When it comes to organizing my Gmail inbox, I fail horribly. Though I do use a service called OtherInbox to organize my messages, it still does not stop me from letting my messages pile up for days, even weeks. Right now I feel like there’s no hope for it, so I was pretty excited to come across ActiveInbox. It claims to “help you clean out your inbox, build stronger relationships, get work done faster and to never let you forget an important email.” I am currently using it with the Google Chrome browser, but it can also be used with Firefox. You simply need to install a plugin to get it working.
So, ActiveInbox “creates Status labels in Gmail that help you turn emails into tasks.” The labels that you can choose from (to begin with) are pictured below. You will be able to add or remove labels once you finish setting it up.
Once installed. You will have a new widget on the left sidebar of Gmail. There will also be more option menus (pictured below) for each email message. You will be able to choose a status and category, plus archive any email that you’re done with.
The status corresponds with the labels you picked (pictured above). Emails with a status will then be added to the “To Do” tab in your sidebar. The category menu lets you add the message to your any labels that you’ve already created within Gmail
With the ability to add statuses to your emails, you can quickly go through all of them, label them and have them out of your actual inbox. You can then access them from the “To Do” section whenever you have the chance.
As far as the other sections, I’ll briefly describe them below.
- Projects: “Group emails into projects and sub-projects to make them easy to retrieve and to respond to the continuous demands of your day.”
- Contexts: View emails that require an action (such as call, respond, chat). You can create context labels and apply them to emails.
- References: “Reference labels identify an email as a type of resource for easier retrieval.”
- Old: Move old labels that are no longer used here.
- Labels: This is where you can view any Gmail labels that you’ve created.
Each label that you click on, in any of the areas, will open up all emails with just that label.
There’s really no way I can go into every detail about ActiveInbox; it really has a lot of features and is a bit complex. Honestly, I find it pretty confusing and overwhelming. If you’re a busy person like me, you may not have the time to even deal with ActiveInbox.
I’m sure you could achieve what they’re doing by simply using the Gmail label system, and it will be less confusing. Plus there is also the OtherInbox Organizer, which I currently use and feel does a better job of organizing your inbox — and don’t forget about Gmail’s new priority inbox feature.
There are currently two types of account: ActiveInbox Free and ActiveInbox Plus. The paid account is currently $24.95/year (was $49.95). Not sure how long this sale will last but you may want to act now if this is something that you think is beneficial. You can see the differences between the two types of accounts here.
To learn more, check out their Getting Started Guide.