You can tell a lot about a person from how they management their inbox. However, in the case of Gmail at least, it is difficult to get reliable and useable inbox management information - that is, until now. By installing a Google Apps Script called Gmail Meter, you can get a monthly report that will show you exactly how you use Gmail.
ScriptInstalling the script is not difficult, but it does require a specific set of steps. First, open Google Docs and create a new Spreadsheet, like the one shown in Figure A.
Start a new spreadsheetGive the spreadsheet a name and then navigate the menus: Tools | Script Gallery to get to the Script Gallery search page shown in Figure B. Search for the "gmail meter" script and then click the Install button.
Search for and then install Gmail MeterDuring the install you will be asked to Authorize and then Grant Access for the script to properly function. (Figure C)
Authorize and Grant AccessIt may take a few seconds, but the Gmail Meter Script should install without any further input from you. (Figure D)
Script installedOnce the script is installed you will see a new menu entry called Gmail Meter (Figure E). Click on the menu item and choose Get a Report. You will be give two options: Monthly Report and Custom Report.
Get a ReportI ran a Monthly Report and few minutes later I received a report with several informative charts and graphs. I choose a few to highlight, as you can see in Figures F to H.
What it all means
You can get a complete rundown of all of the statistics the report produces from the Official Gmail Blog, but most of the categories are self-explanatory. You may be surprised by some of the results though, so it is worth the effort.
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.