Continuing my little previews of what is coming in ActiveInbox 5 (due this month – and you can pre-register for early access below!), I want to introduce some very cool little things…

The Active Results has been completely overhauled

It’s much more readable than before, and the Next Steps for each email appear below the subject, to make scanning and prioritising faster.

Why does prioritizing need to be faster? I’m extremely glad you asked 🙂

You can now rank tasks by dragging them up and down, putting the most urgent ones at the top.

I’m incredibly proud of this – I’m pretty certain it’s the first time it’s ever been possible in email.

And the Project view has become ‘livable in’ – somewhere you can spend several hours moving the project forward.

This is because it has been split into 3 sections to give you a complete overview of the project: a list of to do items, a list of reference materials (emails without a status or deadline), and updates coming into your inbox.

We’ve also added a very useful nuance to Waiting On.

Several months ago, we had a huge discussion on the blog about improving ‘Waiting On’.

The key problem was that if you mark something as Waiting On, then even if they reply, you still had to manually switch it back to Action. This meant you were less likely to do it, so the Waiting On list became less useful, which meant you were even less likely still to use it (a vicious cycle!) until eventually you avoided it altogether. A dreadful waste, I’m sure you’ll agree 🙂

So now, if you marked something as Waiting On, you can instruct ActiveInbox to automatically turn it back into an Action when they reply.

I.e. relax while you ignore something that’s blocked, and then have it changed into an action for you to do upon reply.

Sign up for early access to ActiveInbox 5
We’re still inviting volunteers in to try ActiveInbox 5 before it’s released.

So, the first people to get access to 5 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 – it’s not for the faint of heart).

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


This was written by Andy Mitchell



  • David Robertson says:

    Does active results and radar follow the obey gmails display density yet?

  • Jessica Moszkowicz says:

    Thrilled to be playing with v5 now! I’m guilty of having way too many e-mails labeled as !Action. Can I put a limit on the number of e-mails that will show up in the radar for each section?

  • BradCouper says:

    Really looking great Andy & team!

    The UI is far better and the changes to the button functions (per email row) is brilliant.

    I’ll live in it for a few days then give some more feedback.

  • Alex says:

    Great feature there for auto-labeling a waiting-on email as an action!

  • Vivek Hurry says:

    ActiveInbox was always great: kept pulling me back to browser-based email after flirting with Sparrow, Mailplane, MailBox et al. It is now seriously awesome! V5 is incredibly useful and meaningful – after 10 minutes of use I am down to Zero Inbox and two pending actions. Thank you!

  • Pascal Zweipfennin says:

    Great new features. One thing I would like is the ability the set the (smaller!) size of the boxes and, buttons and font sizes of the description.

  • Charles Heckscher says:

    After a few minutes’ exploration, seems terrific. I love the project view — you really can “live” in it, as you say. I’ve always liked systems that let you move things up and down — I use google tasks for that reason — so that feature is extremely welcome. As for bugs: the initial tour sort of came and went erratically for a while, but finally kicked in and led me through the whole sequence. I haven’t noticed anything else yet.
    There’s just one remaining problem: it doesn’t actually do the tasks or answer the emails. Not only that: it doesn’t leave me excuses for not doing it myself.

  • Jessica Moszkowicz says:

    As much as I’d like to use the “if reply” functionality, I can’t really use that for my work e-mail. Is there a preference to have that box unchecked by default?

  • Charles Heckscher says:

    The Tour is definitely a bit buggy: the “Resume Tour” button keeps coming on randomly, and nothing happens when I click on it.

  • BradCouper says:

    I love the little touches, like how the notes bar resizes and stays accessible no matter where you are in the email chain! Great work.

  • Andrew McLeish says:

    Re v5. Using the beta released overnight. Seems very good but for one item which is the gmail label list which can now switch between gmail and activeinbox design. If you set to gmail the moment you click on a sub folder it switches back to activeinbox. Yes you can click again to switch to gmail view but this is labour intensive! Also the activeinbox labels are very small and you cannot read the sub folder names if you are using a laptop with a smallish screen ie not enough characters are displayed. The gmail labels use bigger text but you can still read the sub folder name on a small screen.

    My suggestion is that when switching between gmail and activeinbox labels the same style is retained when clicking on subfolders. The design for activeinbox labels (folders) displayed on the left is changed so the sub folder names can be read on a small screen.

  • BradCouper says:

    Not sure if it’s just me – but in AIB5, everytime I’m selecting a action, ie. Waiting on or selecting a date for a deadline using AIB it actually opens up the standard Gmail Label selector. Getting very annoying.

    Any fix?

  • JohnnyAngel says:

    I’d like to switch back from ActiveInbox v5 to ActiveInbox v4.*. While I really love the radar feature, it is not reliable at this state. How do i switch it back to a previous version?

  • Adam says:

    How do I “instruct ActiveInbox to automatically turn it back into an Action when they reply”?

  • Hassan Maqsood says:

    How do I ???