What’s New In Alpha 3?
The Sidebar Statuses Have Become ‘Today’, ‘To Do’, ‘Overdue’
I’ve hidden the old single Status choices (Next, Action, Waiting On) and bundled them into cognitive groups. E.g. ‘To Do’ comprises of ‘Next’, ‘Action’, ‘Waiting On’.
I found in v3 that I was avoiding certain lists too easily (e.g. ‘Action’), and emails were just building up.
So now we can click ‘To Do’ and get a complete, scannable overview of what must be done.
Tabs For Search Results: ‘Gmail’ & ‘Active’
These are a little like Multiple Inboxes for search results, but split into tabs.
So, rather than a big list of jumbled conversations, ‘Active Results’ – for any search you do – groups the results by a Status and Deadline.
(Theoretically in the future, it could also group them by Project, or person.)
What Is To Be Cautious About In Beta 3?
This is a really unpolished release! I just wanted to get a discussion going about the big questions below, before I invest too much time perfecting this and then discovering we can think of a better solution 🙂
- The tabs have no colour
- There should be a result count on the ‘Active Results’ tab
- Loading a conversation from the ‘Active Results’ tab view does not quite work properly. It loads, but Older/Newer are broken.
- There is no colour coding on the labels in the ‘Active Results’ tab view
- ‘Active Results’ will fail for regular text searches (e.g. a search for ‘bob’ will not find active items).
Big Questions For You For The Comments!
Please don’t email me with your thoughts – instead let’s discuss all in the comments so they’re all in one place 🙂
Question 1 – Do The New Sidebar Choices Suit Your Workflow?
Do the new sidebar choices of ‘Today’, ‘To Do’, ‘Overdue’ etc. fit your mental model – and work flow – better than just a list of statuses?
Question 2 – Does the ‘Active Results’ Tab Show What You Need?
How well does the ‘Active Results’ tab work for you? If it feels strange, do you think it’s because it’s not quite visually right (needs more polish), or it’s because there is a much better approach to be found?
My initial thoughts on this:
- The ‘Active Results’ tab should be consistently there, whether you’ve done a search or just clicked ‘To Do’ in the sidebar. It should become ‘normal’.
- But, we can do things to make it clearer what you’re looking at.
- E.g. if you click ‘To Do’, the search box changes colour and reads ‘To Do’ rather than a random search string.
- We can also mimic Gmail Results, by putting ‘Search Results for XYZ’ within the ‘Active Results’ tab view.
- On the other hand, it is possible that only regular search results should have both the ‘Gmail Results’ and ‘Active Results’ tabs; and that a click on ‘To Do’ just gives a simple, tab-less view of active results.
Question 3 – Changing Conversation Status Within Active Results
Do we definitely need a way to change the status of an email when in the ‘Active Results’ tab view? Is it not just better to go into each conversation? Your work flows here would be really interesting (hint: it’s going to get visually uglier to be able to change the status of emails from the tab view!).
How To Download ActiveInbox 4 Alpha 3
Please note, this is very important:
* It is only for Plus users. If you don’t have Plus, and you upgrade, you will not be able to use ActiveInbox 4 Alpha (and will have to uninstall & downgrade).
* It is only for Google Chrome (for now!)
1) Click Install ActiveInbox 4.0 Alpha 3 for Chrome and install as usual
2) Close the Gmail tab and open a new tab, and load Gmail in it (otherwise you will get visual glitches)
This was written by Andy Mitchell