentially Inbox's way of archiving messages) or simply delete entire bundles at once, saving you the trouble of swiping each and every trashable message.
2. You can "snooze" messages you'd rather deal with later
Say it's Saturday afternoon, and a message from work pops into your inbox--one that you'd rather not stare at all weekend.
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