I just opened my Gmail and found that the new “Inbox” feature is now active. Yay. Or is it Boo?
Initial reactions to Gmail’s new Inbox tabs have been mixed, but we’re only at the beginning and like all new things, people’s opinions will change from the way they feel about it before using it and the way they feel about it after using it.
My major initial grievance is that it’s time consuming enough to check one inbox, now I have to check several different inboxes. In the intro video, Google says that that the “primary” tab is the “one tab for the mail you really, really want.” But wouldn’t a better description be that it’s the tab for the mail that Google has decided I really, really want?
Some people have always had a problem with Google scanning private email for the purposes of selling ads. Now Google is scanning mail for the purpose of organizing it. It’s kind of like coming home one evening to find all of your furniture moved around with a note on your refrigerator from Google that reads, “Trust us, you’ll like it better this way.”
But there is a wider theme here. This type of forced usage is entirely common in digital marketing. Of the tools that businesses and marketers use, there is very little control over or input into how they work.
One thing I tend to find myself repeating is that just as I really begin to master a new tool or paradigm, the developer goes and changes it dramatically. It’s not that I am opposed to change. And, truth be told, I don’t really have a problem with Gmail Inbox, but it does highlight an unspoken truth which is that marketers – whether in their own marketing companies or as part of a marketing department of a bigger company – need to dedicate a significant portion of their time to ongoing learning and training.
On the flip side, changes in software tools and apps also highlights that there are no “experts”. It’s implausible for anyone to have a mastery of all tools given how many there are and the rapid pace at which they evolve.
My advice: find the right tool for your needs. So many people are tinkerers. They need to have every tool connected to every other tool. It’s crazy. And time consuming. And it’s hard to be profitable with “crazy” and “time consuming” in the mix.
I want to know what you think of Gmail Inbox and how you will (or won’t) use it to manage your email.
And with that, here’s a little something I put together to put a smile on the faces of those who are going through several circles of Inbox hell today.