When it comes to lassoing the thousand demands on our attention, we all have different strategies. A daily Post-it note on your desk, a detailed planner–maybe even alerts on your phone. But one to rule them all might just be the new Google Inbox. If you have a Gmail account, and if you are a teacher, you’ll want to upgrade the desktop version and replace the app on mobile devices with Inbox today. Here’s why:
- You can snooze emails for later. I don’t know about you, but when I receive 11 high-priority emails simultaneously, but only have time to address 3, it translates to instant background worry that the other 8 will slip through the cracks. This is one of many reasons I love the snooze feature. If you know you’ll have time to email Johnny’s dad back later that evening, or maybe tomorrow morning, you can easily dismiss it until that time. Not sure when you’ll have time to revisit an idea introduced in an email (like an annual conference or newsletter on an interesting gadget), but know you don’t want to forget it forever? Just snooze until “Someday.”
- You can create Reminders. Watch your email inbox become a neat, one-stop for all school-related to-do’s. When you hover over the bottom right circle, you can either compose an email or add a reminder for yourself that gets added into your inbox. You can also schedule these to display at specific dates/times or preset times (ie, “This weekend”). No more leaving to fate (or sticky notes) your intention to follow-up with Susie on her book choice next Monday, or to share that new resource with your grade level team. The mobile app is just as adept at this.
- It will conveniently group your emails. Instead of every. single. email. cluttering up your screen in a long list, you can utilize Inbox’s bundling feature. For instance, instead of rows and rows of emails from Scholastic, Youtube, and DonorsChoose interspersed among more pressing emails, you can set them to show up in one Updates bundle line that expands when you click on it. Other bundles include Purchases, Finance, Promos, Trips, and Saved–and you can even make your own.
- You can clean out your box quickly. The Done button is another favorite feature. Instead of clicking on an email and then trying to decide if I want to archive it, trash it, or send it to a group, I can just click one beautiful checkmark that appears next to the email when I hover on it. This feature becomes even more beautiful when it comes to bundles–I can click to expand all those Updates emails, quickly glance down the list to check whether anything needs my attention, and then click Done to sweep the entire bundle from my box.
- The pinning feature adds even more flexibility. If a more important email shows up in a bundle that you’d otherwise like to sweep out, you can just pin it and it will move to your main inbox. You can also toggle the view so you see only pinned vs. unpinned items at a time.
And there are hints of more time-saving features to be added all the time. As much as we all dislike change, Inbox is definitely a winner. Make time this summer to tinker with it for a more organized and efficient next school year!