The problem: our time in Gmail is “a few minutes here, a few minutes there”. It’s very hard to see the big picture of how it adds up over a month, to be able to make an effective change.


I want to just reassure you that all the tracking data is kept locally on your computer, inside Chrome. It’s just for your use.

Find out who takes your time (to get it back)

To load it up, click ‘Analytics’ on the bar above your inbox.

The popup looks like:

You can click the headings to change how it’s sorted, e.g. to see who takes the most time reading or writing.

A quick word on ‘Chasing Replies’: this is a special sub category of ‘writing emails’, where the email you’re composing is not the first reply to someone. I.e. you’re replying to your own previous reply, which is most likely to nudge them to respond.

How might you get your time back?

  1. If someone takes up a disproportionate amount of time, you might want to briefly sit down together and talk out why that is. It could be email is sub optimal, or they’re struggling, or they just don’t realise the impact they have on you.
  2. If someone needs a lot of chasing, it suggests their inbox might be disorganised. This is totally self serving of me, but there is a little app called ActiveInbox they might like 🙂

Future Ideas

I’d love your feedback and requests in the comments (or by email – but comments allow everyone to contribute to your thought).

Idea #1: Track how well I serve others

So far, analytics is about who negatively impacts you.

But, it could report your impact on them, the folks you care about, by showing the average time they wait for you to respond.

  1. If you’re a business, this gives you reassurance that your top customers get a great, consistent experience.
  2. If there’s a person to whom you’re frequently slow to respond to, it suggests there might be a uniquely interpersonal problem with them to solve. Perhaps they’re hard to understand, demand too much… Whatever it is, just knowing there’s a problem begins the journey of starting to improve your workflow together.

Getting Access To It

This is version 7.5.22 (or later), and should roll out to absolutely everyone by the end of the week.

But if you’re desperate to get it immediately, email us ( and Lisa will show you how to activate the beta channel.


This was written by Andy Mitchell