Gmail’s New ‘Priority Inbox’

by Ferman Aziz

Google is rolling out yet another new revolutionary Gmail feature today which aims to make email sorting and managing easier and much more productive. If you rely heavily on emails for your work, Gmail’s ‘Priority Inbox’ is a God send for your inbox woes.


The new feature is basically an algorithm which picks up hints from your emailing habits –keywords, addresses you email most, messages you open and respond to first etc- and displays the most important emails on the top of your inbox. You can mark your messages as important or unimportant and the algorithm will adapt itself to show you the most urgent emails first. You can also use Gmail’s filters to automatically mark certain messages as important (for example, from your boss or your spouse).

This feature will help especially those users who have to deal with a plethora of customer/client emails, news letters, chain letters, random forwards from friends, confirmation emails etc and they end up digging for their important messages in this long list.

There’s almost no setup: once it’s activated on your account, you’ll see a prompt asking you if you want to enable Priority Inbox. You can choose from a few options (the order of your various inboxes and if there are any contacts you’d like to always mark ‘Important’) and the feature will start working. It’ll appear as a new menu item just above the “Inbox” link and will show 3 sections within your Gmail interface: 1) Important and Unread 2) Starred 3) Everything Else.

The first section will only show the priority emails that still require your attention. You can change settings if it wrongly shows an unimportant email in the Priority Inbox. You can star message you’ve read but want to keep handy and in easy access and they’ll appear in the ‘Starred’ section. ‘Everything Else’ section will obviously contain the rest of your un-archived inbox.

Google tested the feature for 18 months internally and found that users spent 16% less time reading insignificant e-mail. If you do the math, that’s about a full week’s worth of time saved. According to Google, once someone switches to Priority Inbox, he or she never needs or wants to go back.

Google will be rolling out the feature to all Gmail users and for Google apps within this week. Check out the video below to know more about the ‘Priority Inbox’.

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