Do you remember Inbox by Google? Do you miss it as much as I do? Sure, Google gave us many of the features the service had, but we’re still waiting very impatiently for the ‘Bundles’ feature to come around as I think they’ve promised.
Gmail is extensible, but…
Luckily, Chrome extensions like Simplify Gmail brings a cleaner interface and even the ability to sort your inbox by date, and Inboxy and Breef for Gmail bring back the Bundles feature way before Google even got a chance to get their coffee the morning after they killed the feature off.
However, I’m the kinda guy who likes to do things without extensions if at all possible. Keeping Chrome lean and mean is essential, especially as I’ve had issues with Google Sync causing issues due to Settings or Extensions acting up and crashing the browser and Google already loads it with so much beyond what source Chromium packs in.
Today, I’m going to show you how to set up Gmail’s ‘Multiple Inboxes’ to reflect the visual grouping of emails you used to get in Inbox by Google. This means that when you open your Gmail tab, you’ll have a segment at the top showing you emails that came in today, a clear separator displaying emails you received yesterday, another below that showing emails that came in for the rest of the week, and lastly, a segment below even that showing you emails that are older.
I personally quite like having this because it allows me some mental separation and I don’t feel so overwhelmed. Prior to setting this up, I exclusively used Shortwave, and it is incredible, but it’s a tad slower than Gmail, and that’s enough to turn me off from it for a while and try something new.
How to ‘Inbox’-ify your Gmail inbox
Okay, so without any further ado, let’s get started! Open Gmail on the web and navigate to this cogwheel at the top right of the web page (not the browser) as shown in the screenshot below. Then, you’ll see in the ‘Quick settings’ a ‘Multiple Inboxes’ option. Click that. You’re on ‘Default’ by default, of course! Next, click the blue ‘Customize’ link below the Multiple Inboxes option to be taken to your Gmail settings screen in full.
Here’s where the magic happens. You’re actually zipped over to the Multiple Inboxes settings section directly, where there are five ‘sections’ to fill you with a search query and section name. Here’s what I want you to do – simply copy and paste the following information into each section, and then scroll to the bottom of that page and click the ‘Save’ button. After doing so, you’ll reload your inbox entirely with the changes having taken effect!
I just want the steps!
- Visit the cogwheel at the top right of Gmail
- Select ‘Multiple Inboxes’
- Click ‘Customize’
- Section 1:
- Section 2:
older_than: 1d newer_than:2d label:inbox
- Section 3:
older_than:2d newer_than:7d label:inbox
- Section 4: older_than:7d
- Save inbox settings at the bottom of the page and reload!
I wish I could claim it’s more difficult than that, but it’s really not. The only tricky part and need to reference this article is for these search query formats. Also, be sure you give each section the appropriate section name label. Section 1 will, of course, be called ‘Today’, section 2 will be called ‘Yesterday’, section 3 should be labeled ‘Last Week’, and section 4 will be titled ‘Older’.
Anyway, I hope this guide is helpful! These extensions charge you a monthly subscription fee to do exactly this, and I personally think it’s criminal to do so. Everyone’s gotta eat, and I’ll give Simplify Gmail a pass for it since it goes above and beyond to clean up the interface and do a number of other useful things, but having the ability to continue accessing other sections of Gmail – whether it be the sidebar with Keep, Calendar and more without limitations – is now possible without an extension. Either way, enjoy your new ‘Inbox’ in Gmail!
Image credit: Google