For many years, I’ve been a desktop mail client kind of guy – Mail.app on the Mac to be clear. It just worked for me, brought me a consolidated inbox (I’ve got about a dozen different email accounts around the globe), and a bunch of filters (Mail.app calls them “Rules”).
Since I migrated both work and personal email to Google Apps for Domains a couple of years ago I’ve been increasingly drawn to doing some email work in the browser. In fact, as Chrome has matured, I’ve basically got it configured with Tabs for my various email accounts. But I never committed to mail in the browser – if you know what I mean. Mail.app was my mail client.
Then, two weeks ago, Google announced the launch of priority inbox – a clever way to cleave the noise in your inboxes to separate the wheat from the chaff. Using some nifty smart algorithms that flip span filtering upside down, Gmail now does a more than decent job of identifying what’s important from what isn’t in my endless email stream. And, if it guesses wrong, I can quickly tell it to adjust – and it remembers. (There’s a weird sense of power clicking on an email from someone it thought was important and lowering them to just regular – and vice versa!). Of course, none of this matters (or works!) unless you’re doing email in the browser.
So, after giving it a trial workout, I’ve now migrated most of my email work into the browser – with Mail.app just running alongside for old time’s sake. I’ve learned most of the shortcut keys in Gmail – and it’s become quite productive – feeling faster and easier than Mail.app.
That’s the latest in my endless email story – how about you?
By the way, here are the settings I’m using for Priority Inbox: