New Gmail “Priority Inbox” sorts emails and saves time

Priority Inbox

You know what it’s like when you fire up your laptop

and check your inbox only to find that you have heaps of new emails, perhaps even hundreds, most of which you are probably not going to read.

However, you still have the hassle of wading through all the crap and unimportant ones to find those you really shouldn’t miss. If this is the bane of your life then Google have now come up with a solution.

A new feature in Gmail called Priority Inbox will automatically filter through the newsletters, reminders, status updates and junk to put your priority emails right at the top, the ones that you actually need and want to see first.

As an email arrive in your inbox Priority Inbox basically allocates that email to one of three categories which are “Important and unread”, “Starred” and “Everything else”.

The key point that sets it above other filtering methods which are static until you physically change them yourself is that Priority Inbox doesn’t need a lot of setting up.

It uses many signals to identify if an email is important. The most obvious ones are those emails you actually read or reply to on a regular basis. This means it adapts to your habits and gets more efficient as time goes on.

If Priority Inbox gets it wrong and marks an email as important when it’s not, or vice versa, you can simply click a plus or minus button to make it less or more important and the email will be moved out of one category and into the other.

If you read an email that you might want to go back and read again later you can attach a star to it for easy identification.

The feature is being rolled out over the coming week or so and as soon as you see the “New! Priority Inbox” link appearing on the top right hand side of your Gmail account you can start using it.

Gmail Priority Inbox isn’t fully available on mobile devices yet though, Google says you can have a limited version if you access Gmail in the web browser of Android and Apple devices, but in English only, and if you are using the built in email program IMAP or Google Sync. In these cases you simply view messages under the “important” tag.

So far various reviews from those who have been testing Priority Inbox have been pretty positive but like anything else really, it’s not perfect. Still, if it eases email overload and saves a bit of time that’s always good.

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