Why Gmail Priority Inbox Sucks


Hi. I’m Laura Roeder and I want to tell you why I think Gmail’s priority inbox sucks and you shouldn’t use it. Here’s the problem with Gmail’s priority inbox. So, if you’re not familiar, this is a new thing from Gmail that automatically sorts what are your priority emails and puts them at the top of your inbox.
The problem is that it’s another crutch for not managing your inbox, right? It’s just yet another way to let your inbox fill up with messages that you don’t want because really, why shouldn’t you be getting any e-mails that aren’t priority e-mails. You really shouldn’t be dealing with those yourself. So, a few steps if you are using priority inbox and a few tips for things that, in my opinion, are better and more productive that you can do instead.
The first is to unsubscribe. That’s the most important thing you can do to get a handle on your e-mail. You don’t need every newsletter, you don’t need every promotion.
If there’s something that you find yourself hitting delete or hitting archive every single time that comes in, just unsubscribe to it. You can always subscribe again later if you find yourself missing it. So, be ruthless with your unsubscribes.
The next thing you need to do is in Gmail is use Gmail filters. So, filters are a way to automatically filter out messages, put labels on them, make sure they never hit your inbox. So, I like to do this with certain newsletters that maybe I want to check in on every so often but I don’t want them hitting my inbox as soon as they arrive. So, if there’s a newsletter from someone that you like to read or maybe promotions from a shop you like, where you don’t want to miss out on the promotions, just filter all the e-mails that come from that e-mail address. Just skip your inbox and get labeled and get archived. That way you can go over to the label, you can read them when you have time but they won’t be hitting your inbox.
And the third tip, if you’re a Gmail priority inbox user is that you need someone else helping you with your e-mail. If you run a business, e-mail should not be the number one way that you’re spending your time. Running your business should be the number one way that you’re spending your time. And there’s lots of little tips and tricks with auto responders. Auto responders check your e-mails twice a day. Nothing compares having a human being filter through your e-mails for you. That human being, one, can tell what’s important and what’s not, he can do for you the important stuff. And two, that way you know that you’re giving a human response to your customers. Your customers don’t want an auto responder that says that you don’t care about their e-mail. It just doesn’t feel good. What they want is someone responding so having an assistant help you with your e-mail, will free up a lot of time in your business and you can actually just have a whole inbox filled with priority e-mails instead of trying to have Google do the work and still just filling up your inbox with more and more junk.

So, I’m Laura Roeder and that’s why Gmail priority inbox sucks.

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.


  1. Preach! Great tips, Laura!

  2. Wow Laura, great thoughts!

    Looks like I’ll be getting rid of priority inbox now… :)

    Thanks for the little bit on Gmail filters also. This is something I seem to have missed.

    – JC

  3. I actually think it can be beneficial, but it’s because I am looking at it a different way. The emails in my inbox never stay unread for long. They are either read or deleted. I don’t just let them sit there unread. After training priority inbox a little bit, it actually got pretty good at figuring out what’s important. And in the process of training it, I realized that I got quite some junk and started unsubscribing a lot of things. While it’s probably meant to point out what’s important, I found the value in pointing out what’s unimportant, so you can get rid of that permanently.

    But then again, I read or delete all my emails anyway. For the remaining email (after the unsubscribing), it just means I am going through email in a slightly different order.

  4. Love your pop up – email captures! Beautiful colors, and love the “gimme”.
    You’re brillant. :-)

    Your gmail insights are so well articulated.

    Thanks Laura