By disabling the Labs extensions and then reenabling the most important ones, I’ve managed to fix my issue with Gmail constantly resizing the inbox, and now have 4 different (lowercase) inboxes displayed one on top of the other: Inbox (for GTD style collection – even though my library still hasn’t gotten the book for me yet), Starred items (basically an easy way to not High Priority items), label:To Do (my original To Do inbox, now reserved for the second most important things), and label: Keep in Mind (for stuff that I don’t want to forget about, but might not necessarily be To Do items).
Image via CrunchBase
I also installed the Remember The Milk Firefox Add-On to replace the Google Gadget (I suspect the Gadgets were part of what was messing things up). The Firefox adding is better in some ways and worse in some ways. It takes up a lot more room, but it feels more full-featured.
So, now that that’s all settled, I’m going to have to play around with the Custom Theme Colors that were just added today. I tried the theme templates but didn’t really like any of them enough to switch from just the basic one. But now that I tend to leave Gmail open more and more, I might go back and have a second try with them (since I’m usually pretty terrible at coming up with custom theme colors that are any good – see also: My Yahoo!)
So, yesterday I set up additional mailboxes using Gmail Labs’ new Multiple Inboxes feature. Then I created a label called To Do and added “label:To Do” as one of my other inboxes (well, actually, my only other one). This slight tweak allowed me to move things from my capital-I Inbox to the To Do label, which was still there on the Inbox page, but since I changed the multiple inbox setting to put the additional collection points below the main inbox, it was slightly less intrusive. This was surprisingly effective at allowing me to not worry as much about those things down there since my Inbox was still technically empty. While I haven’t actually read GTD (though I do have it on hold at the library right now), I felt very GTDized by doing this.
That was, until today, when the Gmail couldn’t figure out how wide to make the page, and kept moving the right side back and forth. Now, granted, I’ve moved my chat and lables boxes to the right side, and have the Remember the Milk gadget, Google Calendar, and Google Documents on the left side, and I understand that aligning things like that is probably a recipe for disaster. That said, it works fine with just one Inbox… so, I’m stuck with that for now, and stuck waiting for GTD from the library to see how I can further adapt my Gmail set up. (For the record, I have tried the GTDInbox plugin and wasn’t really feeling it, and I’ve read a bunch of other ways to organize the Inbox as a Collection Point, but feel like I’ll be better able to understand what they’re meant to do once I’ve actually read the book).