Changing Your Inbox Settings on Gmail

I woke up a week or so ago to learn that Gmail had changed the way I view my mail. Now, instead of all of my mail appearing in one place, my inbox had been arbitrarily categorized by Gmail into “primary,” “social,” and “promotional” categories. I did not get a say as to which mail went into the category. Gmail had decided that it would choose for me which mail I considered primary, and which less important.

Luckily, I have Kristen, a Gmail-savvy office assistant who quickly and easily showed me how to uncategorize my Gmail. If, like me, you are computer challenged and find Gmail difficult to navigate, here are the very simple instructions on how to change those settings.

Go to the little “cog” or “gear” or “flower” or whatever you want to call it on the upper right side of your Gmail inbox. Click on the “configure inbox” label. Voila! You can check or uncheck any of the categories. Personally I prefer to choose which email I see first, so I went back to my familiar, disorganized-by-Gmail-standards mailbox where everything shows in one list. You may decide to click on as many or as few categories as you like. Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose which mail fits into what category.

There is another side to this new Gmail system, also. If you send out a newsletter – whether it is to sell your book, or for any other purpose, such as a club or organization you belong to – you don’t know if any of your people who use Gmail are still going to see your newsletter or other promotion. And since a recent market research survey showed that 60 percent of email users are using Gmail as their primary source for mail, you had better be concerned.

Here is a great article on the new Gmail configuration and what to do if you are a marketer – and don’t tell me that you are “just an author,” you are NOT (Heaven Forbid!) in the tacky business of marketing. If you want people to buy your book, you had better be sure that they can find it – and that, my dear author friends, is marketing.