Community & Support

Where we make ActiveInbox with you


  • We're real people!

    Answering questions is part of everyone's job here, and Lisa's the one working all day just to do everything she can to help you out! Meet the team

    I've yet to see the type of engagement this group has with the users of their product. It's as though you're sitting in on meetings with them and having input into the direction of ActiveInbox.


    Greg DeMaderios

    Can't ask for much better service then this- report a bug fixed 2 days later- Thanks @activeinbox - Love the tool!



    Kudos to Andy at @activeinbox for not only seeing I was talking about an issue but responding quickly and with a solution. You rock! :)



    Google needs a sixth star for this extension. And maybe a seventh for their customer support.

    Kurt Flint

    Kurt Flint

  • I'm new, how do I get started?

    Check out our complete Getting Started section for an easy step by step guide, and peruse the FAQ below.

  • Can you answer my question or fix my problem?

    Sure can!

    If something doesn't seem right, have a look at the Troubleshooting FAQ (it includes way to contact us for solving problems).

    If you'd like to discuss any ways we can improve ActiveInbox, or have any other questions, please drop by the Forum.

  • I've paid - where is my Licence?

    You don't need a licence once you've paid for ActiveInbox.

    You can use and access your account on any computer using your password:

    1. Make sure the ActiveInbox extension is installed on your browser. Just click the Add to Gmail button at the top of this page.
    2. Open Gmail and sign into your Gmail account.
    3. Click the Green button you will see at the top to connect your ActiveInbox account and import everything.
    4. Log-in with your account details.
  • Can I use it on my mobile devices?

    Developing a mobile app is now our main priority following the release of version 5.1. We are nearly ready to release a Beta app which will be fairly stable, but development of a complete stable mobile app will take 6-8 months.

    Saying that, you don't really need one to be able to process emails on the go. This is because the core of what ActiveInbox does is stored using Gmail labels, which are available everywhere you use Gmail:

    * To view your tasks, open the !Action folder
    * To action an email, add it to the !Action folder
    * To add an email to a project, move it to the Project folder (beginning with P/, e.g. P/My Project)
    * To give an email a due date, move it to the appropriate folder, e.g. ZD/20141225 for December 25th, 2014

    If you have an iPhone we unofficially recommend the Mailbox app. For instructions, check out Using ActiveInbox and Mailbox together.

    Gmail allows you to send emails to yourself which will go straight into the correct folder or label by adding +labelname before the @ (e.g. You then just set up a regular Gmail filter to send all emails from that address to the corresponding folder. This allows you to send yourself to-do's on the go. See our tip on "Adding tasks that did not start as an email" for more help.

  • Can I assign a time to my Due Dates?

    If something has a time, it's an event, and is best represented by adding it to your GCal (and GCal will even email you a reminder when it's due).

    (If you have a good reason why this isn't the case, please bring it to the Forum and we can discuss!)

  • How can I pin important projects & views?

    You can pin your most commonly used Task views, and current Projects, to the Review Bar so you can access them with one click.

    (What is the Review Bar? It's the bar at the top of Gmail, or the ActiveInbox sidebar, which you can invoke by clicking the cube icon in the bottom left of Gmail. It contains menus for all your To Do views, and your Projects list).

    To pin important items, click the down-arrow to the right of the item you want, and select Pin to main bar. (You can remove it the same way).

    This video might be useful:

  • Calendar not syncing immediately? You can force it.

    Google Calendar does not update calendars added by url very regularly - more like once an hour than every minute.

    That can be annoying if you are expecting you ActiveInbox due dates to be added immediately - so that you can head out of the office for a meeting and keep track of what you need to do with your calendar.

    Don't worry! There is a simple (if inelegant) workaround.

    You can 'force' your calendar to update by just copying the same supplied url you initially used, into another new url calendar but add ?noCache to the end of the url (no spaces).


    This will add a new calendar which should update immediately. You can then remove the old one. Keep doing it whenever you need to immediately update your calendar by just adding -1, -2 etc.. to the end of noCache.

  • Can I set up recurring tasks?

    We haven't built this in as a feature yet, but Ronald made a great suggestion on the Forum.

  • Do you return Due Date items to my inbox when they're due?

    We've researched this, tested it, and ultimately decided not to - we believe there's a better way.

    We found, during testing 'Return to Inbox', that most people gave something a due date, then when it came back into the inbox, pushed it back out for a few more hours. I.e. they were suffering the stress of something coming into the inbox, not having time to do it (we're very bad at predicting when we'll be free), and then ignoring it rather than doing it.

    That stress and bad timing is eliminated just by using a simple Today list. One that lets you prioritize your day's items by moving them up and down, and where your only job is to calmly reduce the Today list to zero. (We do show the Today list above your Inbox though, so it's impossible to ignore).

  • How do I archive finished Projects?

    Every Project is really a Gmail label, e.g. the project "New Ideas" is actually the label P/New Ideas.

    To archive it when you've finished, simply rename the Gmail label so it no longer has the P/ prefix. ActiveInbox will then remove it from your Projects list.

    I recommend renaming it with a new prefix, zOld/, so it appears at the end of any alphabetical list, e.g. zOld/P/New Ideas (it's better than deleting the label, because you can still see all emails that used to be associated with that project).

  • How can I request a feature?

    To share ideas or ask general questions, come to our Forum. It's the fastest place to get an answer, and discussions/ideas evolve faster when anyone can join in on the conversation.

  • How can I reduce visual clutter in Gmail?

    We want to remove as many distractions as possible, while respecting the bits of Gmail you need, so have made it possible to toggle various parts of Gmail on and off.

    You can:

    • Turn Gmail's header (ActiveInbox's Review Bar and Gmail's Search Bar) on and off, by clicking the grey line just below the Search Bar. If you need to search, press '/' and the search box reappears (until you press Enter or Esc).
    • Toggle Gmail's Action Bar in conversations, by finding the button with 4 diagonal arrows to the right of ActiveInbox's Action Bar (just below Gmail's), and clicking it. You should find ActiveInbox's Action Bar gives you everything you need.
    • Toggle between ActiveInbox and Gmail's Sidebar by clicking the cube icon in the bottom left of Gmail. Our Sidebar is cleaner, and makes Gmail feel more like a task manager.
  • How do I group & sort my tasks by due date, person, project, etc.?

    When you open a To Do view (e.g. Today or Waiting On), or a Project, you get a list of results that can be grouped or sorted.

    If you click 'Group By' at the top of the results, you can group them by their due date, status, project or person.

    And sorting allows you to change the order in which the results appear (e.g. you may group Today items into projects, and then sort by the person).

  • How do create new statuses for my emails?

    ActiveInbox lets you give an email a status of Action (for you to do) or Waiting On (blocked until someone replies, but still to do).

    You can add your own, by creating new labels that start with ! (which is the status prefix). ActiveInbox will then show them as buttons.

    For example, in our Support account, we have !L1 and !L2 instead of !Action, because our volume of email requires us to prioritize.

  • How can I add a new category for grouping emails (similar to Projects)?

    This is quite an advanced topic! We don't recommend you think about this if you're just starting with ActiveInbox.

    ActiveInbox can have many Label Types, which are a list of folders that have a similar utility. A Label Type consists of a name and a label prefix. By default, the only Label Type is Projects, which has the label prefix P/.

    For example, if you share a Gmail account with team mates, you might have a Label Type of Users (with label prefix U/), which contains a folder for every person who accesses the account, so you can assign emails to different people.

    And a common use is to have a Label Type of References (with the label prefix R/), where each folder represents a distinct type of information. E.g. Meeting Notes, Praise, Receipts.

  • How do I make Task views and Projects open as regular Gmail results?

    By default, your To Do views (e.g. Today, Action, Waiting On) and Projects open in the ActiveInbox's Results view, which gives you extra powers, such as ranking and grouping emails.

    If you ever want to see the equivelent Gmail Results, you can click Switch to Gmail Results at the bottom of that view.

    But if you want every To Do view and Project to open in Gmail Results, you can open the Preferences and uncheck Open Review Bar links into "Active Results" tab (instead of regular Gmail results).

  • Are the Due Date labels automatically cleaned up after use?

    Yes, when you load Gmail it checks all your due-date labels (e.g. ZD/yyyymmdd), and if they're not associated with any emails (i.e. not in use), then they're deleted to minimize the total number of labels in your account.

    (Don't worry, there are lots of safety checks to make sure labels cannot be incorrectly deleted).

  • Can I collaboratively share data with my team?

    No -- ActiveInbox is built to the work the same way as email itself, as a single user. (But please come and discuss in the Forum if you want us to!)

  • Where is my data stored?

    The privacy of your data is a big deal to us. One example of this is that, like every other Gmail addon that I'm aware of, we don't require full access to your email (aka 'OAuth Access') by default.

    What We Store on our Servers

    We only store what cannot be easily stored in Gmail itself: the notes and checklists you add to emails; ranking your emails (when you drag them up & down) - but we only use the email's numeric ID (not any personal details); and your preferences.

    We also store your interaction with our website, which is used to make improvements using aggregate data. We also take occasional snapshots of your feature usage, but with no personal information (e.g. we'll record you clicked the 'save note' button but not what the note was). You can turn this off in the Preferences (but it is really useful for making improvements).


    We use SSL (https) everywhere, for secure data exchange.

    The database itself isn't encrypted, but only the dev team has access to it, and we'll never access your data without you requesting us to (e.g. to debug a problem).

    Services Utilised

    We utilise the following vendors to provide ActiveInbox: Mailchimp, Mailgun, Amazon AWS, Google Analytics, Gmail, PayPal, Stripe.

    One or more of - your email address, your data (as detailed above), interaction with our website and conversational exchanges - may be transmitted through those services. If you have any reason to distrust these services, please contact us.

    Access to your Gmail

    By default, we don't have direct access to your email from our server (aka 'OAuth access').

    Instead, ActiveInbox interacts with Gmail via your browser, entirely within your machine. The only data that gets transmitted to our server is that detailed above. We really encourage any geeks out there to verify that by watching the Network tab in Chrome's Developer Tools, and if you don't like something we do, please shout loud & publicly.

    You can optionally grant our server access to your email, to use certain functionality. However, we make it very clear what you're granting access to when it happens, and you can still choose not to. For example, Send Later requires our server to have 24/7 access to your email to work properly.

  • Do I have to give you my credentials to access my email?

    Not to use 95% of ActiveInbox's features. And for the 5% of features that do need your credentials (e.g. "Send Later") you'll be very clearly asked to authorize ActiveInbox's full access. I.e. it's your choice.

    The reason we don't need your credentials is because we're a browser addon, and have the ability to modify Gmail to improve it, but only within the confines of your computer. (I.e. our server cannot secretly read all your email).

    To be totally transparent, our technique is still not perfectly protected from us, the makers of ActiveInbox: if we were malicious we could still send information from your Gmail account to our servers. But the saving grace is that any geeks with Firefox and Chrome can monitor what data is sent to our website using the inbuilt network tools, and if you're a geek I encourage you to do so -- and if you ever see anything you don't like, to raise the alarm and shout it loudly around the internet. (I'm incredibly proud of what we do with ActiveInbox and would never want to do anything that concerns even a single user).

  • What happens if I don't like it, is it easy to uninstall?

    Just go into your browser's extension list, find ActiveInbox, and click uninstall. All your organization is intentionally left intact, but you can delete that too by going into Gmail's Settings and removing all status labels (e.g. !Action), project labels (beginning with P/) and deadline labels (beginning with ZD/).

  • Is ActiveInbox a finished product?

    Not yet! Although the core concepts are stable now and won't change much unless you give us a very good reason :-) Meet the team, and find out what we're building.

  • Terms of Service

    By using the ActiveInbox ("Service"), you are agreeing to be bound by the following terms and conditions ("Terms of Service").

    The Inbox Foundry LTD ("Company") reserves the right to update and change these Terms of Service without notice.

    Violation of any of the terms below may result in the termination of your account.

    Account Terms

    1. You are responsible for maintaining the security of your account and password. The Company cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage from your failure to comply with this security obligation.
    2. You are responsible for all content posted and activity that occurs under your account (even when content is posted by others who have their own logins under your account).
    3. You may not use the Service for any illegal purpose or to violate any laws in your jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright laws).
    4. You must provide your legal full name, a valid email address, and any other information requested in order to complete the signup process.
    5. You must be a human. Accounts registered by "bots" or other automated methods are not permitted.

    Payment, Refunds, Upgrading and Downgrading Terms

    1. The Service is offered with a free trial. Once that trial is up, you will only be able to continue using the Service by paying in advance for additional usage. If you fail to pay for additional usage, your account will be frozen and inaccessible until payment is made.
    2. For any upgrade or downgrade in plan level, will result in the new rate being charged at the next billing cycle. There will be no prorating for downgrades in between billing cycles.
    3. Downgrading your Service may cause the loss of features or capacity of your account. The Company does not accept any liability for such loss.
    4. All fees are exclusive of all taxes, levies, or duties imposed by taxing authorities, and you shall be responsible for payment of all such taxes, levies, or duties, excluding only United Kingdom taxes.
    5. Refunds are processed for up to 2 weeks after payment.

    Cancellation and Termination

    1. If you pay by recurring billing, you are solely responsible for properly canceling your account. An email or phone request to cancel your account is not considered cancellation. If you pay by invoice, your account will be considered cancelled if you don't pay to renew.
    2. All of your content will be immediately be inaccessible from the Service upon cancellation. Within 30 days, all this content will be permanently deleted from all backups and logs. This information can not be recovered once it has been permanently deleted.
    3. If you cancel the Service before the end of your current paid up month, your cancellation will take effect immediately, and you will not be charged again. But there will not be any prorating of unused time in the last billing cycle.
    4. The Company, in its sole discretion, has the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Service for any reason at any time. Such termination of the Service will result in the deactivation or deletion of your Account or your access to your Account, and the forfeiture and relinquishment of all content in your account. The Company reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

    Modifications to the Service and Prices

    1. The Company reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, any part of the Service with or without notice.
    2. Prices of all Services are subject to change upon 30 days notice from us. Such notice may be provided at any time by posting the changes to the ActiveInbox site or the Service itself.
    3. The Company shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, price change, suspension or discontinuance of the Service.

    Copyright and Content Ownership

    1. All content posted on the Service is must comply with UK copyright law.
    2. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material you provide to the Service. All materials uploaded remain yours.
    3. The Company does not pre-screen content, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) in their sole discretion to refuse or remove any content that is available via the Service.
    4. The look and feel of the Service is copyright© The Inbox Foundry, LTD. All rights reserved. You may not duplicate, copy, or reuse any portion of the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or visual design elements without express written permission from the Company.

    General Conditions

    1. Your use of the Service is at your sole risk. The service is provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis.
    2. Technical support is only provided via email.
    3. You understand that the Company uses third party vendors and hosting partners to provide the necessary hardware, software, networking, storage, and related technology required to run the Service.
    4. You must not modify, adapt or hack the Service.
    5. You must not modify another website so as to falsely imply that it is associated with the Service or the Company.
    6. You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any portion of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service without the express written permission by the Company.
    7. We may, but have no obligation to, remove content and accounts that we determine in our sole discretion are unlawful or violates any party's intellectual property or these Terms of Service.
    8. Verbal, physical, written or other abuse (including threats of abuse or retribution) of any Service customer, Company employee or officer will result in immediate account termination.
    9. You understand that the technical processing and transmission of the Service, including your content, may be transferred unencrypted and involve (a) transmissions over various networks; and (b) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices. We do transfer data between client and server via https, but we state this clause because we cannot guarantee how 3rd party vendors transfer data between their internal systems.
    10. We reserve the right to temporarily disable your account if your usage significantly exceeds the average usage of other Service customers. Of course, we'll reach out to the account owner before taking any action except in rare cases where the level of use may negatively impact the performance of the Service for other customers.
    11. The Company does not warrant that (i) the service will meet your specific requirements, (ii) the service will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free, (iii) the results that may be obtained from the use of the service will be accurate or reliable, (iv) the quality of any products, services, information, or other material purchased or obtained by you through the service will meet your expectations, and (v) any errors in the Service will be corrected.
    12. You expressly understand and agree that the Company shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses (even if the Company has been advised of the possibility of such damages), resulting from: (i) the use or the inability to use the service; (ii) the cost of procurement of substitute goods and services resulting from any goods, data, information or services purchased or obtained or messages received or transactions entered into through or from the service; (iii) unauthorized access to or alteration of your transmissions or data; (iv) statements or conduct of any third party on the service; (v) or any other matter relating to the service.
    13. The failure of the Company to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms of Service shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. The Terms of Service constitutes the entire agreement between you and the Company and govern your use of the Service, superceding any prior agreements between you and the Company (including, but not limited to, any prior versions of the Terms of Service).
    14. Questions about the Terms of Service should be sent to

    Any new features that augment or enhance the current Service, including the release of new tools and resources, shall be subject to the Terms of Service. Continued use of the Service after any such changes shall constitute your consent to such changes.