priority inboxIt has not been a week since Gmail rolled out its newest feature called “Priority Inbox”. I have seen many positive reviews and user reactions about this feature. Even I myself wrote positive reviews about it in my first day of experience. However, as the storehouse of experience continues to grow larger, I have been disliking Priority Inbox and have finally disabled it. You can disable it from Settings > Priority Inbox > Do not show priority inbox.

The idea of Priority Inbox is brilliant, I have to admit it. As Gmail said, it can automatically detect which messages are more important for you than the others and separate them from regular messages filtering in a whole new section that you are forced to see ahead of any other messages. Very bright idea. I admit once again. But my experience with Priority Inbox is not very convincing and I am not using it any longer in my account.

The reasons are very simple. First, I don’t think the artificial intelligence behind this priority inbox that separates important messages from the other ones is brilliant. I have seen it catches few messages where I have never responded to. For example, comment notification. I receive comment notification each time a comment is left on any of my blogs. But I have never responded to those notifications. Instead, I visited the post and wrote comment. Priority Inbox started separating it as Important. I thought it separates the messages that user receives and responds most. I have no idea how come a message that I had never responded to suddenly became important.

The second reason is what made my decision to stick with ‘traditional inbox’ final. It is about Title bar. When I’m working on my computer, be it on another software or Firefox’s another tab, I always keep a careful eye on the “title bar” of Gmail’s tab for new messages. This helps me respond to messages quickly as they arrive. But I have lately noticed that with Priority Inbox active, messages that Priority Inbox does not mark as important goes to regular inbox and that count is not shown in the title. See the screenshot below:

gmail priority inbox

As you can see in the screenshot above, I have received a new message in my inbox that contains a guest post for my blog at http://www.aisajib.com. But I did not notice it as it arrived even though I was online and in front of my computer. The reason is, I was working on a separate tab and the title of that tab did not show me that there was a new message in the inbox.

This is a downside, I believe. I’m wondering what other people are thinking about it. Especially those whom this feature is intended for — the people who receive lots and lots of messages every single day.

What do you think of Priority Inbox? I know it’s a very brilliant idea, admitting it for the third time. But its less intelligent system of marking important and unimportant messages did not impress me much (I know I can manually mark the important and unimportant messages, in that case, a new label is a good old idea). What do you think of the title factor? Do you use Priority Inbox? Do you miss what I missed? Share your experience, thoughts and views on Priority Inbox of Gmail.

Written by A. I. Sajib

I love writing about technology, life, and everything between. I love photographing people. I'm a Happiness Engineer at Automattic/WordPress.com. The best way to get to know more about me is through my blog at http://ais.blog

12 comments

  1. You can always train the Gmail Priority Inbox’s AI to identify or neglect messages to be marked as Important or Unimportant. You can expect it to help sort the data but not do everything by itself! Does your cellphone automatically save the person’s name everytime there’s a new number? NO! You have to save the number yourself. It can just ask you if you want to save the number. Its the same here πŸ™‚

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    1. Well, I guess you missed that I wrote about this in the post. If I have to do it manually, I could do it previously by creating a separate label and a new filter. Creating a new filter and applying it to a certain label is way easier than marking important and unimportant messages individually.

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  2. @Sajib I agree. Breaking having the tab title (and the listing in the left sidebar) show the count of unread messages is a sad degradation from the regular inbox. I’d even love to see more control of the title. I have my Priority Inbox setup as follows: Starred, Unread and Important, then Everything Else. I would kill to be able to get the title to be prefixed with something like “(3 Unread: 1 Starred, 1 Important)”. Even just the old “(3)” would be better than nothing.

    I’m going to see if I can’t find a greasemonkey script for this, but I expect it’ll hard to find as the desired content doesn’t appear anywhere else in the page.

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    1. I rolled back to traditional inbox just because of this title problem. And I’m not going to find a greasemonkey script because I don’t want to add greasemonkey script to all browsers on different operating systems I use. Oh, and I log in to gmail from other computers, too. So, for me, it’s not a good idea to go for alternative.

      I never felt jammed or uncomfortable with regular inbox. So, I’m sticking to that.

      Thanks for your comment.

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  3. You could for the title issue just click on your regular inbox when you are online and monitoring for email as they come in. I don’t see how priority inbox being enabled hinders this at all.

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