The New GMail

I’m using Chrome on a Windows 7 computer. If you have enabled the new UI from the Settings wheel on the top right of your GMail page then you’ll see this issue. You can do it by choosing ‘Configure inbox‘. I’ll confess the new GMail Tabs/Categories confused me greatly. I posted to a support group and had an exchange that was a bit confusing until I got my head wrapped around it. This is what I found is the main problem with the new UI.

PromoGMailYou have Categories, and you have Tabs. These are not the same. They seem to be the same because they have the same names but no they are not. Example: ‘Promotions’. You see a Promotions tab at the top of your new email UI. As it turns out these lists are not the same. There is a lot of overlap but you will see items in the Category at left that don’t appear in the tab at the top. Melanie Pinola, the always enlightening writer from Lifehacker, has a detailed post on GMail and some of their new weirdness.

Why? From the forum and other reading it seems that the Tab at the top must have an email labeled ‘Inbox’. Now it is often also labeled Promotions if the Category is Promotion but don’t always count on it.  I guess the idea is that there is Promotion items that are immediately archived and there are others that go to your Inbox but are also ‘Promotions’, but in a different way that often but not always matches with your Category Promotions.

Confused? Me too. I have a feeling  Google correct this in the future. Personally I would like to change the names of my Categories so they don’t match and at least it would track my brain better. In the meantime keep checking your Categories for things you used to look for and don’t count on the Tabs.


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