Managing your email inbox is a chore, and it’s easy to fall behind. That’s why a new app from Google’s Gmail team, dubbed Inbox, reimagines how you read and dismiss email messages to help you stay more productive. For starters, the app provides a few powerful tools that make it easy to scan and quickly dismiss messages. It also integrates to-do list functionality so you can quickly pin important messages, or snooze them so you get a second alert later. It can help you quickly pare down your personal email inbox so you can get back to work. Or, if your business uses Gmail’s business email platform, it can actually help you do your job. The app is currently in beta form and only available to those who request an invite, but it’s expected to roll out for the general public soon.
So how does it work? After you install Inbox onto your smartphone, you’ll open it the same way you would open the standard Gmail application. But instead of showing you a linear list of messages in the order they were received, the app’s main view displays messages in customizable “bundles,” which you can click to view a list of new emails that fall into each category. For example, the Finance bundle shows new bills, banks statements and other related messages, while Purchases shows messages related to online transactions. You can add new bundles, or stick with the defaults. Opening a bundle lets you quickly scan your messages and fire off individual replies. When you’re done with a bundle, simply click the check mark at the top of the list to mark all included messages as read. The feature makes finding, skimming and dismissing multiple emails a breeze.
The other main feature of Inbox is its ability to stand in as a to-do list. When you see a message that you want to save, long press it and select the pin icon. You can quickly view all pinned messages by toggling a switch at the top of the app. Meanwhile, tapping the clock icon lets you snooze a message. Pick a specific time or date to receive an alert later on, or select a location; your phone will use its built-in GPS sensor to remind you of the message when you arrive at a particular location. That could come in handy if you need to remember to reply to an important message as soon as you arrive at the office in the morning.
Originally published on Business News Daily.