Google Inbox: First Impressions

Wow. HUGE update to Google’s email experience with the new Inbox app for both desktop and mobile.

Definitely a cleaner, more focused feel.

Really like the Compose (aka: “+” ) favorites showing who I email the most.  That’s a nice touch.

And reminders right there too…hmmm. May have to revisit certain reminders which I’ve been tossing into Evernote for lack of a better path.

Also, now that all travel related mail is in one place, it’s clear I need to do more of that. 😉

Love some of the other “bundles” too, like Finance and Social.

When I click on the checkbox for an email, it feels like I got something done, vs. just “Archiving”. Psychologically I feel a little better about handling my mail, which is curious to me as a marketer.

Minor but worthy note: remember how Gmail used to always convert other email apps’ smiley faces to “J”? Apparently that’s been fixed.

Some intiial speedbumps for me are:

Mobile email body font size is smaller than Gmail was. I’m running Large font size on my Samsung SG4 (Sprint) and I’m going to have to go to HUGE or start toting around my reading glasses, something I’ve been resisting for the last few years.

Perhaps more to the point, the font size in other apps while in Large mode seem to be fine. I’m barely able to read Inbox emails.

Embedding inline emails won’t copy/paste anymore.  I can copy an image from another app (like my fave: Snagit) and paste it right into Gmail about 80% of the time. Inbox wont’ let me do it at all.

Apparently I didn’t complete a lot of my reminders. So now I’m having to click Done on a ton of these badboys. I had some repeating Reminders so there’s several month’s worth. Would be nice to have a “select all” option, especially since it’s the same three reminders. This is my bad, not Google’s but still I cant’ believe I’m the only one who has backlogged Reminders that just need to be cleared (not completed). Maybe there is a way to do this en masse but I can’t find it. So I’m clicking away. These three were daily reminders so…yeah.

Oddly, search seems neutered. It’s quick and all (even seems quicker than Gmail, which is amazing). But what do I do with the results? Obviously I can read one if I want, but what if I want to create a search filter based on the results? Is that functionality no longer available? No longer necessary? What if I want to delete all the mail from a certain sender after unsub’ing from their newsletter? How do I do that?

Inbox is using a TON of memory and processor (the latter not shown in image, but is running at 24-30% as I write this). And I’m feeling it too. Typing is sloooow even though I have about 5x less windows open than usual. I hope they can fix the memory hogging. That’s going to be a deal killer for me even though I’m running on an 8GB RAM machine. I’ll keep on eye on this, too, in case it’s a fluke for some reason.

Chrome task manager

Update: Closed both Gmail and Inbox and reopened only Inbox. So far, so good.

Scrolling is wonky if you’re in the middle of an email. I was responding to one of my manufacturers and scrolled down a bit to move the email up closer to the middle of my screen. Suddenly the email close and disappeared. I was able to find it but I have to believe a less savvy email user (and here I’m thinking of my dear mother) would be somewhat flummoxed by that.  I can’t hear the phone call now: “Honey, I was writing you back and then the email vanished…I cant’ find it…”.  In any case, scrolling should not close an email.

Snooze is great, but too slow. I tend to snooze my emails to various points int he future. The tool I use for this now is Streak CRM, which embeds it’s functionality into Gmail. What’s cool about it is I can use pretty much plain english to decide when I want to see the email again.

Streak has a very workable, fast way to pick specific snooze dates and times.

Also, the “only if no one replies” feature is a great idea too. Often resurfacing an email is only necessary if the person you were emailing didn’t get back to you and you want to follow-up some more.

In any case, having to click around in a date/time picker is more work than just typing the time in English, as far as I’m concerned.

I think that’s about it for now. I’ll keep using Inbox and may post follow-ups if there’s any feedback that seems worth posting.

The Reminder one is driving me nuts though. Can’t believe there isn’t a way to bulk mark all those reminders as Done. So many to click!


One thought on “Google Inbox: First Impressions

  1. I also just noticed a couple of things I was using heavily in Gmail aren’t there, like automatic signatures. I wonder what the plan is there?

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