Soon after joining PandoDaily last year, I wrote a post about an imaginary email product that provided a more streamlined, better-organized inbox. This hypothetical product, which I called “GoMail,” would solve inbox overload by automatically sorting crap email from important email. I wrote:
What I love about it is that it intelligently determines which emails I care about most and puts them into a “fast lane,” so I can see those first. That sounds a lot like Gmail’s Priority Inbox, but this is better. Instead of just dumping all my other emails in a pile below those important ones, it sorts them into separate “rooms”.
GoMail, I pretended, sorted emails into “rooms” that were organized according to tabs at the top of the screen. It would then file emails into each room intelligently as they arrived. GoMail had six rooms: Social, Offers, Admin, Work, Connections, and Fast Lane.
The idea was that anything in the fast lane was something you would likely want to reply to, and from someone you care about. Anything in the “work” room would be for business-related correspondence; the “connections” room was for managing introductions and contents; “social” was for stuff from Twitter, Facebook, and the likes; “admin” was for housekeeping stuff; and “offers” would be for the obvious.
I even had a friend do a concept sketch, which I tweeted out the next day.
— Hamish McKenzie (@hamishmckenzie) May 5, 2012
My GoMail, I argued, would be much more tablet- and smartphone-friendly, and it would present a less stressful environment than today’s email. I ended my post by begging someone to steal my idea and build the product.
So, imagine my delight and curiosity when I read just now that Google might be planning a revamp of Gmail that looks an awful lot like GoMail. Take a look at this screenshot, obtained by The Next Web.
The rumored update, which Android Police argue is real, features a new navigation design in which the inbox is separated into four separate tabs: Priority, Social, Promotions, Updates. While the titles are slightly different, they are essentially the same as the “rooms” that I suggested were in GoMail. Just as I suggested, there is an “unread” count for each tab, too. So, instead of having one big inbox that tells you there are thousands of unread emails waiting for your attention, you have less-imposing unread counts for different sorts of messages.
It is a beautiful thing, and so close to the vision that I outlined last year that I’m tempted to say someone at Google might have thought GoMail wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I’m not saying that Google found inspiration in my idea, but…
Nah, fuck that.
Google totally lifted this idea from GoMail.* And I couldn’t be happier. I hope it launches soon.
* Note: This assertion is largely unfounded.