Google is officially rolling out its Gmail overhaul today, bringing users a dramatic revamp of the email client’s look, along with new features, including confidential mode, which will allow users to send "self-destructing" emails, and a snooze feature, which didn’t get quite as much press back when details about the overhaul began to emerge. So, here’s the lowdown on the Gmail snooze feature and what exactly you’ll be able to do with it once the rollout hits your account.
Snooze is, to put it completely non-dramatically, a freaking godsend for people who have busy inboxes. If you have a high-traffic email account, you probably already make use of Gmail’s labeling and sorting features, and you probably have a "get to it later" folder for all the emails you mean to reply to. Either that, or you let emails you mean to reply to pile up in your inbox, and then inbox zero becomes but a distant memory.
Snooze is a fix for all that. According to TechCrunch, now when you hover over an email (without clicking into it!), you’ll see the usual bevy of options, including archive, delete, and mark as read. But when the update arrives in your account, you’ll also see a snooze option. "When you try to snooze an email, Gmail gives you the option to resurface it later in the day, tomorrow, later this week, on the weekend or next week," TechCrunch explained.
Yes, that means an email you snooze will simply pop back up in your inbox when you want it to, as though it’s a fresh email. For folks who tend to get a lot of emails on Mondays or Fridays and would prefer to deal with them throughout the week, snooze is ideal. It’s also ideal if having something in your inbox means having it sitting in the back of your brain, and you want some breathing room before tackling a particular email, without having to worry about whether it’ll get lost in the depths of your "to reply to" label.
TechCrunch did note that you can only snooze an email when it’s sitting in your inbox — "[t]here’s no way to get to it when you’re actually reading an email," so for those of you who click into emails, then mark them as unread when you decide you don’t want to deal with them ATM, you’ll have to figure out a new habit.
If you’re one of those people who’s constantly losing emails in that "to reply to" label, though, Gmail’s rollout is also offering another solution for you. TechCrunch pointed out that the updated version will also have a "nudging" feature, where artificial intelligence (AI) will "figure out that a message is probably important to you and [resurface] it to remind you to follow up or reply." Bless.
Other rad features to help you streamline your inbox and the number of notifications it sends you include high-priority notifications, which, according to USA TODAY, is a feature where you’ll only be notified of important messages. Along with that comes detection of more unimportant messages, such as mailing lists, from which Gmail will now be able to "recommend when to unsubscribe […] based on such factors as how many emails you get from a sender and how many of them you actually read," USA TODAY reported.
The revamp will also include redesigned security notifications, where Google "flags potentially dangerous emails with bolder notifications and warnings to prevent you from clicking on risky missives," according to USA TODAY.
And of course, the new Gmail sports the much-talked-about confidential mode, confirming many of the mode’s features we saw in early versions of the update weeks ago. USA TODAY reported that the mode "lets you send and, if need be, revoke messages that house sensitive information, by adding expiration dates to such messages." Expiration options are one day, one week, one month, three months, or five years. Recipients of confidential mode emails "won’t be able to forward, copy/paste, download or print the contents." And after the expiration date, the recipient won’t be able to access the message at all.
USA TODAY noted that you can also require your recipient to confirm their identity via text message before they open the email, which "might protect data even if the recipient’s email account has been hijacked."
As the new Gmail rolls out, users will be see these changes — some small, some large, but all significant — and be able to test out new features to see if they help improve the emailing experience. But honestly, any feature that helps cut down on inbox crowding is one I’m keen to try out.
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