The Inbox Escape Plan – Setting Your Inbox Type

Gmail defaults to show all of your messages in one area of your inbox. While this is great for getting an overall view of your inbox it can cause stress by showing you too much information. Let’s be honest when it’s time to tackle our inbox we just need to get to the point and we have no time to look at extra emails.

That is where inbox types come in. Changing your inbox type changes how Gmail displays your email. Today I want to share with you share my favorite inbox type and how you can set it up in your own Gmail account.

My Favorite Inbox Type

This is pretty nerdy to admit but I do have a favorite way to organize my inbox. I am a big fan of the Unread First set up in Gmail. When you choose this inbox type your emails are split into two sections, unread and everything else. I really like this set up because…..

  • I can visually hide my everything else section so the emails are out of sight out of mind.
  • Being able to only see my unread messages helps me not feel as anxious about the number of emails I have.
  • Only seeing my unread messages allows me to quickly find any email that still requires action from me.
  • Having two sections makes it easy to categorize my email. It is either read or unread. No need to over complicate things.

I think overall I really like Unread first because it helps de-clutter my email. Below are screenshots of the default Gmail inbox and the same inbox set up with Unread First as it’s inbox type.

The Default Gmail inbox
The same Gmail inbox set up as the Unread First inbox type.
All of the read messages were automatically moved to the Everything Else section.

How to Change Your Inbox Type to Unread First

You can change your inbox type by clicking on the gear in the top right hand corner of your gmail. This will bring up a drop down menu. Click on settings.

This will open up your email settings. Click on Inbox on the top menu.

Click on the drop down menu next to Inbox type and then select your inbox type.

OPTIONAL: If you want you can edit how many items appear in each section, hide the section when it is empty, or completely remove the section by clicking on the options dropdown next to the different sections.

Make sure you hit save changes before going back to your inbox!

Again I know this seems really dorky to have a favorite inbox type but I have found myself way less stressed out after changing my inbox type. If you are looking for more ideas on how to tackle your inbox make sure to check out my presentation The Inbox Escape Plan by clicking here.

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