Not all e-mails are created equal, which is why Google has launched a new Gmail feature that prioritizes emails in your Inbox for you, separating the important e-mails from the ones that can be sent later.
“People tell us all that time that they’re getting more and more mail and often feel overwhelmed by it all,” Doug Aberdeen, software engineer, explained on the Official Google Blog on Monday. “It’s time-consuming to figure out what needs to be read and what needs a reply.”
To help, the company is introducing Priority Inbox. Think of it as a spam filter on steroids. It breaks your Inbox down into three separate categories: “Important and unread,” “Starred” and “Everything else.” And as emails come in, they are classified as “Important and Unread” or “Everything Else.” The “Starred folder” is where users can move messages they’ll need for future reference.
According to the blog post, Gmail uses a variety of signals to decide what message belongs where, including who you email most and which messages you actually open and/or reply to. It will also classify an e-mail based on how quickly a sender’s previous messages were deleted or how long they were stored.
“If you e-mail Bob a lot, a message from Bob is probably important,” Aberdeen wrote.
Similar to the company’s existing GoogleReader, Priority Inbox is designed to get better as you use it. So while it is intended to minimize the hours logged into Gmail, it will require some initial face time.