2.05.2009

Google, My Enabler

I love Google for so many reasons; one of them being they facilitate my almost OCD-level need to organize, catergorize, label, and color-code my world. Their latest trick: multiple inboxes in Gmail. At first, I thought this meant I would be able to view more than one Gmail account in one window (I have seven five-ish Gmails, not including the emails I run via Google Apps);alas, for this purpose, I must continue to forward all my accounts into one. Instead, Multiple Inboxes allows a user to have multiple panes of emails based on a search query.

For example, the top pane in my inbox contains only unread emails located in my inbox (as opposed to unread but archived emails); it is based on the search "is:unread in:inbox". Another pane displays emails in my inbox that I have labeled "todo" or have starred, not including the unread emails in the first pane ("in:inbox (label:todo OR is:starred) -is:unread"). Sorting my inbox this way prioritizes my emails by how I feel the need to see them, putting the most important ones up top, rather than merely listing them in chronological order. I'm hoping this will prevent "todos" and other priority items from getting lost at the bottom of my inbox. There is also the option of putting additional inboxes to the right of the main inbox, however I don't have a wide-enough screen for this...and it made my Gmail visually unbalanced....like I said, slightly OCD.



[image courtesy of the Official Gmail Blog]

Multiple Inboxes is a Lab feature and must be enabled before you can configure it. For more information, see the Gmail blog post New in Labs: Multiple Inboxes. The list of Gmail search operators can also be very helpful in setting up your inboxes.

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