Gmail can now prioritize your inbox

According to the official Gmail blog, Google is in the process of introducing a powerful new tool to deal with the deluge of e-mail users face on a daily basis. The feature, called Priority Inbox, goes beyond filtering out spam (which is a real shame, since I now make $10,000 a week working from home and so can you!), and helps automatically prioritize e-mails based on their importance.

Priority Inbox acknowledges that people may receive a lot of e-mail that is not spam per se, but does not need to dealt with immediately, like mailing lists, daily newsletters, etc. The new feature therefore sorts e-mail into three main categories: "important and unread," starred, and "everything else." Factors like how often you correspond with the sender in question affect how e-mail is sorted. Google promises the system will automatically improve its accuracy over time. Manual controls are available, too.

Gmail already offered some sorting tools before this one, but Priority Inbox may become popular with users who don’t want to spend time manually setting up an elaborate system of filters and labels.

This feature is slated to roll out throughout this week, so we’ll soon get to see just how effective it is. With the recent rollout of phone calling functionality, that’s two major features for Gmail in as many weeks. Clearly, Google has no intention to give competitors an easy time.

Comments closed
    • Buzzard44
    • 12 years ago

    This is news…?

    • FuturePastNow
    • 12 years ago

    Great, something new for me to turn off.

    • xii
    • 12 years ago

    I’ve been on the internet for a long time, and the longer I’m on it, the less I read my email. I rarely read or write emails anymore. It’s not just the endless spam that still manages to slip through all the filters and grey-listing… It’s just not a productive medium. No matter where I’ve worked, after some time I keep getting ever more irrelevant emails, end up in CC’s, get stuck on mailing lists with little or no relation to my work. Even very relevant emails, if I can find them between the noise, keep on messing up my flow and feel somehow extremely clumsy compare to face-to-face contact or even VoIP software. And every so often I notice people often don’t read my email replies to their questions, because they want to know something technical, but are too lazy to read through the explanation – so they have me write a long reply, only to bother me “in physical form” a few hours or days later with the same question.

    I just don’t want to open any inbox anymore, be it work related or personal. More to the point now, I think all these new tricks are too little, too late. I really feel email is on its way out and beyond salvation (coming from someone who used to administer email servers in the 90’s…)

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 12 years ago

    I manage my inbox via folder hierarchy. ctrl-shift-v makes my life very easy. I don’t use rules and I can sift through my inbox with no trouble at all, even when I get about 75/day on average. (94 today, 44 yesterday)

    • Duck
    • 12 years ago

    Real men use real filters.

    • gerbilspy
    • 12 years ago

    I’ll try it out when it shows up. My gmail account is my “crap” account, and this feature might make it even easier to ignore low priority email — the stuff that is only a small step above SPAM — until I’m ready to bother with it. Like emails about kittens from my sister. I don’t care if it’s perfect or not in identifying the “best” emails. If it’s even close it will help.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Probably useful to people that get a LOT of e-mail. Less than useful to those who get say less than 20 a day, that already know how to prioritize and this system would get in the way.

    Reminds me of the date grouping in Outlook. On the surface it seems like it would help, but in reality it takes precious vertical screen real-estate for e-mail that doesn’t need to be thereg{<.<}g

    • Johnny5
    • 12 years ago

    People are gonna be whining whenever it doesn’t prioritize perfectly. I only get a couple of emails a week that don’t end up in my bulk bin so it doesn’t matter to me. Well, that and I don’t use Gmail.

    • Dazrin
    • 12 years ago

    I already do something similar using the Multiple Inboxes lab. This does not work with multiple inboxes and does not allow for as much customization. (Right side of screen, etc.) I would like to have some of the smarts behind this incorporated into multiple inboxes, but oh well. I just hope they don’t remove multiple inboxes.

    • sweatshopking
    • 12 years ago

    really? seems kinda useless to me. I get hundreds of work emails, and never star any of it. I use thunderbird, and just leave stuff as unread until i deal with it. seems to work. the last thing i want is more stuff to mess with.

    • bthylafh
    • 12 years ago

    That’s really neat. I’d love to have a feature like that in Thunderbird, since we’re unlikely to outsource our email to Google.

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