Does Stability Mean Something Different to Global Mobile Workers?

April 19, 2015

Am I more sensitive to change as a Digital Nomad?

I wondered as I lit up with panic when confronted repeatedly with “you can switch to the new InBox.”

Okay, it was being offered as a choice so I shouldn’t feel threatened. After all, I had enjoyed my experience with the new Adobe Acrobat this morning, effortlessly editing and putting comments on a PDF. So, I watched the video sent by email and was seduced by the offer of greater efficiency.

Then I took the next step and was confronted by an alien home screen that required some visual interpretation. “Where were the tabs I used to hate and had now grown to love – Primary, Updates and the new Forum tab I’d just added. Well, the look was cleaner. I was hit with far less data.

New Inbox

I tried my first function – “Done.” Easily done and then a box popped up and offered to do that every time. I was paralyzed – is that what I want? Too late. The pop up was gone with my choice.

Now I was prepared to answer that question the next time. Do I want it to do whatever I just did to such emails every time? What is the risk? When will that be a bad idea?

Promos Got ItGoogle has thrown in some instructional design with its new releases – Little message boxes that ask me to confirm my knowledge acquisition with a “Got It” button. Sometimes I lie.


Delay Bundled EmailsThe ability to show “bundled” messages like Social and have them appear once a day versus constantly is perfect for ADD adults like me who are driven to distraction by the numbers increasing on the Social tab.

And, I can get rid of them in one “Sweep” after a scan of what’s important I use this cool “Pin” feature to save what I want to deal with later. Then you hit the “Sweep” button. So cathartic – those Google people were reading my mind. I could see how these things could better organize my life

Set Delays and Reminders for Emails

Just last week I was wading through a pile of anxiety, overwhelmed with the distribution channels of content I had to wade through as a freelancer. Messages are coming at me from Elance , and my startup team uses Slackand Trello.

There are my multiple email accounts, one primary, one for junk email (when you subscribe to anything) and one for my startup that are all forwarded to my primary to avoid missing anything creating multiple versions of the same email. You see the technology I and millions of other live in.

A streamlined Gmail could ease my burden.

Wisely, Gmail puts these upgrades out as like a test. They lure early adopters and gather bits and bytes like mad scientist to create the final product.

Take Me to the New Inbox

They give me a chance to identify the dealbreaker change, the label feature. My labels are kind of long and I can’t see the full title, even when I hover the mouse over it. The label feature becomes worthless to me.

Label Feature

I’ve already given the new Contacts a thumb-down-smiley. It’s still kind of wonky – with things failing to show up, like assigning a contact to a Group. And, somehow it seems subversive, as if Contacts is setting us all up to cyberstalk our friends, unintentionally by allowing Google to suck everything it knows about them and deposit it into My Contacts.

Hey Google – In general I get where your going – you may be almost there.

Oh the upside and the downside of “innovation.” Eventually, this new Inbox design may make my life easier. The price – a day or two (or more depending) of cognitive dissonance. The upside – using your brain delays Alzheimer’s.

Thanks Google for looking out for me.

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