Gmail labs – Multiple Inboxes for idiots (like me)
If you’re a bit stupid like me, then you may have passed over Gmail’s Multiple Inbox lab feature without giving it a fair look.
I had initially dismissed the feature as a bit of a novelty (based largely on just enabling it and with the default settings – I know, I know), but it turns out that when you actually use it properly its an incredibly useful tool. The extra inboxes are like table views which are populated by a Google mail search. Using advanced Gmail search operators you can tailor the additional inboxes to display mail meeting quite detailed criteria.
For example, I recently came across a situation where I wanted to be able to collate a large number of incoming listings from Freecycle during the day without them cluttering my inbox, but while still keeping them handy and accessible (and without having to go wading through the giant bucket of everything that is All Mail).
To acheive this, I set up a filter to tag the emails and auto archive them. I then configured an inbox view with a search term to capture all of the unread “freecycle” tagged messages that were not in my inbox – giving me view that acts like a todo list of relevent emails waiting to be read.