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Email Intelligence via Gmail Priority Inbox

October 1, 2010

Do you ever open your inbox and have to take a deep breath as you see the total count climb… and climb… and climb? It seems like each day that goes by we receive more and more email – not necessarily “important” email though. Well, for you fellow Gmail users, fear no longer!

For the past couple of weeks I have enabled my Gmail Priority Inbox and must say, it has been a lifesaver. Google began rolling out Priority Inbox about a month ago, even though the concept has been in the works for over 18 months. Once you enable Priority Inbox, a new option appears on your left side navigation which allows you to switch between your normal inbox view and your Priority Inbox. Within your new inbox, it will now be organized into a three pane view of important and unread, starred and everything else.

TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid explains, “The system uses a plethora of criteria to decide which messages are most important: things like how frequently you open and/or respond to messages from a given sender, how often you read messages that contain a certain keyword, and whether or not the message is addressed solely to you or looks like it was sent to a mailing list. If you come across a message that’s been marked important when it shouldn’t have been, you can hit an arrow to tell Gmail it’s messed up. Likewise, if a message that should have been flagged gets sent to the ‘everything else’ area, you can promote it. Through these actions Gmail gets progressively smarter, so the system should work better over time.”

I believe once you try Priority Inbox, you will not go back to your standard Gmail Inbox. I also already notice my eyes have been trained to merely glance at the “everything else” section but to concentrate on “important and unread”. I have not had an instance yet where a critical email was not labeled correctly.

So, I highly recommend you give it a try. You can always “turn off” the feature if you don’t find it helpful. And to slowly become accustomed to your new inbox layout, you can always toggle between your standard inbox and your Priority Inbox. Check out these additional tips for using the feature.

Are you finding Priority Inbox helpful? Go ahead and leave your comments below.

image credit: Gmail Priority Inbox