Most of us receive dozens, or even hundreds of emails each day. Staying organized can be a serious challenge, and the more unread emails you have piling up in your inbox, the more likely it is that something important will slip between the cracks. Google released a new feature this week to help solve this problem.
Gmail's new "Priority Inbox" feature automatically flags your emails as "Important" or "Not Important" to help you make sure you see the emails that really matter to you. When you look at your Priority Inbox, the first thing you see is a list of your important emails. When you open an important email, you can either deal with it right away, or star it if you need to come back to it later. The second thing you see in your inbox are all your starred items. Then below all that you see a list of "Everything else" which includes unimportant emails and important emails that you already read but didn't star. This makes it really easy to make sure that you've at least handled everything important even when your inbox is a mess.
You may be wondering how it works. How could Google possibly know what emails are important to you? Well, it's not a perfect system, but they collect tons of data about which emails you and other users regularly read, respond to, forward etc. and they use this data to make educated guesses about which future emails you'll be interested in. You also have the option to manually mark messages as important or unimportant and Google's algorithm will learn your preferences over time.
If you're interested in trying the priority inbox, you'll need to enable it in your account by clicking here. It's not for everyone though. I love the idea, but I almost never have more than 10 emails in my inbox anyway (I'm a believer in Inbox Zero) so it doesn't really help me that much (and it doesn't work with multiple inboxes). But I think anyone that struggles with email overload should definitely give it a shot.
If you do try it, let me know what you think in the comments. It's a pretty radical departure from the conventional inbox and I'm interested to see how people respond.