Google Rolls Out Gmail 'Priority Inbox' to Fight Email Overload


Feel like you're drowning in email? Join the club.

On Tuesday, Google (GOOG) announced an upgrade to its popular Gmail service called "Priority Inbox," which aims to learn which emails are most important to you, and surfaces those to the top of your email queue.

"Gmail has always been pretty good at filtering junk mail into the 'spam' folder," Doug Aberdeen, a Google software engineer, wrote in a blog post. "But today, in addition to spam, people get a lot of mail that isn't outright junk but isn't very important -- bologna, or 'bacn.' So we've evolved Gmail's filter to address this problem and extended it to not only classify outright spam, but also to help users separate this 'bologna' from the important stuff."

The idea is that as email arrives into your inbox, you can mark it more important or less important. Thus, over time Gmail will "learn" which emails are most important to you, and which email, well, let's just say can wait a few minutes. The system also prioritizes email from frequent correspondents.

The service will be rolling out to Gmail and Google Apps users over the next week.