Email has been around for years, but a popular concern right now is that people spend too much time reading email. As a result, “inbox helper” programs are popping out of the woodwork.

One of those programs, Google’s Priority Inbox, claims that users are experiencing a noticeable decrease in time spend┬áreading email.

Priority Inbox users spend less time on email

According to Google, Gmail users who have turned on the Priority Inbox feature spend 43% more time reading important email compared to unimportant email and 15% less time overall on email.

I have no idea how Google came up with those numbers, but those are noteworthy percentages. I would also assume that the longer you use Priority Inbox, the more effective it becomes.

New features add to the potential

Google has made two major improvements to the feature. One, the feature will now offer an explanation for why a particular email has been marked as important. The explanations range from “you marked it as important” or “important because of the people in conversation.”

I could see that coming in handy. If you are overwhelmed with email, those explanations could jog your brain into remembering why something is important. On the other hand, you could also just read the email and figure what action is required.

The feature is also more responsive to manual changes made by users. For example, if you tell Priority Inbox to always mark certain emails as “important,” it takes less time to adapt.

I am still leery of having a third-party tell me which emails are more important than others. Maybe I read fast, but even if your inbox has twenty unread emails, you can scan those quickly and figure out what needs to happen. At the same time, I spend lots of time in my inbox and I am intrigued by the potential.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your Gmail account, give it a shot and see what happens.

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