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7 Great Things You Can Do With Gmail Multiple Inboxes

07 February 2009 Posted by in category: information overload with Tags , , , , , ,

Gmail multiple inboxes

Gmail lab feature “Multiple Inboxes” allows you to have more than one ‘inbox’ in your default Gmail view. You can have up to 5 additional panels and set them to display labels, your starred messages, drafts or any search you want next to your inbox. Here is how to start using Multiple Inboxes and 7 great things you can do with it.

Enabling Multiple Inboxes and setting panels

First, to enable Multiple Inboxes go to settings > labs > enable multiple inboxes

enable multiple inboxes

Enable multiple inboxes

To set a pane (another inbox view) go to settings > Multiple inboxes.
Write a in one of the panes the search query you want to display.

multiple inboxes settings

Write your search query

Great, now that we know how to use multiple inboxes, here are a few possible uses for them.

Things you can do with Multiple Inboxes

1.   Merge other email accounts

You can manage all your email accounts in one place. set a rule (or “filter” as Gmail calls it) to forward incoming emails to your active Gmail mailbox. Now, set a filter to label these emails (for example: email2) and make them skip the inbox. Create a new pane to display that label using this query:

Label:email2

From now on you will see all the emails you get to your other accounts in once place. After you reply to an email, remove the label so it will stop sowing up.  (Remember that if you reply to a massage, the name and address that will appear in the “from” filed are those of the account you replied from from! you can set a custom “from” address to solve that problem)

2.   To-do list

Set a pane to display a labal called  “to-do”.  Whenever you are assigned a task by email, label it as “to-do” and archive it.  That way, you can keep your inbox clean without missing any of your tasks or having to transfer them to external to-do list.

Use this query:

Label:to-do

3.   Advanced to-do list

If you get a lot of tasks by email, you might want to take us and advanced to-do list. It works the same as the previous example, except that you have three levels of urgency: level1 (most argent), level2, and level3 (the least argent).

Set up three panes using the following queries:

Label:level1

Label:level2

Label:level3

4.   Separate emails from important senders

Set a filter to assign the label “important” to emails from your most important clients. Create a pane to display that label, and Voilà! – Your top clients get top respond time.

Query:

Label:important

5.   Separate emails by source

Got a blog or website? are you an active participant in online forums? Set a filter to label massages people send you through the contact form in your website, comments to your posts, or replies to your questions in forums, and set a pane to display it.

That way, you can separate work related emails form your website, blog or forums related emails and have more control over the time you allocate to each of them. You can do the same to separate alerts form Facebook or LinkedIn.

Here are example queries you can use:

from:Facebook

from:linkedin

<Your Blog’s Name> comment

6.   Use Gmail as an ubiquitous notepad

Let’s say you want to document an idea you had, but also what it accessible from anywhere. Write it in a new email and save it. After saving a draft in Gmail, you can assign a label to it. Refresh the page and assign the label “notepad” to the draft.

Set a pane with the following search query:

label:drafts AND label:notepad

And there you have it – your document is available whenever you can access your email. keep editing and saving that draft. As long as you do not send it to anyone, it’ll keep serving you as a portable notepad.

7.   Turn Gmail into a mini playlist

People send you songs by email? Set a pane with the following query and enjoy your songs every time you open your inbox:

.mp3 has:attachment

These are my ideas of how to use Multiple Inboxes. Have other ides? Tell me in the comments and I’ll add thme to the list!

More about multiple inboxes

33 Responses to “7 Great Things You Can Do With Gmail Multiple Inboxes”

  1. Todd 8 February 2009 at 2:41 pm (PERMALINK)

    Great ideas. Thanks!

    Author
  2. Dmitri Eroshenko, Relenta 8 February 2009 at 2:42 pm (PERMALINK)

    Multiple Inboxes? More of the same! According to Google, Gmail sucks 50% more than Outlook (3.1M vs. 2.2M search results).

    Author
  3. eyal sela 8 February 2009 at 2:43 pm (PERMALINK)

    sure Todd, I’m glad you liked it!

    Author
  4. @lucianhutanu 8 February 2009 at 2:45 pm (PERMALINK)

    7 Great Things You Can Do With Gmail Multiple Inboxes http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  5. @tejindersingh 8 February 2009 at 5:11 pm (PERMALINK)

    got this from a fellow tweeter about multiple inboxes, thought to pass it on : http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  6. @rubenmedios 8 February 2009 at 11:36 pm (PERMALINK)
    Author
  7. Thomas Ho 9 February 2009 at 5:44 am (PERMALINK)

    When I reply to the forwarded email, the reply is addressed to my Gmail address. Is there any way to get the reply addressed correctly to the original sender?

    Author
  8. Hamid 9 February 2009 at 8:15 am (PERMALINK)

    Awesome job!
    Love the ideas

    Author
  9. eyal sela 9 February 2009 at 10:18 am (PERMALINK)

    thanks Hamid :)

    Author
  10. eyal sela 9 February 2009 at 10:21 am (PERMALINK)

    Thomas – when I reply to an email it works fine, I always get the sender’s address and not mine…
    the only time I get my address is when I sent the email.

    are you sure that’s not the case ?

    Author
  11. @rafalacerda 9 February 2009 at 1:02 pm (PERMALINK)

    7 Great Things You Can Do With Gmail Multiple Inboxes. http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  12. eyalsela 9 February 2009 at 10:53 pm (PERMALINK)

    test

    Author
  13. @TwitLinksRSS 10 February 2009 at 7:10 am (PERMALINK)

    7 Great Things You Can Do With Gmail Multiple Inboxes | ProductiveWise: Gmail lab feature “ Multiple Inbox.. http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  14. @petersonwally 10 February 2009 at 4:36 pm (PERMALINK)

    @ckendall Check these posts on uses for Gmail’s multiple inboxes http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya and http://viigo.im/22h

    Author
  15. @SannWood 10 February 2009 at 6:26 pm (PERMALINK)

    7 Great Things You Can Do With Gmail Multiple Inboxes http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  16. Martin Lindeskog 11 February 2009 at 12:27 am (PERMALINK)

    Great tips! It sounds like a “homemade” version of GTDinbox.

    Author
  17. eyal sela 11 February 2009 at 7:49 am (PERMALINK)

    Thanks Martin, I’m glad to hear that!

    Author
  18. eyalsela 13 February 2009 at 2:04 am (PERMALINK)

    Thomas – when I reply to an email it works fine, I always get the sender's address and not mine…
    the only time I get my address is when I sent the email.

    are you sure that's not the case ?

    Author
  19. @labnol 13 February 2009 at 1:27 pm (PERMALINK)

    Things you can do with Gmail multiple inboxes http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  20. @vivek1209 13 February 2009 at 1:27 pm (PERMALINK)

    RT @labnol: Things you can do with Gmail multiple inboxes http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  21. @kinshuksunil 13 February 2009 at 2:05 pm (PERMALINK)

    "bt yet, it feels weird…" rt @labnol Things you can do with Gmail multiple inboxes http://tinyurl.com/b8sqya

    Author
  22. Kevin 13 February 2009 at 2:34 pm (PERMALINK)

    Great article. However i miss few things in gmail multiple boxes feature.
    1. Drag and drop feature where we can re-arrange inboxes
    2. Minimize/maximize: This will help to minimize inboxes.

    Author
  23. Jag SEO Follow 14 February 2009 at 9:28 am (PERMALINK)

    Graet one I already had tried and I liked :)

    Its good that you wrote your exp, others wil find useful, cheers

    Author
  24. eyal sela 14 February 2009 at 11:27 pm (PERMALINK)

    thanks Jag!

    Author
  25. @sankar_datti 14 February 2009 at 11:40 pm (PERMALINK)

    7 Great Things You Can Do With Gmail Multiple Inboxes @labnol http://ow.ly/g1z

    Author
  26. hattin 21 April 2009 at 7:55 pm (PERMALINK)

    pieter

    Author
  27. hattin 21 April 2009 at 7:56 pm (PERMALINK)

    pieter

    Author
  28. Vikas 20 December 2010 at 12:34 pm (PERMALINK)

    Great info, very impressive, thanks

    Author
  29. Joe 4 May 2011 at 6:12 am (PERMALINK)

    Thanks for the info, works great!

    Author