As technology keeps making giant leaps forward, artificial intelligence is becoming more and more embedded in our daily lives. Sometimes its effects and uses can be a little disturbing, like the way Tinder can figure out your type based on your swipe history. Even President Obama has some qualms about AI. Other times it’s really cool, like how the Gmail app can come up with highly personalized responses for you. What the Gmail app doesn’t do is learn which emails are top priority for you. Gmail has had an “important” feature for a long time, but it isn’t being improved upon. Luckily, there are other email apps out there.


Enter Notion, a neat app that learns from your interactions with different emails — and quickly. For example, if you always respond to emails from your boss within a short period of time, Notion will highlight any emails from your boss so you can immediately see what’s important. If you get a lot of emails from Aunt Sue but don’t open them right away, Notion knows that too, and will keep those emails in your inbox but gray them out so they don’t call too much attention to themselves. If the app identifies importance incorrectly, you can teach it what you want it to do next time.

If it sounds complicated, don’t worry! We’re here to show you how to use Notion to get the best possible email experience, so you don’t have to spend so much time in your inbox.


Sorting. When you first start using the app, you’ll see some of your emails are already grayed out. The number in the purple circle indicates how many of those emails there are (the number increases as you scroll down and the app loads more). If you’re satisfied with what you see, you can swipe the numbered circle left to archive, which you can see in the second screen. If you see something grayed out that shouldn’t be — or something that isn’t but should be — simply tap on the little arrow on the right of the message and it will toggle the importance of the message. Notion learns from these changes, so next time it will do a better job sorting.


Snoozing. If there’s a message that you need to deal with but it can wait until later, you can swipe on the message (it’s a left swipe by default) to choose a time to come back to it. The swipes can all be changed in the swipe settings, which we’ll talk about later.


Robust settings. Notion lets you add multiple accounts, choose which messages you get alerts for, whether you want a normal or “insight signature” (more on this in a moment), change the notification actions and more. You can even connect Notion to Alexa!


Insights. This feature can be especially helpful to let people know when they can expect a response from you. Notion will learn from you and put those stats into your signature, which you can turn on or off in the app settings.


Swipe settings. This one will be familiar to anyone who has used the stock Mail app, but it’s still worth noting, especially because you can customize your swipes differently for important and unimportant emails.


Radar. This is a nifty feature that will look through your messages and find questions — both questions you’ve asked others and questions others have asked you. It will let you reply straight from this screen or send follow-ups to people who have yet to answer your questions. You can swipe right on each card to clear it (Notion doesn’t understand the concept of rhetorical questions, apparently).


People. This feature gives you insights into the people you have communicated with. It’s super helpful if you need a quick reminder on who you spoke with last week, etc.

Notion is a great email app that shows us some of the best uses of AI. The best email app is one you don’t have to pay much attention to, and Notion makes sure of that.

Which email app do you use? Will you be downloading Notion? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Feature photo via Oscar Wong/Getty)