Ever wanted to know how long it takes you, on average, to reply to an email? What time of day you got the most missives? Or how the length of the messages you send compares to the length of those you receive?
Google's new Gmail Meter, which does all that and more, offers the intriguing option of letting us get intimate with our inboxes.
Stats junkies, the email obsessed, and the introspective may be happy to learn that with Gmail Meter, they can now get pie charts and bar graphs outlining their email activity. (If that doesn't describe you, perhaps you'd be more interested in seeing which next celebrity will become a hologram.)
Gmail Meter will show you volume statistics (i.e. how many emails you received vs. how many you sent), daily traffic (when you send and receive the most emails throughout the day), how long it takes you to reply to messages, and the average word count of your emails, among other stats (see examples here).
Google developer programs engineer Saurabh Gupta introduced the tool in a post on Google's official blog:
Gmail Meter is an Apps Script which runs on the first day of every month and sends you an email containing different statistics about your Inbox In a similar way to how recently introduced Google Account Activity gives key stats about how you’ve used your Google Account, Gmail Meter gives you different types of statistics that will help you analyze your Gmail habits.
To install Gmail Meter, open a spreadsheet in Google Docs, then go to "Tools," select "Script Gallery," search for "Gmail Meter," and click "Install."
We've been waiting about an hour for our Gmail Meter to install without any luck, but assuming it works more smoothly for you, you'll then see "a new menu item called Gmail Meter on your spreadsheet," according to Google, and you should then "Click on Gmail Meter --> Get a Report," where you can select the report you'd like. "Preparing a report may take some time," Google warns, though there aren't any details on whether "some time" means three minutes, three days, or three weeks.
Sure, the instant gratification isn't there, but self-discovery is a process, after all.