Reimagining The Inbox The Simple Way

2010: Location, Random Connections, The Inbox, Frictionless Payments

If You Like Your Inbox, Keep It

Like Obama never tired of saying on the campaign trail for health care reform, if you like your current coverage, you get to keep it. So if you like your current inbox where you get emails from your friends and family and those dictators in Nigeria, you get to keep it. You actively would have to choose to go for the multi inbox option. (Obama's Got Momentum: He Could Defy History In November)

The Inbox As A Spectrum

All human beings are created equal, but that does not apply to emails. All emails are not equal. And the inbox has to reflect that.

Inbox 1

This is the inbox that you see when you log in. These are emails sent by people whose emails you have saved as contacts. These are emails sent only to you and not to a group of people.

Inbox 2

Emails sent by people whose emails you have saved as contacts, but these emails have also been sent to other people at the same time.

Inbox 3

Emails from mailing lists I might have subscribed to.

Inbox 4

Emails from everyone else. This is not the folder for the spam emails. The current spam folder gets to hold ground.


An email that should have showed up in inbox 3, if it shows up in inbox 1, you get to tell the system it belonged in inbox 3, and all future emails from that address would end up in inbox 3. You teach the system as you use it.

Also you get to set an expiry date on the various inboxes. All emails in inbox 3 that are more than a month old, please delete them without asking, something like that. Because even Gmail has a space limit.

And there should be an easy way to delete contacts. If you ended up saving an email address you did not mean to save, delete. Free the soul.

I think with this simple change, the inbox could see new life. Inbox 1 could again become something to always look forward to. And this suggestion is not to displace the already in place concept of threaded conversations and the other goodies.

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