Friday, February 18, 2011

Gmail Priority Inbox: Getting Important Things Done First

If you get a lot of emails and have trouble deciding which emails to read and reply to first, google mails new priority inbox might be the right thing for you:

It sorts your emails into two categories (you can even set more) important and everything else by following criteria that are displayed as seperate blocks beneath each other:

  • emails you read
  • emails you respond to
  • emails you mark as important or unimportant

You even get a new navigation item called “priority inbox” so that you can switch to you standard inbox any time.

To turn it on, just go to your settings –> “priority inbox” tab. You can adjust your settings any time.

What About “Getting Things Done” and “Inbox Zero”?

If you are familiar with Merlin Manns “inbox zero” concept or David Allens Getting Things Done methodology, you might be wondering, whether “priority inbox” actually keeps you from getting things done.

Both todo management strategies rely on you not having to decide what to read and what not, but just going through your emails or todos and either archiving, delegating, making an action out of it or just doing it. The goal is to get your inbox empty.

Priority Inbox on the other hand seems to put emphasis on certain emails instead of others. This “everything else” part could not get enough attention and eventually grow over time until becoming unmanageable. Thus being an annoying stress factor in your todo management strategy.

Have you tried gmails “priority inbox” and what are your experiences?

I will try it out the next couple of weeks and report on mine :)


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