Gmail Priority Inbox Now Available

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Gmail has a new feature called priority inbox that will let you tell Gmail what email messages are important and which ones are not. A lot of people’s email inbox get overloaded with emails and until now you could star emails and filter them with labels. Gmail’s spam filtering system gets does do a good job at understanding what is junk email, however Gmail has never been able to identify what is not junk but also not important.

Priority Inbox is designed to get smarter the more it is told what messages are important and not important. The Gmail team has been testing this new feature internally at Google and has also had a select group of Gmail and Google Apps users test it for awhile. Now the Gmail team is ready to release Priority Inbox

quick drawing of gmail priority inbox

With this updated version of Gmail’s filtering system not only will it know what is spam, it will also know what you think is important. To do this there are new buttons that have a +(plus) and a -(minus). You use these buttons to tell Gmail which emails are important using the +(plus) button and which ones are not using the -(minus) button.

gmail's new top header with priority inbox

As you will notice all of the messages that are important will have a little arrow with it telling you that it has been marked important. Notice the arrow right before the subject line of the email from the Gmail Team.

gmail priority inbox screenshot

You do not have to tell Gmail which message is important or not important for every email. Gmail’s filtering system will quickly understand what messages you deem important including such factors as:

  • if you email a certain person a lot, then emails from them are more likely important
  • certain types of messages you star are more likely to be important
  • emails with certain keywords, if you read a lot of emails that contain the phrase SEO, then Gmail will think that emails with the phrase SEO are deemed important
  • messages you archive without opening are probably deemed un-important and will go into the everything else folder

To do more configuration on how you would like Gmail to treat your Priority Inbox then you can simply click on Settings at the top right corner of Gmail and then set some parameters.

gmail priority inbox settings

Gmail will be rolling this feature out over the next week for both Gmail and Google Apps. To see if you have it just look at the top right corner of your Gmail and look to see if it has New Priority Inbox in red. Right now priority inbox will not be available in Gmail on Mobile devices.

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