GMail’s “Inbox Categories”

GmailCategoriesIf you use Gmail, you know what I mean when I say “those confounded new Gmail tabs”. In June, Google rolled out Inbox Categories which they tout as organising your inbox so that messages “are classified into categories such as Social, Promotions, and Updates”. They say it’s supposed to help categorise your mail so that you see what you want to see when you want to see it. I say it’s just annoying because after being used to your Inbox looking a particular way for so long, this is just an added annoyance. It doesn’t really help.

Well, here at, the problem is doubled because most of our Newsletter recipients no longer even see our emails because they get shunted to a different tab. If you spend a great deal of time in your Inbox (and I sure hope you don’t), then you’ve probably figured out how to tweak these filters so they work for you. Here’s one way:

  1. Open your Gmail and notice the new “tabbing” setup.
  2. Click the “Promotions” tab. And incidentally, emails could just as easily end up in one of the other tabs too, so check them all.
  3. Look for any emails from “” and then drag it to the “Primary” folder. Drag by clicking your LEFT Mouse button over the email Subject line and then holding it down while you pull the email to the Primary Tab.
  4. A question will pop up asking if you want this done automatically in the future. Click “YES”

The other way is to disable these annoying tabs altogether. I’ve done that because I got tired of searching through all those tabs to find the email I need and filter each individually. I was doing fine manually filtering my emails myself, thanks anyway Google. To do that, here are those steps:

  1. Go to the Settings box in the upper right hand corner of your inbox and choose “Settings.”
  2. Click on the “Inbox” tab, then unselect all categories except “Primary.”

If you do spend some time with your Gmail Inbox and want to know how best to tweak this new feature perfectly, has an article itemising some of the pitfalls and flaws of this new design and gives you some insight into how to fine-tune it as best as possible.

If you ask for my advice, I say disable them.  We spend enough time in our inboxes as is. I don’t need any more reasons to stay in there, and I suggest you don’t either. Email is already too much of a time sink.

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