I’m very pleased to say I’m still getting a chance to tinker in the code (see my last post, Dusting the Furniture). It feels a bit like the early days again, where my life was just listening, coding and blogging 🙂

There are two new features I’m testing (and that’s an important nuance – I really want your feedback!).

Auto Stripping ‘Waiting On’ when someone replies

One reason I hesitate to mark every email I send as ‘Waiting On’ (blocked), despite it being an incredibly useful fail safe for if they don’t reply, is I know I’ll often forget to clean out my Waiting On list. I fear the build up of crud.

So to alleviate this, if a reply comes into your inbox, and the conversation is marked as ‘Waiting On’, then ActiveInbox will automatically remove the ‘Waiting On’ status and the Due Date.

Importantly, it only does this if you actually read the email, and it gives you a chance to Undo it – so nothing silently falls out of your system.


Blocked (Waiting On) items are visually down-played in your task lists

If you’re waiting for a response, it implies you’re blocked – so we’ve made Waiting On items look a bit more ‘disabled’.

This is especially useful in your Today list, where you have a hodgepodge of different types of things – so you can immediately spot what needs unblocking.

Finish – or update – a task more easily from the task lists

I’ve added a set of commands that appear when you mouseover a task, so you can instantly update it, or click the tick to Finish it.

Again, it’s an effort to make things more lightweight, by very quickly finishing things.


My concerns – that I’d like feedback on…

The Auto Strip might be a scary thing. Even with the clear notification box and Undo, it’s possible you wouldn’t notice it had removed Waiting On, and you’d lose faith in your system. It’s also possible that clicking ‘Undo’ becomes a real pain, if most replies don’t really stop you being blocked.

  • You’ll notice a ‘more’ option on the notification, that lets you just remove Waiting On but not the Due Date, which might feel a bit safer.
  • I guess we could also not invoke the removal if the reply is just a few word acknowledgement (like ‘Thanks!’), which are going to be the most common false positives.

I’m worried that the AutoStrip line is visually too intense (although it needs to grab your attention). If you agree – AND you find it useful – then we can play with different designs.

I have a sense that the current mouseover command line is pretty visually unpleasant – cluttered. If you agree, you could maybe suggest a cleaner approach.

Please let me know in comments!


This was written by Andy Mitchell