5 great tips for getting more out of Google Inbox

google inbox
Credit: Google

Google Inbox is big improvement over plain Gmail, but it can still be made better. Here are five tips for powering up Google Inbox even more.

Unleash the power of bundles

Bundles are one of the most powerful, and most confusing, features in Inbox. They're similar to labels in normal Gmail, but do morel. Bundles hold groups of related message. As new messages come into a bundle, the entire bundles shows up at the top of your Inbox. You can then see not just the newest messages, but all related ones as well.

If you have a label you want to turn into a bundle, click the menu icon at the top left of the Google Inbox screen, scroll down to the label, then click the the gear icon. Click the Add button and from the screen that appears, type in the email addresses of the people whose incoming mail you want added to the bundle. Click Save. From the screen that appears, choose when to have the bundle appear in your Inbox, either as a new message comes in, once a day, or once a week. Then click Close.

To create a new bundle from scratch, first create a label by clicking the menu icon at the top left of the Google Inbox screen, scrolling down, and clicking Create new. Type in the label's name and click Save. Now that you've got a label, follow the instructions from the previous paragraph for turning it into a label.

Use gestures on the iOS and Android apps

Both iOS and Android have Google Inbox apps. And both support gestures for accomplishing basic tasks. Swipe to the right when you're reading a message and you'll mark an email as Done. Swiping left on a bundle marks all emails in the bundle as done. And swiping to the left when you're reading a message brings up the Snooze dialog.

Use keyboard shortcuts

If you're using Inbox on a computer, save yourself plenty of time by using keyboard shortcuts. There are several dozen of them, so I can't list them all here. To see them all, when you're in Inbox press the Shift-? keys simultaneously, and you'll see the entire list. Here are some of the ones I use most:

  • c Compose
  • / Search
  • i Go to inbox
  • t Create reminder
  • z Undo last action

Use power searches

Inbox has a lot of intelligence built into its search, and can do a lot more than just search by keywords. For example, type in "flight" and you'll see not just links to emails about your upcoming flights, but the important information pulled out of them, including the departure dates, terminals, seat assignments, and more. The same holds true for other things as well. Type in "airbnb" to see similar information about your Airbnb reservations.

Use snooze

Don't want to act on an email or reminder now, but want it to pop back up some time in the future? Use the snooze feature. To the right of an email or reminder, click the clock icon, and you'll be able to snooze it and then have it return at the exact day and time you want.

What if you want the mail to snooze until you arrive at a specific location? You can do that as well, using the iOS or Android app. When you're reading an email or reminder swipe to the left and then choose the Location option. Then just choose a location. The next time you're there, the email or reminder will appear.

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