Initial Impressions of Inbox by GmailIntuitive or confusing? It all depends on your approach to email.
I have seen a number of posts about the new Inbox app being released by Google. Some have called it a fresh approach, while others are calling it confusing. Before even seeing the app, I expressed concern that I would “lose important stuff.” (+John Skeats
told me the opposite - that I would be less likely to lose something.)
Eventually, I received my invitation and have had a chance to use it for a few days. My conclusion? Inbox can be both intuitive and extremely helpful - once I abandoned (or refined) an old habit.
You see, I used the old habit of keeping things “unread” if I wanted to keep them in my span of attention. Inbox doesn’t really work that way. In fact, I haven’t found a way within the Inbox app to mark an item as unread. (Keep in mind, Inbox is a new app - and I can still use the old GMail app if I want to.)
With Inbox, your primary view is supposed to be uncluttered - So that what you see is what is most relevant. That includes new mail (grouped into “bundles” based on their content), items that you have “pinned” to stay, items that have resurfaced after you “snoozed” them earlier, and reminders that you have set.
Once I got used to that, it all made sense - and I think it has a lot of promise.Big tip
- Once you start using Inbox, it helps to go through all the old stuff in your inbox and decide what to do with it - and that is much easier to do with a desktop browser than with a mobile device.
There is a lot more to explore - Inbox has already found an itinerary for an upcoming trip and monitoring for flight status updates. The ability to set reminders has me thinking - is it powerful enough to replace my current To-Do list? The jury is still out on that one.
Inbox is still by invitation only. You can request an invitation by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org It could take a while for your invitation to appear, so be patient. Existing users have a limited number of invitations they can give away as well. (But please don’t fill up the comments to this post with requests for invitations.)