Unlock interesting data from your Gmail account with Gmail Meter

Unlock interesting data from your Gmail account with Gmail Meter

I’ve been using Gmail for as long as I can remember, and unfortunately I have more unread emails than I care to admit. The service is my lifeblood, but one thing that’s missing is the ability to gain insight into how active I am in sending and receiving email. Is there a certain time of day where I get more emails than others? That’s the type of thing I’d love to know.

A Developer Programs Engineer on the Gmail team, Saurabh Gupta, has posted a note about a neat little Google Apps script called “Gmail Meter” which will send you a report at the beginning of every month with interesting data about your email interactions, as well as the ability to set up your own custom reports.

It’s not an official Google app mind you, but it seems like a pretty robust script. Installing it requires you to set up a new spreadsheet within Google Docs, using the same account that you have for Gmail.

Out of the box, the app will show you:

– Statistics on the volume of email you send and receive, along with breakdowns of how many messages you’ve starred and marked important
– Daily traffic estimates showing you which days are your heaviest “email days”
– Categories of emails which will tell you how you’re using Gmail labels to manage your messages
– How long it takes for you to respond to an email the first time, showing you how efficient, or inefficient you are with email
– Word count tabulations which can give you an overall sense of if you’re too wordy

The installation process requires you to go to Tools > Script Gallery. Search for “Gmail Meter” and click Install within your newly set up spreadsheet. Here’s a quick video tutorial that will take you through the steps:

Once you’re all set up, you’ll start getting emails at the beginning of the month which will keep you on the straight and narrow as far as managing email goes. Who knows, it might turn you into an email pro. Or in my case, it might scare me away from using email completely.

Hopefully Google will integrate something like this into the Gmail product so that we can get stats in real-time and not have to install any scripts.

Read next: Manpacks, American Apparel, and startup arbitrage