Jun 052015
 

I don’t do it often. But have you tried Google Inbox? It’s really cool.

I tried it a month or so ago, and hated it. I didn’t like its bundling of my messages, and I found navigation difficult, and the space on my screen imposed by its adherence to Google’s “material design” felt wasted.

But the other day, I tried it again. I don’t know if it’s improved or if I just stuck with it a little longer, but, two days in, I love it.

Here are the things I like best:

  • Snoozing messages is cool. I can remove messages from my inbox and have them return at a specific time or (especially cool) place. I can say, “remind me NOT to eat pizza the next time I walk by my favorite pizza parlor.” Or, remind me to answer those work-related e-mails when I’m in my office (and stop making me think about them every time I look at my e-mail in the meantime).

  • Tasks are a breeze to create, and perfectly integrated. If an e-mail makes me realize I have to do something, I don’t have to leave the e-mail in my inbox to remind me or, worse, switch to my tasks app to record it.

  • It’s pretty. The material design look takes getting used to, but I’m sold.

  • It’s fun to use. I have found myself going to the app just to use it. That’s kinda cool.

It has some problems, to be sure.

As is often the case with Google products, in their zeal to make my life easier, they’ve taken away some things I liked about e-mail. I can’t, for example, see all my mail, including archived (or, in the parlance of Inbox, “done”) messages. I can find them easily, sure, but I can’t see them all at once. So finding a message I just dismissed is a bit more complicated than just typing “G-A” for “go to all messages.”

And the inbox view includes image previews that can’t be shut off. (Google had responded to this complaint in its product forums by saying, essentially, “You only think you want this feature, but trust us, you’ll come to realize your life is better without it.”) I need that feature. I don’t always want the person sitting next to me to see that insanely hot picture you just send me of you with your finger rubbing your clit under your jeans, or of your pretty ass, or thighs, or breasts. This is, for me, kind of a fatal flaw: it means I have to stick with Gmail in certain circumstances.

The snooze message feature is cool, really cool, but why not let me snooze messages for a number of minutes, rather than (in addition to) snoozing until a particular time. I often want a fifteen-minute reprieve, and it seems silly to make me enter the precise time that represents rather than just touch a button.

Finally, Inbox isn’t integrated with Google Drive (yet, I assume). I make constant use of Gmail’s “move to drive” feature for documents that belong in my online filing system. I love Google Drive, and use it constantly. This oversight costs me serious time, requiring me to do manual filing work that Gmail had made close to effortless.

I have other gripes, but I have to say, Inbox is, mostly, a joy to use, and I expect it will only get better. Check it out.

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