Focus in Gmail

After trying a complicated approach to ‘focusing’, with timers and other nuisances, we realised it wasn’t helping you stay calm – a key component of being able to focus.

So we stripped it right back, and simply removed all the distractions in Gmail (with the happy side effect of making it a much more airy, visually pleasing environment).

Just click ‘Focus Mode’ on the sidebar, or the eye icon next to Gmail’s Settings button.


Simpler Interface

The majority of the work has been 100s of little usability improvements – really refining the details. I believe every single element of ActiveInbox has been considered and tweaked.

The Task Bar is Resizable

Most noticeably, we made the Task Bar both more elegant, and more customisable for your needs. You can now resize the layout (by clicking the white dividing lines) to suit any size of monitor.


And when you click ‘New Task’, it now makes the (reasonable, and time saving!) assumption that you want it to have the Action status.


Bug Fixes

The Previous Emails button (which appears in the Compose/Reply box) is now loading consistently; instead of regularly failing to attach itself.

previous_emails 2

Suggestions for a Better Experience

I recommend you alter some preferences, specifically:

  • Uncheck Show Review Bar at the top of Gmail and use the left-hand sidebar instead (click ‘< ActiveInbox’ to get to our menu)

Some other preferences you might want to know about:

  • You can disable the new ‘< ActiveInbox’ menu item at the top of the sidebar, by deselecting “Show ‘< ActiveInbox’ link at the top of Gmail’s sidebar menu”
  • If you preferred having all your statuses as a dropdown at the top of a conversation (rather than showing all the buttons side by side), deselect “Show all Status Buttons in Taskbox at the top of a conversation”
  • If you miss seeing the whole note and all to dos when you open a conversation, select “At the top of a conversation, show all the to dos and the whole note”


It should auto-update over the next day or two; but you can expedite the process by going to our Install page (no need to uninstall first! Just click the install links).

A Quick Word on Mobile

We’re continuing to slowly bring more people into the beta (it’s steady, but as fast as we can!). You can sign up here.

**Edit** Tuesday March 3rd, 2015

We’ve finally pushed this live to everyone!
(If you were on the beta, you can revert to mainstream by following the instructions).

While 99% of bugs were identified during the beta (although we still have to fix some of the more minor ones), we’ll no doubt be releasing a service update in the next 24 to 48 hours – just keep us posted if you have any problems, in the forum 🙂


This was written by Andy Mitchell