If you’re super short of time, then very briefly: I apologise for being hard to reach for the last few weeks, I’ve expanded the team and added some much needed pennies to our bank account and our runway is all clear for a round of innovations in Gmail!

Delving Into The Last Month

As I mentioned in the last blog post (and I was loving the comments – thank you!), a month ago I relocated to Brighton (on the British south coast) to give ActiveInbox a much healthier environment to grow up in.

Ever since GTDGmail was released as a hobby project in 2006, it’s been largely tied to me. Pete came in during 2009 to make it actually fun to use and delightful to look at, and we’ve been helped by various people over the years, but I kept pushing back the opportunity to scale properly…

So, during the last month I’ve been busy recruiting three new names to help us grow:

Andrea is here to focus on stability. We’re rebuilding a chunk of the code so that rather than taking around 48 hours to fix a Gmail change, we can detect a problem and update it within half a day; and the best bit is that in some cases, you won’t even need to manually upgrade ActiveInbox – the fix will just happen! (Oh, and Andrea will also work on a Translation system, so we can localise ActiveInbox into other languages).

Sal is going to essentially set up a giant listening dish, to combine the feedback on Get Satisfaction with his own research (you may hear from him soon!) and then translate what he hears into ideas we can all discuss together before putting them into development. Essentially, Sal, is streamlining our process to evolve ActiveInbox in the best way possible.
Meanwhile, Lisa is stepping aboard to join me with customer support conversations and keep the momentum of those conversations high (I suffer with this as I’m pretty poor at switching between high level talking mode and low level coding mode!).

As for me, in a mad blitz of feature development, I’m going to sprint for a month in July to roll out (amongst other smaller tweaks):

  • Multiple Inboxes to keep important emails on your radar
  • Add ‘Escalate to GCal’ feature to get emails more easily into the calendar
  • A very cool addition to ‘Waiting On’ (ha, I hate teases… but it deserves a post of its own!)

And Pete will be donning a pair of overalls and picking up his paint brush to make ActiveInbox look strokably lovely in the new Gmail theme.

Finally, and for me right now most importantly, I absolutely must offer an apology to everyone who’s emailed in the last few weeks. On top of the big move and the efforts to recruit, I did some consulting to inject some cash (that has made all the difference to us to safely fund that recruitment), but the intensity of it completely blocked out the chance to do anything but keep ActiveInbox on life support. Sorry. In a big big way. Lisa & I will work through the backlog over the coming weeks.

Next step: a quick fix update to ActiveInbox so that “Archive & MoveNext” works again, by Monday.


This was written by Andy Mitchell