A few years ago, Google released Inbox, a new way to help manage your Gmail. It’s aimed at folks with busy inboxes, and refinements over the years have made it quite impressive. I’ve used it a few times, but always ended up going back to good old Gmail. Gmail has some great power tools (such as Send & Archive) that are hard to give up.
However, a few weeks ago I discovered ActiveInbox, which is a Chrome extension that makes your Gmail better. There are a lot of tools out there like this, but one thing in particular jumped out at me. Watch the video and see what happens at the 2:15 mark:
ActiveInbox has more tools than I really need (I have no desire to replace Asana and Google Keep as my to-do tools), but the ability to automatically remind me if someone hasn’t replied is awesome. Other tools (such as Boomerang) have similar features, but I love the implementation on ActiveInbox.
My previous solution was to send a reply to someone, and then hopefully remember to add a task in Asana to check back in with them if I hadn’t heard back in x days. This solution is much easier, and it will automatically go away if the person indeed replies.
Back to Inbox
All of that said, I’ve gone back to Google Inbox. ActiveInbox was great, but really too bloated for my needs. Being able to keep track of open-ended emails was great, but it took too many clicks to get there. I can do roughly the same in Inbox by simply “snoozing” an email for a date in the future. If they reply, the email comes back up anyhow (thus killing the snooze) and if they don’t reply then the snooze has me covered. It should work quite well.
You can read more about snoozing here or watch the video below for an overview of Inbox:
If you want to dig deeper, this video digs deeper into Inbox:
If you tend to keep a lot of emails in your inbox or have a need to keep up with reminders like that, Google Inbox might be the best solution for you. However, if you keep a clean inbox and have no need for snoozing, good old Gmail is probably your best bet.
What do you use to manage your email?