How I replaced Inbox by Gmail - Emails and Reminders still in one place

If you are like me, you have been using Inbox by Gmail for the last few years. And you loved it. Sadly the service is shutting down in a few days... 💔

I enjoyed in particular one feature, which became part of my routine to deal with everything I have to do: emails and reminders all in the Inbox. Everything in one place. Handy, isn't it?

So, first thing first, I sent feedback to Google to reclaim this lost feature. Yes, lost. Whilst Google suggests that most of Inbox features have been subsumed in Gmail, that is not entirely correct...at least not all in one mobile app...

Second, I  looked into alternatives email apps, like Outlook, Spark, Edison, Newton, Spike,  and many others... Although I found some of them appealing (Spark for example seems rather polished), they did not really tick all the boxes.

In particular, none of them seemed to recognize the existing snoozed emails from Inbox or Gmail. That is, if you snoozed an email in Inbox/Gmail, you would not find it in the "Snoozed" folder in, say, Spark and vice-versa. That is not handy if you want to have the Gmail on web and the app of your choice nicely in sync.

So I decided to stay with the Gmail app and find a way to replace the missing feature...

Emails and reminders all in the Inbox

Inbox IOS app: Reminders and emails together in the inbox
This feature is nowhere to be found in Gmail. Well, in the web version of Gmail, Google added a sidebar with Tasks, but that's not the same as having reminders inside the inbox, isn't it?

Moreover, on mobile, you would need an extra app. It means you would have to check 2 places, 1 for emails and 1 for tasks. Not good for me. Moreover, in Google Tasks you cannot nicely swipe a task to postpone it...


So, I thought: well, what is the difference between a reminder and an email to yourself, when you can snooze emails to a later date? I concluded that there is essentially none, at least for non recurring reminders.  I proceeded then to send an email to myself for each outstanding reminder and snooze them to the correct date. Done!

What about recurring reminders? I wanted a fresh email/reminder for every recurrence. How to go about it?  First,  I discovered some very interesting services which send you recurring emails: Nudgemail and Followupthen. Check them out, they are great! But..but then I figured out that I could obtain a similar result without having recourse to an extra service. Yes!

I created an additional calendar in Google Calendar, called "Recurring tasks". I set it to send an email alert at the time of the event, as default for each event.  I then setup all my daily, weekly, and yearly tasks as calendar events. Once finished, I deselected the calendar from the overview so that my "real" calendar does not get cluttered with my recurring reminders.

And there you go, every morning  I get served a fresh "do pushups" email in my Gmail app, which I can snooze indefinitely until I get a new one the day after: pure procrastination, exactly like with Inbox, isn't that great?! 😂

And you? How are you dealing with Inbox departure?

Comments

  1. Why are they shutting Inbox down?

    ReplyDelete
  2. […] the first episode of this short series, we proposed a Gmail setup to replace the reminder integration functionality […]

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