Countless hours of productivity have been lost to email inboxes. To help you save time, Google has introduced a new pop-up compose view in Gmail.

Previously, when drafting an email, the compose box would take over your entire screen. If you had to reference something in another email, you’d have to save your draft, exit out, and fish through your other emails. Not any more. The new view pops up over your Gmail inbox, similar to a chat box.

This allows you to draft your message while still being able to look through old emails or keep an eye on incoming messages. And just like chat boxes, you can write multiple messages at once or minimize a message to finish it later. The new look will also be applied when you reply to an email so that recipients and controls are always in view, regardless of how long the message is.

If you’ve ever sent an email to the wrong John Smith, Gmail now lets you see profile pictures of your contacts in autocomplete to help you find the right person faster. And instead of deleting and retyping, you can just drag a recipients between to, cc, and bcc fields. When you’re finished adding people, the address area will disappear allowing you to focus on your message.

With this update you’re also able to easily insert inline images into your emails. Google promises that this is just the first of many new features to come to Gmail. The company is rolling out a preview today and the new look will be available to everyone over the coming months.

[Image credit: Elliot Bennett]