Chrome Extension of the Week: Graph Your Inbox


If you aren’t a huge Gmail user, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs or so. That’s a not-so-subtle warning about this week's Chrome Extension of the Week, as it’s a super-useful add-on that allows you to climb deeper into the depths of your ever-expanding Gmail Inbox. Go figure, it’s called, “ Graph Your Inbox .”

Unfortunately, the extension only works for Gmail and Gmail alone—sorry, other email services. But if you’re one of the proud users of good ol’ Google mail, you’ll be able to use this extension to see exactly how many different kinds of emails you’re receiving over days, months, and years. Think of it as… a kind of Excel chart for your inbox.

So what, exactly, does that entail? Pick any search term you want—perhaps, “Maximum PC,” or “Amazon order,” or “David Murphy,” and jam the search button on the extension’s default home screen. Said extension will go out and analyze all of your conversations before spitting out graphs of emails (containing said search term) over a span of months and years, as well as the current month. Clicking on any such metric will activate a little preview section of the extension that shows you the kinds of emails you sent—from that search term—during the clicked-upon time period.

And that’s it! No flashy pivot tables or other such nonsense with this add-on—just the raw, illustrative power that will finally give you evidence you need the next time you need to tell your parents that they’ve forwarded you one CC’d joke too many. But really, nothing beats a healthy cup of analysis for one’s Inbox. I’m surprised that Google—master of the analytics that it is—hasn’t bothered to install something like this into the web app by default.

Former Maximum PC Editor and tech journalist David Murphy will one day reduce his Gmail inbox to a big fat zero. After that, he’ll make the donation .

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