Email Is (Still) Amazing
There is something magical about emails, they're like throwing telepathic thoughts between each other, helping us move things forward.
And they're incredibly adaptable, flexible enough to work on any project.
Which would be the end of the story. Except for the fact that the thing which makes email useful - being a simple system that everyone uses - also makes it utterly chaotic.
In fact it has been called a $650B drag on the economy.
A fundamental part of the problem is that they're not actually letters, they're badly formatted tasks flowing between you, your colleagues and every knowledge worker in the world. Our inboxes have become our to do lists.
So in an attempt to fix the problem of email overload, we simply try to replace it with separate task and project managers. But because people still prefer email's ease, that leaves us with a new problem…
We now have dynamic communication and information in email, and out of date information in the team project manager.
The Inbox Foundry - the company behind ActiveInbox - has a single reason to be: we're building a tool that eliminates the clunkiness of having a separate email, task and project manager; by embracing email's popularity at the heart of it.
A new way to give you uninterrupted flow to achieve whatever you do in the world.
There are 3 major milestones:
1) Get email under control
Empty your inbox, never forget a task in Gmail, focus on the big picture of projects and get email done more efficiently. Supported by a simple mobile app to achieve inbox zero on the move.
2) Integrate other tools
Simplify your ecosystem of tools by closing the gap between the dynamic discussion happening in email, and the backbone of your team's chosen project management tool, by bringing your favourite tools closer to Gmail.
3) Transform the way email works, to create the ultimate to do list in your life
By using email instead of fighting against it, we have the greatest chance of finally creating a personal management system that transforms our lives. It's ambitious, it's going to be difficult, but we're quietly confident given our incredible community and years of learning.
Andy is proud that we're a true 'everyman' company that anyone could have started.
ActiveInbox began in 2006 as GTDGmail, to scratch Andy's itch by making Gmail a great tool for doing customer support for another startup.
GTDGmail (and later, GTDInbox, after a wrangle with lawyers) was released into the wild for free, with the very humble hope it might at least help
another person. But it quickly picked up an avid fanbase,
over 700 people donated $20,000 (long before Kickstarter existed), and it was given excellent reviews in various magazines.
After watching the original startup fail, and seeing the hobby product he loved working on demonstrate it had real demand,
Andy began dedicating all his time to it in 2010, building a company around him to nurture ActiveInbox as it fulfilled the vision the community had helped prove.
Oh, and we never took investment (we only serve our customers), and we have no industry contacts helping us take shortcuts. You might be pleased to hear
that means we live or die by the quality of our product and how we support you using it.
Join In With Us
We've built a community that shares problems and riffs on solutions in our public forum.
We supply: software built on the tenets of elegance, speed and fantastic support.
You supply: your pains, your daily workflows, your hopes & dreams for better solutions.
(By the way, competitors have noticed and built products around requests by the community that we couldn't do, and we don't mind! We want more teams creating solutions for email so we can learn, compete and improve together. We can even discuss those in the forum!)
Please feel welcome to join in the community, so long as you take the time to clearly articulate your ideas, stay around to discuss them as they evolve, and be kind and patient to everyone (including us - we're still a small team!).
Are you a journalist?
If you need detailed information, we have a Press Pack, previous clippings and other ways we could help you over at the Journalist Center.
Andy Mitchell — maker of lovely products
I'm the one you can shout at when anything goes wrong :) Or discuss your ideas with. And can probably be persuaded to buy you a coffee to better understand how you want to work.
We just want to be the company we'd want to do business with.
You can reach me any time at @andymitchell and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or find out more from LinkedIn.
Pete Lambert — designer of lovely products
Pete tries his best to make things look pretty, splitting his time between drawing pretty pictures and making them work on the internets.
Prior to working on ActiveInbox Pete slept most nights. He also designed and built websites and UIs for web apps.
Lisa Reynolds — meeter, greeter, supporterer
Lisa delights in thinking like a user and member of the community first, and being part of ActiveInbox second. It gives her the extraordinary gift of empathy to listen to any problems you have, help you solve them, and fight your corner with getting requested improvements put in when Andy is stamping his feet.
Mark Perkins — hacker spirit extraordinaire
Mark, in addition to being the nicest human on the team - or possibly anywhere - is a champion of The Right Way.
Deterred by no technical challenge, he isn't just driving ActiveInbox towards ever more refined functionality, he's
ensuring it's done to the highest standard of software craftmanship AND considering every devilish detail of the user experience.
Tom Parslow — technical True Grit
Tom, aside from being a well known speaker on the wonderous power of Python
and entrepreneur behind an energy drink of very niche brand,
sees the big picture of the systems he builds, meaning even the most complex projects get simplified in a way that
keeps them as easily maintained as a Model T Ford.
Dan Flanagan — narrator
Being a bunch naturally inclined towards making products, our language is most suited to the arcane
and technical details of making software… the kind that reduces even the most sprightly of folks into a coma.
Enter Dan - he's on hand to keep you cheerfully awake with scintilating stories about what's happening and where we're going.