See more blog posts

Jun 5, 2024

Divide and conquer your inbox with Splits

Andrew Lee

Andrew Lee

4 min read


It’s 9 AM, and you’re starting your work day with an overflowing inbox. Somewhere in there are emails from important customers, potential investors, and interested press – but you can’t find them under the mountain of SaaS updates, newsletters, promotions, and recruiter spam. You’re stressed and worried you might miss something important.

Have no fear – our new Inbox Splits are here to help! They’re a simple way to divide your one big inbox into multiple smaller, more focused inboxes – each in its own tab. Splits let you handle different types of emails at different times, so you can stay responsive where it matters most. You can check important tabs frequently and keep them at inbox zero, while only periodically skimming less critical ones.

Powerful configuration options

Splits are backed by Shortwave’s powerful search infrastructure, so they’re incredibly customizable. You can define Splits based on:

  • Importance
  • Built-in labels (such as Newsletters, Promotions, Updates, etc.)
  • Custom labels
  • Specific senders
  • Complex search queries

For even more power, you can use Gmail filters or Shortwave’s auto-apply rules to apply a label automatically to emails, and then create a Split based on that label. You can also manually move emails via drag-and-drop that you would like to show up in a specific label Split.

Some of the most popular Splits we’ve seen so far include:

  • Important & Other – for separating the signal from the noise
  • SaaS notifications – to keep Asana, Github, Notion, etc., from cluttering up your inbox.
  • Per-customer – for consultants who want to focus on one customer at a time
  • Newsletters & Promotions – so you can read them on your own time
  • Workflow-specific – using custom queries to streamline specific business processes

As part of this launch, we’re introducing support for Gmail’s Importance feature. Importance uses AI to categorize emails based on your past actions – what you’ve read, who you’ve emailed, etc. – to help surface the emails that matter to you most. You can use Importance across Shortwave, including when defining Splits and when searching for emails, with more importance-backed features coming soon.

One of our most popular settings has been the ability to hide empty Splits. This allows you to create many Splits for specific types of emails without overwhelming yourself with a ton of empty tabs.

Taking Bundles to a whole new level

One of Shortwave’s most popular features is Bundles, and Splits are designed to enhance them – not replace them. Splits divide your inbox into tabs so you can focus on different types of emails at different times. Bundles, on the other hand, group related emails into a single row for easy skimming and quick bulk actions, so you can get to inbox zero faster within each Split.

With today’s launch, we’re introducing a new feature to automatically bundle all emails in a Split based on sender. For example, you can create a Newsletters Split, and then have one Bundle per Newsletter, without needing to manually create a new Bundle for each publication. We’re also giving you the option to disable bundling in a particular Split if you don’t want it.

Splits work with Stars, Todos, and our AI Assistant

Splits are designed to work with our task management features as well: Stars and Todos. Each Split has its own Starred section, allowing you to track high-priority emails separately in each tab. When you do want to move tasks into a centralized, organized list, you can create a Todo, thereby allowing you to group emails from across your Splits, add notes, and prioritize your work.

Splits also work great with our AI Assistant. For example, you can shift-click to select all the threads in a Split, and ask for a high-level summary of the entire Split.

Get started in seconds

Splits are available today for all users and are supported on every platform (iOS, Android, and web / desktop). You can configure them in moments by heading to your settings on the web.

Sign up for monthly updates

Get a roundup of the latest feature launches and exciting opportunities with Shortwave