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Have you ever wished you could assign a task to a colleague who also uses Gmail?

Wished you could know for sure that when you send someone an email or bcc them they don’t forget it or overlook it.

There’s a fairly simple but effective hack to do this in Gmail using ActiveInbox that’s come from our ever creative community.

You can add items to your team’s task lists by simply sending them an email – with a twist.

A quick setup and you can place tasks in your colleagues lists so you know they wont forget about them

  1. On the account you want to delegate TO (i.e. your colleague’s account) ask them to create a new Gmail filter from the Gmail settings tab.
  2. In the ‘from’ field ask them to add your own email addresses.
  3. In the ‘to’ field they write their own email address but before the @ sign they add +todo or +followup or any other status label you want to apply to them remotely (so “”).autocomplete-collaborative-labels
  4. They create the filter and in the next page chose the status label they want to apply to that incoming email. So, for “” I’d want them to add our !ToDo (or !Action) status label.
  5. Save the filter.

Now you can send a task to a colleague simply by sending them an email using the +… suffix you have got them to create a filter for (“”). The email will be automatically labeled by their Gmail and added to their ActiveInbox task list.

And that’s it!

You can then add those email+tag variants to your contacts so they auto-complete next time you send it.


Further improvements

A more refined version of this is getting colleagues with ActiveInbox to create a new status label for delegated tasks from you or another account (just make a new Gmail status label starting with ! so !Received).

Even better, they can then add this new status you their ‘Radar’ section where the Today view normally is above the Inbox. They can just click our radar editor from the Inbox screen and drag the new !Received status above or below the Inbox.


You can also create another filter that takes the same email ‘from:’ and ‘to:’ conditions and adds it to a Project label for the person delegating to you.

Another option is to get your colleagues to create open filters for any emails from anyone addressed to [yourname]+[status]@[]. The problem with this is that you may not want everyone to be able to add tasks to your list!


Please let us know your thoughts on this ActiveInbox hack in the comments below.

We’ve got a true collaborative feature that is much less involved which we’ll start testing very soon but in the meantime this could be a very effective hack for any team to set up among themselves.

Andy we’re going to be posting more awesome ActiveInbox tips on this blog very soon – so keep an eye out!



This was written by Andy Mitchell