Everything you need to know is in this vid:

(You can go HD and full screen with this video).

A recap on the sidebar

The sidebar is part of ActiveInbox 5, and has been a beta feature until now (with quite a few unpolished bits). To invoke it, just click the cube icon in the bottom left of Gmail. Once it appears, it’s much cleaner/simpler than GMail’s own sidebar: it has your most important (pinned) items at the top, and the ability to drill-into more details views (e.g. all your Projects) below.

The sidebar is more elegant

A lot of the rough edges have been polished out so it’s simply more pleasant to use every day. You may notice the pin icon next to each item has disappeared… I did this to save precious horizontal space. Instead, click the down-arrow next to each item to bring up the menu and select pin/unpin as you need.

You can now order your pinned sidebar items

Once you’ve pinned items to your main sidebar, you can drag them up and down to decide what order they’re displayed in.

Label colours really stand out

If you’ve assigned a colour to a label, it is now really obvious in the ActiveInbox sidebar, so your eyes are drawn to it. (We’ve had to overcome a big technical hurdle to do this!).

And Today/Overdue items are much more visible

Your Today labels are now an unmissable hue of yellow, and if it’s overdue, it has red text to make it really obvious.

Gmail feels more like a task manager

We added a ‘Mail’ section to the sidebar, which includes your regular Gmail views (like Inbox, Drafts, etc.) and labels that aren’t anything to do with ActiveInbox.

Beyond being simply pragmatic, “Mail” feels like a more separate concept to “To Do”, thus neatly separating concerns… Gmail+ActiveInbox is now a task manager, from where you can go and also look at just your emails.

Update [] (20th Nov)

There was a bug in that stopped your statuses revealing their count (i.e. things like ‘Action’ reported 0 items), and if you were on V4, you no longer had a way to pin items (because the dropdown menu wasn’t available).
I fixed both of these in, which is available now.

Are you wondering where the pin icons have gone?

I made a video to help:


This was written by Andy Mitchell