With the new payments system complete, and security fully overhauled – with a little extra space created by quarantine – I’ve rapidly tried to build out some of your feedback from the last post. 

Actually, I just want to squeeze in an extra “thank you” for the feedback, especially to those who have jumped on a call with me. It’s incredibly appreciated. 


I won’t dwell on this, as speed doesn’t create screenshots!

But I’ve managed to squeeze some significant performance gains out of ActiveInbox, especially for people who had a “lot” of stuff being tracked. Primarily by automatically tidying up the cache to delete unused items, so ActiveInbox has less to think about. 

I also boosted its immunity from the slowing effects of other extensions (I won’t shame them here, but I’m forever surprised that mainstream extensions, that have nothing to do with Gmail – password managers for example, and also time trackers – manage to significantly slow it down). 

Confidence you won’t miss a thing with Suggestions

The performance gains freed up space to automatically track more tasks, from the last two weeks. 

It’s a new safety net, to surface things you might have missed. 

Emails are suggested if: 

  • It’s 2-14 days old
  • It’s not marked as a task, or Finished
  • It contains a question, or is the first message in a conversation 
  • The person is deemed important (you’ve sent an email to them, or Gmail considers it Important – the yellow tag). 
  • It’s not marketing material (this is actually very tricky – hence why spam filters aren’t perfect, but I’d say it’s 80% accurate). 

Just click the Suggestions tab to see them. 

It’ll keep itself up to date automatically from today onwards, but on first use, you’ll want to click ‘Customise’ to tell it to download the previous 2 weeks.

If the Suggestion isn’t worth your time, just click the Finish tick for it, and it’ll go away. 

To tell ActiveInbox who is important… 

  1. Go into the Preferences for Relationships: either click Customise or go into ActiveInbox Preferences -> Relationships. 
  2. Towards the bottom, there’s a button to import data from a CSV. You just need to paste the email addresses in, with the level of their importance (1 or 2). 
  3. Or, you can tell it to search previous weeks of Sent Mail, and everyone who you sent an email too will be marked as important. 

Prioritise customers – dollar values in the inbox 

You can now see a numerical value for how important an email is, that you have total control over. It means you can skim your task lists and inbox and more readily prioritise, if you only have a few minutes to spare. 

I’m imagining this will be a dollar value, but it could be anything you use to denote priority. 

The important thing is to be consistent in what the numbers mean (monthly revenue, annual revenue, a 1-5 scale, etc.), so you can compare one email against another. 

To tell ActiveInbox how to value each contact: 

  1. Go into the Preferences for Relationships: either click Customise or go into ActiveInbox Preferences -> Relationships. 
  2. Towards the bottom, you can import from CSV. You need to enter the email address, and a numeric value (it ignores decimals). 
  3. Refresh Gmail. 

Here’s how we’re using it:

  1. I create a CSV from our database, for the annual revenue of each customer. 
  2. I share that CSV with each team member, and they paste it into ActiveInbox. 
  3. I hope you know every customer will always get an answer – but we are time constrained as a small team. So far, it’s helping us in the edge cases. If the customer has a big request, Lisa can justify spending more of her time on it; or if she’s very short of time (e.g. towards the end of the day), she might try to prioritise. 

I’ll be really interested to hear how you’ll put it to use.

Update 5th June ’20

It’s now live to everyone (not just beta!).

It appears the update is triggering ActiveInbox to Factory Reset its Preferences for some people. I told it to change one preference, and that apparently made it all angry, and it threw its arms up and reset everything. Sorry if this affects you (I’m going to try to understand why it did this, to stop it in the future). If you had Custom Types of labels – or you notice things like your ‘List’ dropdown are empty – you’ll need to go into Preferences and re-teach ActiveInbox about them. Contact us on support if you need any personal assistance with this!

Got feedback?

The features don’t have to stay, or they can be adapted to fit your needs (especially the prioritisation: that could be $ value per label; or a non-$ priorities…).

Any thoughts you have, please do put them in the comments.


This was written by Andy Mitchell