I’m incredibly delighted to be able to announce this… For the last 8 months, we’ve been busy refining and testing ActiveInbox 5, and it’s now nearly ready for release.

(Ok ok, I admit the journey hasn’t been super smooth – we were supposed to launch in March, but we kept spotting opportunities for extra little touches!).

This was made possible because of all of you – the Cyber Monday sale we did was a remarkable boost (I’d like to blog that one day), and the number of people buying Plus has been happily increasing, meaning we had both the confidence and the means to invest everything back into making a product that I’m incredibly proud of, and cannot wait to share with you.

I’m going to preview a few of the best new features on the blog over the next week or two, starting with a total transformation of Notes.

Notes AND Next Steps

The first generation Notes feature that was in ActiveInbox 4 served its purpose, but it lacked elegance, it was clunky.

So we ripped it out and started over. This is what it looks like, in fully expanded ‘Edit’ mode:

For starters, it’s no longer in the header bar – so it doesn’t take up the precious ‘fixed’ vertical space. Instead, it’s at the top of the conversation (in the scrolling section).

And it’s a welcoming shade of yellow, invoking hues of a Post It note (am I laying this designer speak on a bit thick? I’ll ‘tone’ it down).

But much much more importantly, we’ve added in a new Next Steps feature. This is a great way to summarise – in an actionable vocabulary – the things you have to do for a long conversation.

And, your Next Step appears in the Active Results, underneath the Subject. Which in practice is like being able to edit the subject, as it makes scanning and prioritising that much easier.

This is just new feature #1, I cannot wait to show you more 🙂

Sign up for early access to ActiveInbox 5

As only 20 people have been beta testing V5 for the last few months, we’re still incredibly cautious about rolling it out.

So, the first people to get access to V5 will be Plus users who enter their email address below:

Email address:

(Please be aware this really is a beta product, albeit one that has been tested for many months, and it’s not for the faint of heart).

We’ll send you an email when we’ve automatically upgraded you to ActiveInbox 5. There are no downloads required!

Even if you’re not a Plus user, you can enter your email address anyway – and if you upgrade to Plus in the near future we’ll get you on V5. We certainly appreciate your support 🙂


This was written by Andy Mitchell



  • renegadesk says:

    Actionable steps is great. I get a bit out of control with all the apps / software I use to manage my tasks so hopefully this will help to reduce that. Will be great is there is a way to see all Next Steps in one view

  • Looking forward to trying this out; signed up 🙂

  • Marcus Badach says:

    Hi team… I signed up last week and am number 40… any ideas of when testing will start? 🙂

    • Hey Marcus – definitely Today, I’m just testing the upgrade process now!

      • Hope my number 170+ also gets into the first batch of updates #fingerscrossed 🙂

      • Marcus Badach says:

        Hi Andy did this happen? Can’t see any changes?

      • You’ll get an email when it happens (hopefully imminently!). Let me know how you go 🙂

      • @andyrmitchell:disqus hoping that my inbox gets that email soon too 🙂

      • It’s rolling still! 20 at a time, a few hours between 🙂

      • Thanks for the update Andy. Being on spot no. 170, hope to see it arrive sometime later today… ooh, the suspense 😉

      • @andyrmitchell:disqus – “20 at a time, a few hours between :)” – almost 4 days have gone by now… are you sure you didn’t mean, 20 at a time, a few “days” between… I ask because I’ve still not received an email ??

        To be honest, your staggered beta update is a fun way to get attention, but only to a point, and only-in-so-far-as you keep to your word, or updating us on changes; after 5 comments on this thread it’s starting to get a little tedious getting no reply or engagement; especially after supporting your development with community feedback and signing up a 2nd paying customer.

        There’s always a tipping point where excitement and support turns, and it’s starting to get close to that… it would be great to see the invite arrive today, or at least hear where you’re up to with them. Best regards, Paul.

      • Hi Paul,

        I’m sorry, I didn’t communicate the #pacing as well as I should…

        I was cautious with the initial batch (I can’t tell you how personally terrifying it is to let new folks loose on code that hasn’t been robustly tested for 8 months!). I activated it for 80 people, then stopped while we fixed the bugs that got reported, and those fixes have been included in, which I released last night.

        I’m accelerating the activations again now.

        It’s really not about attention seeking – our humble little blog post certainly won’t get us any extra publicity. And personally it made me sad that you thought that and were angry enough about it to post it publicly. I should have been more transparent in the insane working hours I’ve been doing this week fixing those bugs (but that’s the problem with insane working – communication doesn’t always survive!).

        PS You should now be upgraded!

      • Dear @andyrmitchell:disqus

        Thanks for that reply, and I’m sure it will help others understand the roll out process. I was kinda of guessing that this was the case, but wasn’t 100% sure, going on the limited info. I’m also quite new to ActiveInbox and getting used to the team running the show.

        In terms of posting publicly, there was no malice intended, and it’s clear to see from your reply that you are working at 110% for your users; actually it was meant to be quite the opposite, it was passion; passion for what I believe to an AWESOME addition to using Gmail, and something I’d like to help promote to a wider audience through my own networks and connections.

        I’ll go and check on the update now, and please know that I’m here to support and help you, not hinder or criticise needlessly 🙂

        Best regards,

      • @andyrmitchell:disqus One word: “Brilliant” – it’s gonna take me a day or two to get to grips with all the features, but I’m already very excited about the possibilities; the video is great too. Well done Team ActiveInbox.

      • @andyrmitchell:disqus One word: “Brilliant” – it’s gonna take me a day or two to get to grips with all the features, but I’m already very excited about the possibilities; the video is great too. Well done Team ActiveInbox.

      • @andyrmitchell:disqus One word: “Brilliant” – it’s gonna take me a day or two to get to grips with all the features, but I’m already very excited about the possibilities; the video is great too. Well done Team ActiveInbox.

      • @andyrmitchell:disqus One word: “Brilliant” – it’s gonna take me a day or two to get to grips with all the features, but I’m already very excited about the possibilities; the video is great too. Well done Team ActiveInbox.

      • Marcus Badach says:

        Hi Andy ALL GREAT.. hats off!!! Feels more solid that live release 🙂 so far so good, where must we send the hush hush feed back to?

        One thing in the “tutorial” your pop up points to the context box when showing where projects are?

      • Russell Smith says:

        Andy, wow man, you must not have been sleeping much for a long time. v5 is full of new stuff! Amazing so far. Thanks for all the hard work to you and the rest of the team.

      • Thanks Russell, there’s not been much sleep in the last few weeks 😉 It’s worth it though, not least because I’m shallow and your kind words really do give us a wonderful boost!

  • Federico says:

    wOw! You’ve really outdone yourself!
    v5 is going to be a revolution in working with emails … I can hardly wait to see what you come up next…

    Keep up the great work guys!

  • Jessica Moszkowicz says:

    I’m very excited about this! How do people know what number they are after pre-registering?

    Next steps sound really fantastic. Will it be possible to pop the new notes out so that I can look at them next to an e-mail low down in the conversation?

  • Hi @andyrmitchell:disqus where is the count-o-meter today? #pacing 😉

  • claudio calvao says:

    Great job.
    It would be nice if we could re-order tasks.

  • liquidmagic says:

    I am on position 250. When will I be able to check the new version out?

  • nickden01 says:

    I really like this new version. It’s fast, feature-packed and indeed revolutionary among other things because emails can become mini projects.

  • John Hu says:

    I’ve been using your tool for two days, and can see it’s awesomeness.
    Question do you intend to integrate with Google Contact and Google Drive? Tks again and we’ll be buying the full plan.