Is Google Inbox what it is cracked up to be?

google-inboxIf you have not heard of Google’s Inbox it is Google’s “feeling” of what email is.  It stems from some work they have done to gmail in the past to help you declutter email.  From Google’s own site it is “The inbox that works for you”.  Also stated letting us know we are allowed to “Meet your new inbox.  Built on everything we learned from Gmail, Inbox is a fresh start that goes beyond email to help you get back to what matters.”

Google Inbox Beta Invite

I was invited to try out Google Inbox on November 11th, and I was kind of excited.  Email to be is troublesome.  I have a lot flowing in and it seems to cut into my productivity.  This is not a good thing – so I was very eager to try it out.  I have turned off all the extra “features” of gmail they added a while back…which are basically the same things they are presenting in a different way in the Inbox product.  So – to say the least I was skeptical.

gmail-checker-plusBut – I went in full bore and changed everything over.  Like I said – I am hardcore with email.  I was a “Gmail Checker Plus” guy and could visually see the number of unread emails I had in gmail and it ran my life.  I HAD TO KNOW who that unread email was from.  But – to be able to get rid of that excited me too.

Cold Turkey – all in with Inbox

So, I jumped in with both feet – deleted the app to remind me of my missed emails and relied exclusively on Inbox for my email.  I had the Android App on my phone and only used Inbox on the computer too.  And for the first week or so – it went well.  I really liked it in fact.  I didn’t feel burdened by the unread ticker and felt like I was actually getting more done.  That is – until I realized I was missing some emails.

My big Google Inbox Issue

This lead to my biggest issue with Inbox.  I have a pretty extensive method of filters as emails come in.  I don’t let all emails go right to the inbox, but label them and get to some things once a day to make sure all is right with the world.  Well – I struggled to find those emails.  They were there – but I didn’t have a visual on them like I do with gmail.

I have an SEO Testing website and I get emails from it.  When I am in the main section of Inbox – I don’t see those messages because of the filters I had setup in the past.

google-inbox-clean

No indication there are any “new” emails deeper in my labels.

Even if I drop the menu down and look at the folders - no indication.

Even if I drop the menu down and look at the folders – no indication.

 

Gmail New Message Count

Here is the same label in gmail - now I have a visual of the number of new emails from the SEO site.Here is the same label in gmail – nnotice the “(1)” letting me know I have an unread message waiting for me from the SEO site.

This allows me to see those emails right from my inbox, I relate it to the left nav of a webpage.  I like it and I can decide to deal with it now or later when I have a moment.

This works for me.  It gives me some order or at least a feeling of control.  The stops everything from getting piled up in the gmail inbox, but allows me to know where I am with follow up emails.

Gmail vs Inbox Winner

People are going to call this a cop out, but I use both.  When I am on my laptop, there is nothing for me that beats Google Gmail.  I like the list of labels down the left side and I can see what I have going on.  I can read labels I know are important and ignore some I can let ride for a little while.

google-inbox-mobileBut – when I am mobile, I LOVE Inbox.  It works – it gives me just the things I need to attend to while not at my desktop.

Looking for more people’s Inbox story?

JR Raphael – from Computer World “Six weeks with Google’s Inbox — and why it’s back to Gmail for me

Kyt Dotson – from SiliconANGLE “One week with Google Inbox: A technology reporter’s experience

Todd Haselton – from Technobuffalo “Google Inbox Hands-On – An Amazing E-mail Experience

How do you get a Google Inbox beta invite?

Check out the Google Inbox site and click the blue button – or this link will get you there too.