How the New Gmail Layout Saved Me 30 Minutes Per Day

If you don’t check out almost every day like I do, you may not have heard about Gmail’s new inbox featured, tabbed categories.

I stumbled across a blog post about it, immediately jumped over to my cluttered inbox, and activated the new feature.

This might be the best thing for my workday, ever.

All the sudden, the messages I don’t really care about, are filtered out of my site. All of the promotional emails, social media updates, and other non-urgent messages are now out of my inbox, or so it seems.

Yes, I know you can setup filters and folders for all of these unimportant emails, but it seems like I’m added to a new emails list almost daily (new websites I join, new web apps I test out, new blogs I subscribe to, and the list goes on).

Now, I don’t have to worry about setting up filters. I don’t even have to worry about deciding which emails to delete or drag into a folder for later.

Gmail does all this for me now.

Gmail seems to know how the real people are, and it places all of their emails inside the “Primary” folder. If Gmail happens to put a message into the wrong folder, all you need to do is drag it into the other folder and tell Gmail to always put those messages in that category. Pretty damn simple.

Why I Feel More Productive Than Ever

This nice thing is, now that my inbox finally looks empty, I feel like I accomplished more during the day. A clean inbox is a sign that everything is taken care of, and all the messages I’m avoiding are giving me an extra 30-60 minutes each day to focus on what really matters.

If you’re inbox seems to get pummeled with emails from marketing experts, blogs, facebook notifications or updates on the newest vacation deal, do yourself a favor and activate Gmail’s new categories.

It’s the next best thing to just unsubscribing to every email list you’re already on, which not to mention, will probably waste your entire day.

Here’s How to Activate Gmail Tabbed Categories

Step 1 – Login to your gmail account

Step 2 – Click on the Settings icon (top right)

Step 3 – Click on “Configured Inbox” (pictured above)

Step 4 – Set it up the way you like and get started!

This 30 second change will give your workday a huge boost. Hopefully this little change will give you more time to spend on the 3 most important tasks of your startup or new business.


  • Mark Jenkins

    Reply Reply June 13, 2013

    Followed this post, to be honest I hadn’t realised you could do this so thanks for the time I’ll save =)

  • Aarika Price

    Reply Reply June 18, 2013

    Thanks for showing me this!! This makes it so easy to organize everything! I do wish they would give the option to have unread first AND this feature. Right now it’s one or the other.

  • Kevin

    Reply Reply June 20, 2013

    Thanks Brian, just implemented this last week after reading the post and I’m loving it so far. Cheers

  • John Millen

    Reply Reply July 10, 2013

    Brian, thanks for this timely post. I wasn’t aware of this and spent the last week setting up folders and filters to achieve this. I’ll give it a try.

  • Ryan McDonald

    Reply Reply September 24, 2013

    As a recognized expert in the area of Facebook advertising and social media marketing, I would value your input for my company’s upcoming book. The author, Jerry Banfield, would love to interview you via Facebook message, Skype, phone call, email, or in person to capture your advice for how Facebook can help people, businesses, and organizations grow. You can reach him at or on Facebook at

  • Candice

    Reply Reply May 17, 2014

    So this will affect us that market by emailing. It may not work so well anymore 🙁 Can we overcome it or do something smarter?

  • Michael Magistro

    Reply Reply February 1, 2015

    EXACTLY! Thanks for the post. When it was first introduced, some people were missing emails because they forgot to check their promotions or update folders, but I think they’re getting the hang of it now.

    Thanks for sharing though Brian, it kills marketing and economy when people don’t realize how they can manage their inbox

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