Tips - Priority Inbox



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*Gmail: Be more productive with Priority Inbox

Are you overwhelmed with the number of emails in your Inbox and how long it takes to wade through them all? Where do you begin? Which messages are important and which can you deal with later? It’s estimated that in 2009, over 247 billion emails were sent every day - that’s billions with a b! It’s also estimated that the average corporate user can expect to receive over 228 messages daily. Whew! We think that’s a lot of email to deal with!

The good news is that Gmail has a feature that helps you prioritize messages in your Inbox. It’s called (Ta Da!) - Priority Inbox. Priority Inbox is simply a different view of your current Inbox that automatically separates your ‘important’ messages from those, well, ‘not-so-important’ messages. It’s completely customizable, and you can get back to your regular inbox with a simple click!

Enable your Priority Inbox

To try out this feature, just point your mouse at your Inbox label, click the small down arrow that appears, and select Priority Inbox.

To get back to your regular inbox, simply open the same menu you used to enable Priority Inbox, and choose another option (such as Classic).
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Priority Inbox at a glance

Once you enable your Priority Inbox, you’ll notice that it’s divided into three sections:

  • Important and unread: All messages Gmail deems important
  • Starred: Any starred messages
  • Everything else: Messages that Gmail believes may not be that important to you

Training Priority Inbox

If you discover a message under Important and unread that you don’t consider important, click its importance marker (to the right of its star), to mark it as not important.


Likewise, if you discover a message in another section that IS important, click that message’s importance marker to mark it as important.


Gmail will learn what’s important and not so important to you. As you work through your messages in the Important section, any messagesyou haven’t archived, deleted or labeled automatically move down to Everything else. That’s just Priority Inbox helping to unclutter your Important section.

Customizing Priority Inbox

You can customize the different sections of your Priority Inbox by clicking the drop-down arrow at the far right of the section. Here you can change:

  • Which messages display in the section
  • How many items to display in the section
  • Whether to hide the section when it’s empty
  • Whether to add a new section or remove the current section

Priority Inbox Settings

Furthermore, you can open all the Priority Inbox settings to select these options:

  • The default Inbox you want to view when you open Gmail.
  • Exactly what appears in each section.
  • Add a fourth section that can also display messages by label (click More options).
  • Override any current filters you use.
  • Turn markers on or off in your Inbox.
  • Disable Priority Inbox (by choosing another Inbox type).

To open your Priority Inbox settings, choose Settings from the large gear menu, and go to the Inbox tab:

Tips for making the most of Priority Inbox

To be most productive, go through all the messages in the Important and unread section first. This way, you’ll know that you’re handling your pressing messages first. Then, when you have time, move through the messages under Everything else.

The average person spends about 13 hours every week dealing with the email in their Inbox. Based on initial testing, Priority Inbox can reduce the amount of time you deal with your email by 6%. Now, that might not sound like much, but, once you’ve properly trained your Priority Inbox, that daily 6% could save you approximately 40 hours over the course of one year. Imagine how much more you could accomplish if you had an extra week!

So what are you waiting for? Why not try Priority Inbox? You’ve got nothing to lose - and an entire week to gain!

For more information on Priority Inbox, go to gmail.com/priorityinbox.
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