Clarification: we didn’t kill Status buttons!

We just changed the default layout to be more minimalist. But there is a way back:

If you go into the Preferences, and re-enable “Show all Status Buttons even when TaskBox in Summary Mode”, the statuses buttons are right there and one click away.

Nurturing muscle memory

The one thing I think we definitely didn’t get right in 5.1 was making the common routine of “add status, archive & move to the next email” easy to turn into a muscle memory.

To remedy this,

  • I made the status button always align with the Archive button (at the cost of hiding the subject until you mouse over it). This means that everything is always in the same position relative to each other.
  • I moved the Finish button (tick) to the end of the Archive/Spam/Delete line. That means the two most important buttons: Archive & Finish are in the two most memorable positions, but we keep the Gmail tradition of making Archive first.
  • Once you set your first task or due date, ActiveInbox now permanently hides the ‘+ Make Task’ help text.

Reducing visual weight

Our original goal with the Taskbox was to bring a coherent focal point to the “email task”, and that meant incorporating the subject.

The cost, as we used a background colour to tie it all together, was a weighty visual anchor that unsettled the human spirit.

To fix it, I just let go of my desire for theoretical coherence, and went with something that in practice feels just as natural – the subject now sits above the Taskbox, not in it – which feels a lot more airy.

Fixing Minor Glitches

  • The Taskbox now remembers the state you left it in
  • For a small % of users, the Taskbox was interfering with the subject line. It no longer does this!

A word about Send Later issues

We’ve had to move the Send Later feature back into beta for the next week.

We took this rather drastic step because for a % of the user population, and for reasons we haven’t yet fully diagnosed, it was randomly failing.

And trust is everything with this feature. Until we’re 100% sure that 100% of you can trust it 100%, we’re adding a warning label.

(If you’re interested, here are the details).


This was written by Andy Mitchell