Hello! This is best summed up in a little video I recorded:
(You can turn it up to 720p and go full screen)
But if you like reading, I have lots of words too…
A Radar that is a pleasure to use
The big change is that you can now select which views go above the inbox, and which go below. We recommend you put the Today items above, and everything else below.
And, we also made it a little less clunky, visually, so it’s now it feels much more airy, and just feels easier to use.
Streamlined Due Date box
I hope this isn’t too controversial, but I dropped the ‘Week’ number from the calendar, as it was of limited day-to-day utility, but visually cluttered your choice.
And, I’m not sure if you know this, but you can also change the week start date from Sunday to Monday (just look in Prefs).
Simplified ‘If Reply’
A few months ago, we implemented a rough prototype of “If The Contact Replies, Do Something”. It was an attempt to solve the problem how to make Waiting On lower maintenance.
But it was overly complex, trying to cover every last scenario, and visually repellent.
So, I have taken it right back to it’s bare minimum use case: removing a Due Date if the contact replies.
Why not remove Waiting On (or change it into Action)? Because when they reply, it comes back into your Inbox. Which means you need to process it again, and it’s useful to see it was marked as Waiting On. And when you process it, you can make the choice to change it.
But a deadline – well, your Today list is precious. It should be kept small. And it’s demanding, it shouts at you. So you only give something a Due Date if it’s really important, and once they reply, a Waiting On item is no longer that urgent (you can re-process it at your leisure).
I’m open to discussion on this. You have to enable the new “Simplified ‘If Reply'” manually – just go into Prefs to do so.
Compose Self finally auto-archives
If you compose yourself a task, and put a status or a deadline on the message, ActiveInbox now automatically makes it skip the inbox (straight into your to do lists). It’s just a little thing that makes a big difference to how easily you can glide through work.
- Susan spotted that Drag Drop Ranking was not sticking in some situations. It now does!
- Quite a few people were suffering the issue where the date in Active Results changed to “Jan 16”. This is now fixed.
- As is the problem where sometimes in the Active Results, there’d be no message snippet next to the subject.
- And, for reasons I really don’t understand, if you need to ‘Connect Your Account’, Chrome shows you a blank popup. I haven’t understood that issue yet (it’s a Chrome glitch I think), but I have a work around. Just go to our <a href='http://www.activeinboxhq.com/support/debug.php#connectaccountTroubleshooting page to start the workaround. (Or contact Support!).
This was written by Andy Mitchell
With “Simplified ‘If Reply'”, there’s no way to specify “If reply, set to”, right?
Thanks for removing the calendar week number, that messed me up a lot since I would subconsciously see that as Sunday since it was in the “first spot”.
That’s correct. And it’s the thing I’m most keen to discuss. Thoughts are very welcome. (Btw, I left it as a preference choice for now – you can still use the older, more complex If Reply if you wish).
Many times I do not use a deadline but I do use “If reply, set to”.
What common situations do you use it for? Knowing your use-cases is really interesting for justifying it!
(So you know, I’m basically fighting against the minimalist idea of “never automatically change waiting on, instead knowing it will come back into my inbox, and that’s the ideal time to reprocess it and choose a new status”).
If something is not important/urgent enough to bother me then it doesn’t get a deadline. I hide my inbox (with custom CSS) so I’m not interrupted and also use SaneBox. I might be an edge case.
“Waiting On” usually gets set to “Later”. Maybe I can just leave it in “Waiting On” and review daily (which would make sense). I may not fully understand “Waiting On”.
My wife and I use the same Gmail account for our business. Sometimes there’s something that I don’t need to take care of so I set it to “Jen”.
@jDeppen:disqus what css do you use to hide the inbox? Are you using userscript.org?
Is it a popular choice to hide the inbox? We could probably do something with this as part of AIB…
I wish I could, hide my inbox that is. I have put the Radar on top of my inbox to sort of hide my inbox because I would have to scroll down to read the inbox.
It would be great to be able to have the same arrow mechanism to collapse or expand the inbox just like we do with Today, Overdue etc. This keeps me from been distracted by shiny new emails when trying to work through a project list.
Well done Andy & team for getting that done so fast!
Much better now – love it!
Sounds cool! May well be worth a small effort…if there’s very little risk with it! (I wouldn’t ever want to lose access to my Inbox because of a silent Google change that AIB isn’t compatible with..)
It was a bit easier to make a video showing my setup rather than explain with text:
(made video with Snagit)
Ah, as interesting as I’d hoped!
So, it seems that your use-case for switching Waiting On is exactly the same as ours: Lisa & I share the support account, and she’ll escalate things to me (U/Andy), which means I don’t check the inbox very often, so auto switching back to !L1 (our priority-1 equivalent of !Action) was useful.
But I’m fearing we’re quite a rare case? Anyone else?
Andy, it seems we have to refresh (the entire page) sometimes to get updates from the other user. Is that your experience too?
New Radar = Brilliant! LOVE’N IT! Every new version of AIB really increases my productivity…especially this radar!
No week number = week numbers were not really useful daily information…means less eye clutter. Thanks!
Bug? = In the calendar, I still have, “Enable inbox reminders,” instead of new Simplified “If Reply”
Layout suggestion = On the new radar configure box, square off the corners, and suggest having it match size/look of the settings box to the left.
Thanks Jason – I’m LOVE’N the encouragement 🙂
I dont see the radar at the top to the right, even if I’ve got 4.05.27. What do I need to do?
I also don’t see an option to enable or configure the radar. I even didn’t know that the option was there.
I see also nice items in the left column with customized icons. That’s also something that’s not there in my version (126.96.36.199).
I responded to Lotta above but basically… it’s V5, which is now available to anyone who is interested in getting early access to it (it’s pre-launch). Just email us 🙂
cool! Mail sent!
It’s part of the new V5, which is open to everyone who wants it now (in fact, in a few days I’ll activate it automatically for all users).
In the meantime, if you want it immediately, email Lisa or I (email@example.com) and we’ll get you set up.
(In fact, for you I’ll do it straight away anyway – you’ll get an email shortly!).
It looks very nice. Great job!
Would it be possible to move the “Configure Radar” button into the usual preferences? I’m happy to have been able to configure it, but, once I’ve done so, I’d rather not have this big button hanging around.
It’s certainly going to get smaller… it just hasn’t run through Pete-The-Designer yet to make it a nice icon 🙂
I am thinking about putting it in the Preferences, but the tricky bit is making sure people discover it. I’ll scratch my head and see what we can do!
Wonderful tweaks. Seemingly small, but very helpful (i.e. the darn week numbers in the calendar always messed with my head when setting a date).
Now on to keyboard shortcuts for navigating those great lists! For example, I never touch my mouse when navigating my inbox (j,k,o, etc.), but have to for the Active Inbox listings.
Nice job on the radar update “spot on”, but please note the status name labels (I renamed mine to Do ASAP, Do Next and Incubate) don’t show up in the new radar config dialog nor the inbox 🙁
Wonderful — you made my life a lot more fun by every one of these seemingly little, but actually most valuable improvements!
Since you still maintain “Compose Self” — which I’m very glad at — how about “Reply To Self”? We had this in the past, and it lost some of its importance because of the Notes (which are wonderful and much better a solution for many purposes), but some things (like pictures, full formatting) don’t go well into the Notes…
And one word about the “Give this email a deadline” drop-down: Could it display two months instead of just one? It’s a bit annoying that, near the end of a month, most of the times I need to spot the little “>” and hit it with my mouse before I can do what I’m having in mind.
Really liking the configurable radar, I put things in this order Overdue, Today, Inbox (at zero!) and Upcoming. When I group my Upcoming by deadline it is even more powerful – One suggestion: could you add the weekday names next to the dates (it helps not having to go back to a calendar) Thanks!
Exploring the “if reply” form. Is it possible to add more options to the deadline field?
I mean s.g. like “add 1/2/3 days to the current deadline” or “set to the date when it was replied” by the other party. Now I think it would be useful because with an automatic deadlining the replied message could automatically be dropped back into my “action chain”. Does it make any sense??
Upgraded to 188.8.131.52. In theory, I love the new Radar view. However, I’m noticing a couple of oddities with it on my end…
1. I have my Radar configured to show both Today and Tomorrow (in addition to Inbox). The first time I visit GMail after opening my browser, I see them. However, on a subsequent visit to GMail, neither of them appears any longer, even though there are mail items in each. I have to shut down the browser and revisit GMail to get them to reappear (and they will subsequently disappear again… lather, rinse, repeat).
2. In the Configure Radar dialog, the Save button cannot be clicked. I mean, I can click on it, but it doesn’t do anything; Cancel and the ‘X’ to close the dialog work, but neither saves any changes (of course).
3. And yeah… that big Configure Radar button has got to go. 🙂
Browser is Firefox 24.0; same behaviors occur on both Windows (Win7) and MacOS X (10.6.8).
How can the “Start of next Week” Button be configured to select Monday rather than Sunday? Thanks