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Inbox by Google: Gmail as your new ‘to do’ list

Inbox If you use your email box as a To Do list, you’re going to get very excited when you see what Google is rolling out this week. It’s not so much a Gmail update as it is a whole new way to process email. It’s called Inbox and it takes the best of what other third-party apps do and rolls it into one, simple unit.

Unlike most email handlers, Inbox groups, highlights and reschedules messages. It also acts as a personal assistant, adding information you might need to complete an anticipated task. Really. It’s spooky and it’s pretty.

Check out this clean interface. It looks much more like an app timeline than an email inbox. That’s going to take some getting used to.


In the middle, under Purchases, you see an example of highlighting. Inbox automatically highlights key information it finds in an email like flight itineraries, event information, documents, appointments. The app also adds on information from the web that wasn’t in the email. In this case, it pulled the real time tracking data on those headphones so, at a glance, you know when to expect the package.

When you get a conversation going over email, Inbox will bundle all of the messages together into one file (for lack of a better word), so you don’t have to search for all the relevant bits and pieces. It can also bundle like information such as receipts, bills, and coupons so when you’re done, you can get rid of all of them at one time with a single swipe.

Since you’re already using your email as a To Do list, Inbox makes it easier by letting you add actual reminders that aren’t emails. Then there’s Assists – and this is really crazy stuff.

And speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it’s open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.

My favorite feature is the ability to “snooze” emails and reminders so they leave your field of vision and come back at a designated time or when you’ve arrived at a particular place. I get a lot of emails with embargoed press releases and I’m always worried about jumping the gun, with the snooze feature, those emails would go away until they’re clear to be posted.

What’s in it for online marketers? If Inbox replaces Gmail, there will be a reduction in email clutter and that’s good for any email marketer. When I open my Gmail and see 50 marketing messages, I hit delete all. It’s too much. But if Inbox sorted, cataloged and highlighted information, I’d be much more likely to take advantage of a lunch coupon, a B1G1 online deal or an invitation to try a new app.

Right now, I mostly use Gmail as a catchall for junk mail but Inbox could change all of that.

Inbox is on a slow rollout. If you didn’t get an invitation, you can get one from a friend. I didn’t get an invite, so if you have one to spare, send it my way. I can’t wait to try it.

via Marketing Pilgrim - Internet News and Opinion


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