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5 reasons to switch to Inbox by Gmail, and 4 reasons not to

Ben Patterson | June 19, 2015
You've been away from your desk for an hour--just one hour!--and already, you've got 20 or 30 email messages stacked up in your inbox. It could be nothing more than the usual pile of newsletters, retail promos and updates from company mailing lists--or it could be something big. The only way you'll know is if you stop what you're doing and take a peek.

The solution? Snooze it. Once you've snoozed a message, it'll disappear into the snooze folder until its appointed time or place.

Open the message in Inbox, tap the Snooze button (it's the one shaped like a clock), and pick a snooze time--anything from later today to tomorrow morning, next week, or any other day. You can even snooze a message until you physically arrive at your office.

3. You can "pin" messages to your inbox

I'm a bit of a neat-freak when it comes to my email. I like to file messages away into subfolders (or "label" them, as we say in Gmail) as soon as I get them. Then again, if I tuck a message under a label too quickly, I might forget to send a reply.

Thanks to Inbox's "pinning" feature, I can have my cake and eat it too when it comes to organizing my email.

Just tap the pin button at the top of a message to keep in "pinned" to your inbox, even if you've already added a label to the message.

4. Let Inbox remind you to respond to a message

Sometimes, I'll keep a message in my inbox not because I need to respond to the message, but because I'm reminding myself to do something. For example, I might keep a clothing receipt pinned because I need to return a shirt that's a bit too tight.

With Inbox, you can actually make note of what a given message is supposed to remind you to do, rather than relying on the message itself to jog your (iffy?) memory.

Once you've pinned a message, just tap the "Remember to" field below the subject line, and type in whatever it is you need to do. Among the options: call a contact, send an email, meet someone, check in at the airport, make a reservation, or return a purchase. Even better, Inbox may suggest a reminder after scanning the content of the message.

You can check all your Inbox reminders by tapping the three-line menu button in the top-left corner of the screen and selecting Reminders.

5. You can change your mind after sending an email message

Here's a feature that's perfect for anyone who ever felt a stab of remorse--or panic--after tapping the Send button.

Whenever you send a message using Inbox, you'll get about 15 seconds or so after tapping Send to change your mind. Just tap "Undo" at the bottom of the screen to catch the message before it takes leave of the outbox.

So much for the pros--what about the cons? Let's start with...

Inbox by Gmail: The cons

1. Inbox works only with Gmail

There's a reason that Inbox's official name is "Inbox by Gmail": It works only with Gmail accounts. If you use Yahoo Mail, iCloud, Outlook, or another email service, you'll either have to go without Inbox or forward your messages to a Gmail address.

 

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