How many of us already use our inbox as a to-do list tool? Well, I know I sure do, and if I do then I’m sure there are more people like me. I guess it didn’t take long for the good folks at Google to figure out that this is something to capitalize on and ta-dah! They have just launched their new Android, iOS and web (only on the Chrome browser) app Inbox, a radical new email app. It was only a matter of time considering the direction Gmail has slowly been moving in all this time.
Ok, so I am a little beyond excited, even though I’m pretty sure that there’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve. I’ve always found email to be a tedious task and very messy endeavor. Although Gmail has tried to ‘neaten’ things out with folders, tabs and such, I pretty much gave up the notion that my email is going to be anything but a bunch of messages thrown in my general direction.
In typical Google style (and a completely transparent viral marketing campaign), Inbox is only available through invitation (go here to request an invitation – aka get put on a waitlist) or get an invitation from a friend. Obviously I’ve already requested an invitation but will have to wait like a pleb.
No matter, now to the juicy bits of what to expect from Inbox, our future new favourite thing (hopefully, yeah, we still remember Google Wave!). Logging into Inbox with your @google.com account, Google will crawl all of your messages looking for similar emails. These then get put into ‘bundles’ like ‘travel’ and ‘social’ arranged to show the important bits of the message. So no longer will you even have to open messages to get what you need from the email. Attachments will also no longer be buried inside an email, with it being only a click away. So much clever!
Inbox also comes with a reminder list that you can ‘pin’ emails to deal with later. Or you can create simple to-dos with a due date and reminder. I know, I know, the Gmail to-do list leaves a lot to be desired. But I’m really hoping that they’ve upped their game here. Cuz I would love an easy to use but powerful, intelligent, to-do list cum assistant cum calendar. See, I’m not asking for much. Anyway, instead of ‘archiving’ messages, with Inbox, you click ‘Done’. Because Inbox assumes that all messages are something that you have to deal with.
A feature that I am personally looking forward to is that of the ‘snooze’. Yeah, I have wished that my email comes with a snooze button, and Inbox provides just that. For messages that you need reminders to check on a later date, just hit snooze and Inbox will bring it up when you need it next. This will really help keep my inbox neat, because when I don’t want to forget an email now I ‘star’ it and my inbox is filled with useless stars and ‘mark-as-unread’ emails that just serve to overwhelm me.
From what I’ve been reading online, Inbox serves as a personal forum, giving you the bits that are important, hiding those that aren’t (unless you want to see them) and generally making life a little easier for you. So, yeah, I’m totally impatiently waiting for my invitation. Let me know what you think of it if you happen to get your invitation before me!