June 14, 2011

ActiveInbox – Turn Emails Into Tasks

Keeping track of each and every email in your inbox is impossible. Some messages need to be responded to right away, some require action within the week, and some can be archived and forgotten about entirely. ActiveInbox is a web-app that categorizes your emails based on priority and turns them into actionable tasks that can be accomplished in due time.

trans.gifIf you use Chrome or Firefox along with your Gmail or Google Apps email accounts, then the best way to implement ActiveInbox into your life is by downloading and installing the free plugin. Continue checking new emails as they come into your inbox just as you would prior to using ActiveInbox. The difference begins with what you do with your emails once you’ve opened them up. Rather than reading an email and trying to remember to respond to it later in the day, ActiveInbox prompts you to file your emails by project and select a status – either Action, Some Day, or Waiting On – before archiving the message. Once your inbox has been cleared out, head to the sidebar to see how many emails you have filed away in each category. As you complete tasks and respond to emails, you can change the status and move the tasks off your plate.

ActiveInbox makes life easier by letting you process and respond to similar emails at the same time, while you’re still on the same train of thought, rather than responding to emails based on the time they came in. The app also lets you see any previous emails in the same conversation, to prevent redundancy. ActiveInbox is powerful, but not too powerful. Emails are simplified, even while control over which emails get read in which order remains in the hands of the user.

Practical Uses:

  • Get more work done in a day by spending less time managing email
  • Never forget to respond to an important email in a timely fashion
  • Avoid missing deadlines by responding to all “Action” emails by the end of the day
  • Find out instantly which task should be tackled next in a big project

Insider Tips:

  • Download and install the ActiveInbox plugin for Chrome or Firefox
  • Right click a contact or label to see all previous communications in a pop up screen
  • Create as many new project labels as you want
  • Set specific deadlines for when individual emails need to be responded to

What we liked:

  • People who use ActiveInbox are less likely to forget to respond to important messages
  • ActiveInbox works with existing Gmail accounts, so there’s no need to sign up for a new service
  • Users can see all previous messages they’ve had with a particular contact
  • ActiveInbox lets you hit “snooze” on emails that can be responded to later

What we didn’t like:

  • People who use ActiveInbox still need to manage the emails in their Waiting On status regularly, or they will be just as disorganized as when they started
  • Some of the best features, like deadlines, are only available to users with paid accounts


Company Info:

  • Launched: March 2011 (Version 4)
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
  • Founded by: Andy Mitchell
  • Web site:


  • Free version
  • Plus account is $24.95/year

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