If you're a user of Google's answer to email, you'll most likely have been asked to switch to the new version by now, or like most people by now, you've been pushed into the pit blindfolded.
Generally speaking, the human race isn't terribly good with change, I mean, we all remember Windows 8 right?!
Despite my own initial grieving for the tragic loss of my precious inbox UI, I have (admittedly after just two days) reached the acceptance stage of mourning and actually, I really like it.
Well, there's a bit of a UI change to start with, everything's a bit more circular and any items in your inbox with an attachment has lost it's little paperclip icon and been replaced with an expanded view showing the attachment filenames. This is pretty handy if like me, you spend ages digging through threads looking for a certain attachment. Of course, you can switch back the old view in the 'Display Density' settings.
Another feature that's hard not to love if the new pullout sidebar. I hate sidebars that can't be minimized which is why I'm overjoyed with the minimal design of the Gmail sidebar. The sidebar is populated with some default Google Apps, Calendar, Keep and Tasks. Simply click the icon and a condensed version of that app pulls out and you can interact with it as normal.
My day to day workflow pretty much lives inside Calendar and Keep. Having access to this without having to jump between tabs is a great and having that sidebar that can be minimized is ideal for days on the laptop when you haven't got heaps of screen real-estate to spare.
Some additional hover features have been added too. You can now Archive, Delete and Mark as Read/Unread your emails without having to select and find the option from the cumbersome drop-down. Simply hover over the item and the options appear on the right along with a new option; Snooze.
Snooze is the thing I didn't know I needed until I used it, now it seems hard to ignore how much it's been missing from my life. As someone that gets a lot of emails, it's important for me to respond to everything being able to Snooze items allows me to prioritize the important but not forget the non-urgent.
For seasoned Gmail users, the 'Send and Request Money' feature is nothing new, but the self-destructing emails certainly will be! Yup, just like a Mission Impossible film, this message will self-destruct. The new 'Confidential Mode' allows you to make certain items a little more secure. You can set expiry dates on your messages that automatically delete the message after a certain time period. You can also set SMS passcodes for your emails to ensure they are only accessed by the right person.
Overall, the changes are quite easy to adapt to and in less than a week of use, I can honestly say my workflow has sped up significantly and new features like Snooze are even helping me to keep on top of the lower-priority messages too.
And if you're a non-Gmail user but would like to switch, get in touch with us and we can help you with your transfer, you don't even have to be a business to access that service.