In the virtual world of writers and entrepreneurs and thinkers, I’m connected to a guy named Jonathan Fields. He’s smart. Really smart. He’s creative. Really creative.  And he’s cutting edge.

I received an email last night from him and thought, not for the first time, “Oh, this guy is on to something….something cutting edge. Again.”  I ran it past my web designer and IT-wizard-husband. They agreed – he’s on to something most of us would miss if it weren’t spelled out for us.

What he sent isn’t the usual kind of powerful writing or business acumen he usually produces.  It’s one of those very practical, use-it-daily, bits of advice that touches things most of us touch every day –  our devices and our Gmail accounts.  (Note, if you’re not a Gmail person, this doesn’t pertain to you.  But it does pertain to the rapidly evolving world of social media and technology).

I’m going to borrow a page from Jonathan, quite literally.  I asked, and being the gracious guy he is, he gave me the thumbs-up to re-post what he wrote.

Hey there,

Quick update about something that’s kinda got a lotta people in your boat a wee bit confused/upset.

If you don’t use Gmail, you can go ahead and skip this message. But if you do, or your friends do…

Gmail is phasing in a new “tabbed inbox” system. You may’ve seen it already in your inbox if you use Gmail. If not, you’ll see it soon.

They’ve split your inbox into 5 separate inboxes and created tabs across the top labeling each “Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.

Problem is...they’ve also decided that THEY, not YOU, get to choose which emails go into which new inbox tab, unless you tell them otherwise. 

What does that mean?

A lot of emails you’ve asked to receive will end up under the tab marked Promotions, even though they’re pure content and you’ve specifically asked to get them.

Pretty much all emails from the bloggers and other websites and people you subscribe to are being lumped into the “Promotions” inbox automatically, where you’ll likely never look. And you’ll end up missing a ton of stuff you wanted.

Good news is – there’s a fast-n-easy fix for you.

If you use Gmail, look at your account to see if the new “tabbed” inboxes have been turned on (you’ll see the new tabs across the top of your emails).

If so, here’s how to make sure you’re seeing what you’ve asked to see –

1 – Click on the Promotions inbox tab.

2 – Drag any emails from people you actually want to hear from (hopefully, that includes me) and drop them onto the tab that says Primary. Then, when it asks if you want future emails to go into your Primary inbox, just click yes.

For the next few weeks, as gmail phases these new tabbed inboxes in, be sure to check your Promotions inbox to make sure nothing else you really want is getting caught in it.

Simple, shmimple!

K, that’s it for today. 🙂

With gratitude,


P.S. –  Oh, and BTW, If you wanna totally turn off the new tabbed inboxes (which I did asap, because I don’t want anyone else “censoring” the email I’ve asked to receive), just click on the Settings “gear” image at the upper right corner of your inbox and select “Settings.” Click the “Inbox” tab and uncheck ALL of the categories except “Primary” then save your changes.

After reading this, I hope you make the time to log onto Gmail from your computer or laptop (doesn’t work on tablet or smart phone) to adjust your settings so we can stay in touch! While you’re there, check out Jonathan’s stuff, too.

Take care,


Lisa Dewey Wells


One thought on “Stay in Touch, Even as Gmail Changes

  1. I hate the new gmail thing. It’s driving me crazy. Thansk for this–but unfortunately, it doesn’t help those trying to build an email base. Each person has to make this request or hope that email readers hop all over the place.

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