Google Launches Free Gmail Analytics Tool

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-04-22 Print this article Print

Gmail Meter analyzes email writing and filing patterns to present an overall sense of how email is being used.

Google has launched yet another free service for its Gmail and G+ subscribers.

Gmail Meter, activated for general use on April 19, enables Gmail users to become more aware of their email habits and tendencies. It analyzes email writing and filing patterns to present an overall sense of how email is being used.

For example, most people probably don't think about whether they tend to write long or short messages; chances are they write as much as they need to write to get the job done. Gmail Meter takes a long-view look at email histories and gives users some metrics about this and other habits.

Same thing with how much time email users take to reply to their friends, family members and business associates. Do you tend to wait longer than you should to answer people back, or do you like to get an answer back to the questioner as soon as possible?

Email User, Know Thyself

Realistically, any number of human emotions can get mixed into all of this to slow the process down. And sometimes you just overlook an email, especially in high-volume inboxes. The answers to these questions are going to be as different as people's personalities. Nonetheless, Gmail Meter does the qualifying research, doesn't make any assumptions and lets you mull it over. Perhaps you learn something new about yourself in the process.

Gmail Meter doesn't work on a 24/7 basis. It comes on the first day of every month and sends users an email containing various statistics about your inbox.

An example of one of those metrics would be the percentage of email threads (conversations) you have started, and the percentage of replies within those conversations you have had.

The analytics tool also will look at an entire month and give you estimates of what times of day -- also, what days of the week -- you are most active in answering or creating email. It also can point out whether you're sending email to mostly the same people or to a lot of new people.

Another category -- probably the most embarrassing one for most people -- is the type of email you have in your boxes. Namely, this is a readout percentage of unread, archived and trashed emails you may have.

Most people have a large number of unread emails just sitting there taking up storage space. It can be difficult for people to find the time to go in, read them and act on them. Gmail Meter reminds us of all this.

How to Install Gmail Meter

Here's what you need to do to get this free app up and running:

  • Go to Google Docs and create a new spreadsheet, then save it.
  • Click on Tools, followed by Script Gallery, then search for €œGmail Meter€ and click Install.
  • An authorization prompt then will ask for you to OK access to the tool.
  • A new menu item called Gmail Meter will appear on the spreadsheet. Select Gmail Meter and then Get a Report. You will get an email once the report is ready.
Gmail Meter was not developed by Google staff members. It was created by a third-party developer, Romain Vialard, a Google Apps Script Top Contributor.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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