An interesting Inbox-like delivery option for Gmail


Hard to believe, but it was just this past year that Google pulled the plug on its once-promising Inbox service.

And you know what? While Inbox itself may be nothing more than a memory at this point, I’m still constantly thinking about ways to make my current inbox — the one that exists within Gmail — more organized and efficient. And more often than not, that involves coming up with crafty workarounds to bring Inbox-like elements back from the dead and into that environment.

I’ve talked before about how I still save links and reminders into my inbox — two core Inbox-esque elements that I recreated within Gmail and now use almost every day. On the desktop front, meanwhile, a series of interface adjustments and an invaluable extension made by a former Google designer go a long way in enhancing my email adventures and allowing me to retain at least a little bit of sanity whilst staring at message after incoming message.

But for all the progress I’ve made and all the tricks I’ve tried, there’s one bit of Inbox magic I’ve never been able to resurrect — and that’s the Bundles system Inbox used to make actual email delivery more manageable.

Bundles, if you don’t recall, served two primary purposes: First, it organized your messages into categories of sorts and then presented similar emails together in clusters within your main inbox view. You can kind of recreate that part, to a degree, by using Gmail’s tabbed inbox option and then little by little customizing which types of messages get routed into which tabs. It’s by no means the same as Bundles in terms of scope, presentation, or customization — but it’s vaguely in the same ballpark, at least, when it comes to the core concept.

Then, however, there’s the second part of what Bundles provided, and that’s where things get especially tricky. In Google’s Inbox service, y’see, Bundles would let you choose to receive certain types of messages only once a day or once a week, even — with the idea that when it comes to things like bills or low-priority updates, you don’t need to be distracted and bothered every single time a new message trickles in. Instead, you can more efficiently deal with all such messages in one fell swoop by having them show up together only at certain specified times.

That’s the part of Bundles that was especially innovative and different, and that’s the part I’ve been longing for all this time.

Well, I’ve been trying out something in my Gmail inbox lately, and it’s the closest I’ve come to regaining that Bundles-reminiscent batch-delivery power.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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