Why the new GMail tabs don't work for me (but I'm not very normal)
It's neat that +Jason Cornwell
was listening to me kvetch on Twitter a little about the new tabs in Gmail. He asked for expansion, so I thought I'd write it here. 140 chars not a great place for it, really.
So, first thing to say is: I'm an outlier. I actually think the new tabs are a really good match for how a lot of people use email. I am also thrilled to see innovation around email of any sort.
The main issue for me is the way I deal with my email. I'm "inbox zero" oriented, so my workflow is something like this: as much non-direct email as possible is filtered and I check it at leisure. The rest I read and either reply right away, or star for follow up then archive. Nothing stays long in inbox.
(a) I used Smart Labels, but I have Promotions, etc, set up to auto archive, so I get to choose when to view them rather than having them in inbox. I don't want to "process" my Promotions, not even manually archiving them.
However, the tabbed Promotion only shows promotions in the inbox, so it's empty if I use the tabbed UI.
(b) when an email is processed and I need to follow up, I star it. Everything is archived. So my Starred Items folder shows the important things I need to work on.
However, Starred Items is not among the things I can put in the tabbed interface, so that's not much use to me. (You can include Starred in Primary, but I don't like mixing inbox with to-do, it's distracting.)
(c) It's another layer of visual clutter. This is probably the most serious objection. I already have menus across the top and down the left.