It has not been our best kept secret, but it’s time to come absolutely clean… we have spent the last 4 months working – funded by your donations and inspired by your feedback – on what has become GTDInbox 3.0. Pete (Lambert) and I started by going right back to basics on the details of how GTDInbox will look, feel and work; Stephen (Augenstein) has put together a very robust framework for interacting with Gmail (far better to anything that went before); James (McCarthy) has been busy preparing the server-side account; and courtesy of Rob (Mientjes) we even have a new logo!
Now for the contrition… what will be released later this week isn’t really ready in the traditional sense of the word. We’ve stripped the features right back (but improved the quality of each one), it’s not been tested outside the core group, and it’s entirely unoptimised. (The reason for the premature opening up I hope is about to become clear…).
Meanwhile, you may have noticed that communication (on the blog, email, forum, etc.) has been poor over the last few weeks. I’ve optimistically believed we’ll be ready “in the next few days” for about a month; and as a consequence have repeatedly put off taking the time to update everyone on what’s happening. The constant small setbacks are mounting our internal stress, and I expect the silence is no fun for any of you either. And frankly, it’s a shoddy long-term approach (as there will always be new features coming, and we cannot keep going quiet). The root of all of this is a lack of resources that makes it difficult to simultaneously plan, develop, support and still communicate – but happily, the sentiment is now such that it is time to start solving this problem systematically.
So what is the plan? In essence it is to go back to our earliest days of open and regular frankness!
- 1) We will be launching a new blog on http://www.gtdinbox.com (ProductiveFirefox.com is being steadily written out – all our focus is now on expanding GTDInbox) where we discuss upcoming features, announce releases, share tips and generally bounce ideas and feedback around.
- 2) We’ll be launching a new kind of forum for suggestions and bugs that makes it far simpler for us respond to ideas, and for everyone to vote up their favourite topics (to ensure the general consensus drives us forward).
- 3) We will use a wiki (internally-edited initially, but we will try and find a way to open it up) for documenting features, roadmaps, etc. It’ll be easier to update than the current website, so we will be able to keep it up to date; and slowly open up to allow more contributors to edit it and add useful details.
- 4) We will fully document our development/feature roadmap as far as we can, so everyone knows – and can comment on – our general direction.
We have found our business model, that will is intended to allow us to expand our resources for more rapid development. It’s almost embarrassingly simple, but then again simplicity is our goal in every aspect of GTDInbox! All standard features will remain free forever, as will some new features; but we will develop several Pro plugins (with a fair annual fee) that specifically appeal to people with more advanced needs. We’re also considering a (neatly segregated) advertising area for other (interesting – they’ll be hand approved) productivity solutions.
Finally, both the Gmail Abstraction Layer and the standard GTDInbox code will be fully open source (as of the ‘final’ release of 3.0 – due in June). We will support contributors as much as we can.
So what are the next steps?
On Thursday (7th May) we will release the new alpha of GTDInbox 3.0 on both this blog and the new one, along with the new website and forum.
And lastly… take a quick peek at our new logo (I love it!):
This was written by Andy Mitchell