Before we start, let me (Andy) just thank everyone who has been involved over the summer… It started with the ‘Feature Requests’ survey we did in June (which had a great response), and I duly began a ‘few weeks’ of work to implement them (which lasted for two months), and then entered a ‘few days’ of Beta testing (which lasted 3 weeks), and at the cost of one British Summer and several more grey hairs, here is 5.1
(Actually, it’s Tom who created the performance & stability improvements, Adhip who built lots of new features, and Sam & Lisa who kept the community served during that time!).
Our goal was simple: add powerful new features, and make ActiveInbox a refined thing of brilliance and (comparable) beauty.
Just bask in the intro video
The Big New Features
Send Emails Later
You can now schedule emails to be sent automatically whenever you want. You’ll find it useful if you don’t want to have someone instantly reply to you and so distract you from other work that you are doing. Or, say you work odd hours, at weekends or on holiday. You can just set emails to be sent only during working hours so people don’t think your constantly working and so constantly available. You can chose any time or day to the nearest 15 minutes and ActiveInbox will take care of the rest.
Make sure nothing falls through the net
Another useful feature we’ve added is Auto-waiting on; effectively the ability to catch any emails you’ve sent and haven’t had a reply to, but that you forgot to mark as waiting on when you sent them.
This is especially useful if you’re a new user or if you’ve fallen behind or taken a break from ActiveInbox. You can make sure you have not missed any important emails that should be marked waiting-on.
It’s also great to hunt down old email that didn’t get a reply when they were not so important, and now have become more critical a few months on: say, a project with a vague and faraway deadline which, 5 months later has now become an imminent and urgent deadline.
Auto-sync due dates to your Calendar
Our most requested feature in the survey was the ability to sync your due-dates with Google Calendar and get a birds eye view of all your tasks. So now, you can do just that. Go to any due date drop-down in an email and click on “more” at the bottom.
All your due dates can now automatically sync with your new calendar. You can also sync with any other calendar you use such as iCal or Outlook by pasting the supplied web address into your browser and then downloading the ics file.
Your new zen Task Box
One of the most noticeable changes has been in the task bar area and where the old ActiveInbox buttons for processing emails used to be.
We’ve streamlined the whole process and re-designed it so that the standard Gmail buttons are left alone and we no longer add any clutter.
- The label (Project) drop-downs have been condensed into a tabbed ‘Add to’ button which should be much faster to navigate.
- Search for labels from the ‘Add To’ dropdown.
- There are now three different levels of compression for the task bar – we allow you to have a very thin top section but still see and edit your to-do’s, notes, statuses and labels.
We are trying to declutter your Gmail, take up less vertical space so you can read emails without scrolling so much, and get out of your way when you want. The new task bar will remember the last state of expansion when you return to the inbox and the next time you open an email will return to that state. So if you want to keep it minimalist, you can without trawling through preference menu’s.
Easier Navigation through Projects
We’ve given you better options with which to navigate and access Project folders.
- We have removed the New section and instead added a check-box to see new emails in the Task and Mail views, to reduce clutter and scrolling.
- You can also now include sub-folders in your Task and Mail views, so you can get a birds eye view from a major folder.
In the task lists, we made Due Dates and Statuses stand out more so they’re easier to scan
We added the much requested re-ordering of To-do’s
New move-nexters that are much faster to use, and are integrated into standard Gmail buttons
We were wrongly duplicating Gmail’s Action buttons for too long. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Now, when you mouse over a regular Gmail Action button (e.g. Archive), our Move Nexters will appear just above it.
Never forget to update statuses and to-do’s when you reply
When you send a reply, get reminded to change the status or to update your to-do’s with the new “Send-And” bar – so that if you forgot you can update things quickly and move to the next email without scrolling to the top again.
Handling Any Nasty Shocks
First, please give the changes a day to sink in before shouting at us!
About a 1000 of you have been testing and improving it for the last few weeks, and given it their general stamp of approval.
You can have status buttons back in the Task Box
We think that, even though it adds an extra click, the new status dropdown in the TaskBox is really clean (during one-line mode).
But if you really want to see all your status buttons at all times, go into our preferences, and enable ‘Show all Status Buttons even when TaskBox in Summary Mode’.
Send Later can take up to 15 minutes to send
This is just about expectations: the time you choose is a 15 minute sending slot. E.g. if you choose to send at 8am tomorrow, it’ll be sent somewhere between 8am and 8:15am.
Thus do not worry if, when you test it, you don’t see the email get sent the moment 8am rolls around!
A useful bit of tech info:
- If for whatever reason it does fail, it’ll always send you a message to let you know, so you can at least rectify it.
- The emails you choose to Send Later are stored in Drafts while they’re waiting to go.
It should auto-update to 5.1 (actually 5.1.1 at time of writing). Chrome does this in 30 minutes – then you just need to refresh Gmail. Firefox can take a day. Safari… is a mystery
Should you wish to force it, just go to the Install Page, install it (no need to uninstall first), then refresh Gmail.