I think we can all agree that our email boxes can stress us out to no end when it comes to being a small business owner.
- Do I keep this?
- Do I delete this?
- Do I respond to this?
- What if I don't need this email until a month from now?
- Why is my inbox so FULL all the time?
I try not to talk about systems or processes that I haven't really dug into and decided whether or not they are truly and consistently useful, but I've been using Inbox by Gmail for over a year now and despite a few attempts to actually stop using it, I kept coming back to it over and over again.
It has kept me more organized, efficient, wayyyy less stressed and I consistently achieve inbox zero multiple times per week. I love it so I wanted to share with you a few of the top reasons why!
Snooze emails to return to your inbox at a later date
My absolute #1 reason why I love Inbox so much is the snooze factor for your emails. This one feature alone is totally worth some of the drawbacks from using Inbox to view your email.
The snooze feature works similarly to another program called boomerang, but I have used both and let me tell you Inbox wins hands down and then some. It is so incredibly simple to "snooze" your email to return to your inbox at some point in the future.
This is SO INCREDIBLY handy when you have an email that you don't want to delete, but you also don't want to file it because you DO need respond to it, you just need to respond to it later. Instead of leaving it in your inbox until you are ready to respond, or filing it away in a folder where you may forget about it, you just click the snooze button, tell it when you want it to return to your inbox and then blammo! You can forget all about it and it will appear again when you need it.
This one feature is probably the number one reason I can keep my email under control at all times.
- Need to follow up with an inquiry in five days in case they haven't replied? No problem, just snooze it for 5 days from now and respond when it comes back to your inbox.
- Working on a project but waiting for someone to reply first so you can get started? Snooze the email to come back in a few days so you can follow up with them easily and remind them that you are waiting on a reply.
- Promo emails hitting your email that you want to read later but you don't have time to read now? Snooze them to return when you have blocked off some time to go through all the emails you want to read.
And on and on and on. Seriously ya'll this one feature is such a game changer and it is the main reason I will absolutely cringe if Google ever decides to do away with Inbox.
Interface is clean and organized
I'm also a sucker for things that are clean and minimal when it comes to software or tech programs. I don't like a million bells and whistles added and the system needs to be intuitive for me to use and figure out.
Inbox uses a threaded approach to email (which you can also set up in gmail) but this keeps all my related emails nice and tidy and together to keep everything organized.
There just isn't a lot on the page to distract you. Emails. Folders. That's about it. I love it.
Canned Responses + Signatures
One thing that USED to be an issue with Inbox was the lack of ability to add signatures to your emails or to use canned responses.
The lack of canned responses was honestly one of the reasons I considered moving away from Inbox a while back. The snooze feature brought me back and I just kept template emails in my drafts.
HOWEVER! The recently added the ability to use canned emails (templates) into Inbox and I could not be more happy about this. Just one other reason that this interface helps me stay on track, stay efficient and stay organized.
Easy to get back to regular Gmail
There are some things that you still need to do in regular Gmail. The two most common reasons I hop back over to gmail from time to time is to set my auto responder to on for when I'm going to be out of the office, or to create new labels.
I utilize labels a LOT to file emails away but there isn't a way to nest labels under other labels straight from Inbox. It's easy to do in Gmail and the formatting will carry over to Inbox but you can't do it directly from the interface.
Luckily, getting back over to regular Gmail is super simple. There is a link on the left side of the panel that says GMAIL. Click on that and it will take you right back over to regular Gmail.
And in case you want to see how all of this works in real life, here is a video for you where I take you through what Inbox looks like, how it functions, how to snooze emails and more! Enjoy!