I’m confident

Fast alert / reminder to due schedules.

Would it be possible to somehow be notified when you have a schedule due that day. It is easy to clear the in-box and think you have dealt with everything urgent (especially if you have non e-mail based work to do) and forget to look in the schedules box. If you could have a pop up box or even a message sent to the In-box to remind you that you have due tasks that would be great. In the mean time I will try and remember to check my schedules.
39 people like
this idea
+1
This topic is no longer open for comments or replies.
  • Andy Mitchell (ActiveInbox Founder) June 03, 2010 09:20
    Hi Susan,

    I agree this would definitely be useful. Perhaps a header bar - a notice at the top of Gmail - to say "5 items due today, 6 overdue".

    It's a fine line between a useful reminder and an irritant. For example, does it stay open all the time - i.e. make itself a permanent part of the UI? Does it appear once per day with the option to hide it (which is less irritating, but risks you missing things)? Or does it pop up at regular intervals and wait for you to hide it (which is potentially very irritating!)? All have to be answered before we can figure this out!

    In the meantime, you can pin 'Today' and 'Overdue' to the main ActiveInbox sidebar. To do so, click 'Scheduled', and then click the pin icon to the left of 'Today' and 'Overdue'. This at least gives you constant visual feedback of what you need to do.

    Actually, if that proves useful enough, do let me know. I like the idea that all visual reminders remain in the sidebar box.

    Perhaps we have a visual colour system - configurable - where the top-right of the ActiveInbox box can have a number in a coloured circle. That number might be the total number of active items, the total number of today items, the total number of today+next items; and is green where all are complete; and amber when still they remain. Or perhaps green when they need your attention, and neutral when 0 (that's a designer question, but you get the idea!).
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I like the idea of a reminder somehow. The problem is if you make it too minimalistic, it might not be noticeable at a glance. Maybe if you could put something to the right of 'refresh', above the email (where archive, delete, report spam, etc is) with a red box, it wouldn't interrupt workflow, and it would be a constant reminder.

    Something like this http://box.nevernet.com/~djr/schedule...
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Andy Mitchell (ActiveInbox Founder) June 03, 2010 19:00
    Hey djrfoo - oo, yep, that's a strong location for it.

    The only additional question that raises is, is that too dynamic a part of the UI? That changes whether you're in the inbox, or a search results. Perhaps it should give you a dynamic number, such as the number of scheduled items in the current view (indeed, perhaps there should be a very detailed bar there; with the ability to filter on next/action/someday/etc.).

    It does have the advantage that your eye is naturally drawn to that bar.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Andy Mitchell (ActiveInbox Founder) June 03, 2010 19:01
    Another thought, it would be good to have other reminders - safety nets - such as "you have Next items that are over 7 days old".
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m excited
    Hi all,
    Firstly Andy pinning the schedules to the sidebar has been useful and I've discovered some overdue schedules I had forgotten. However I really like where Djrfoo has taken this to. The idea of the bar being dynamic depending whether you are in the inbox or a project/context view is very exciting. Several of the "projects" I am involved with are contexts rather than projects as there is no end point, for instance a web site I administer.

    However to build on this bar it would be useful when dealing with projects to not only be alerted to the fact that there are overdue schedules but to be prompted that there is no next action.

    I guess this leads to the fact that some projects are more pressing than others. When you have finished with them you can archive them but there isn't a clear way to prioritise actual projects rather than the actions within them...

    For instance some projects have an overall deadline ie organising a party as an obvious choice, so the overall completion date and maybe the status you are up to with it. 3/10s done when 3 are finished and 7 left undone, lead to prioritising this project against others with different completion dates and percentages completed.

    Other projects are more background activities to work on as and when you have free time.

    If the top bar could somehow monitor these things it would be really sophisticated and help people who tend to get fixed on one project and run short of time with others. For instance you may have a project due to be completed next week with only one task left to fulfil but another due in two weeks but with several outstanding tasks. This bar would help to keep an overview.
    • Andy Mitchell (ActiveInbox Founder) June 08, 2010 08:56
      Hi Susan,

      I love the focus here on projects and better managing them. I'm not sure whether that belongs to a top bar, the sidebar, or perhaps a new view (I'm thinking click 'Projects' in the sidebar and it loads a popup/new-screen with a sortable overview). But there is plenty to think about here!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Is it possible to have scheduled items automatically appear in google calendar? Then it would be easy to have a reminder pop whether we are in gmail or on a cell phone as I do, since I have it sync with my android device.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Andy Mitchell (ActiveInbox Founder) June 08, 2010 09:07
    Hey semhs,

    The relationship between the calendar and email deadlines is an interesting one; and one for which I currently only have a gut feeling.

    That gut feeling is that I believe there is a nuance between what you add to the calendar (events mostly, and major deadlines) and what you would schedule with ActiveInbox (a way to prioritize emails for 'today', or to confidently ignore them until 'next week', or to pick up at a future date when they become relevant again).

    I would love to hear your own examples of emails for which you use scheduling and/or the calendar... and how/why you choose to do what you do? (Also see jpnelson40's use cases in http://www.getsatisfaction.com/active....

    The goal is to better understand the distinction between deadlining in email, and adding to GCal; so we can implement a great solution.

    Andy
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Hi Andy,

    I have a nexus one and I love using the way it integrates google calendar. So if I have an appointment that I need to keep, my phone reminds me of it. To give you an example when I set up an appointment with my dentist, the office sends me an email with the details of the appointment. So I add this as an event to my calendar and if I'm out my phone reminds me that I have to get to the dentist. While I do add this as an action item it also has a specific deadline (4:00pm for instance) so I would need to know that that time is approaching.

    I also like using activeinbox as a project manager, so when I plan my week and decide on what items I need to handle I like having the reminder that it is time to move to the next item on my list (phone call I need to make, meeting to get to, etc). While I can see all the scheduled items from the sidebar I still need to manually add them to google calendar.

    Sam.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Andy Mitchell (ActiveInbox Founder) June 10, 2010 13:50
    Thanks Sam.

    In the first example I think there's a straightforward solution, in that ActiveInbox creates a calendar event from an email; and the calendar links back to the email that created it (so you can glance at the calendar event and find the email).

    The second example is so much trickier! What is the _key_ thing you'd like to see? For example, to set a deadline time for a project? To include calendar events in a project reviews? To simply attach calendar events to an email? To be able to find emails from the calendar? Any more example you can provide will be hugely helpful!
    • Andy, unless I'm missing something Activeinbox does not provide a "create calendar event" option with the link back to the original email. Please tell me how to do this if I'm missing something. That "create calendar event" has been there LONG before activeinbox came along, and there has never been an email linkback option
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m excited
    I need to follow this thread in more detail but I will comment here as well... scheduled items for me right now are useless because I never remember them and there's nothing staring me in the face to remind me.

    I already use Google Calendar for all time and due date sensitive information so I think what Andy said above "ActiveInbox creates a calendar event from an email; and the calendar links back to the email that created it (so you can glance at the calendar event and find the email). " sounds great to me! If it's easy to implement, even better --- not sure how ActiveInbox would handle the rescheduling of that even... could it just be rescheduled from Calendar from that point forward and does it still get the standard folder/label from the current system for people who like that 43 folders type style?

    The added bonus would be some sort of information bar across the top saying you have scheduled this for today/tomorrow -- but I already get google calendar reminders for those so I don't think that's fully necessary.

    That's my two cents for now... I admit that I have not read the above full thread in detail so I apologize my comments are more meant as a "me too" type support for the overall idea!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m excited
    1
    I recently installed Boomerang along with AIB. I love the functionality. It works exactly the way a GTD tickler would for paper, without having to rotate folders:) When I want to defer an email to deal with later, I just click a button and it disappears until the needed time. It also makes it almost impossible to miss an important scheduled email because it returns it to your inbox forcing you to deal with it again. I would love to see something like this in the function of AIB Deadline.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m excited
    @sirmontegu --- thanks for mentioning this, I just installed Boomerang --- haven't used it yet for actual reminders but the concept and interface seem perfect for me. So much that if it works as suggested, I wouldn't need AIB to do this --- although I agree it would be great if it could and this is pretty much the exact featureset that I would want. Added bonus that Boomerang recognizes dates and days of the week in the email and asks me if I want to be reminded a day before!

    The way I see it, if these guys are specializing in this reminder service, I'd rather AIB and Andy focus on other important things for now that there isn't a solution or good system for. I'll post back after I've been using this for a week or so and let you know how I'm feeling then.

    Thanks again for mentioning this... I've seen similar services and I think even boomerang at an earlier stage but it's quite slick now.

    I'll stop using deadline feature now... maybe an integration of some sort with Boomerang would be the best approach now where there's a basic feature but if you have Boomerang it pulls info from there to populate.

    Thanks!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m frustrated
    @Nahtan: I request you to use boomerang for a week and find out for real what's happening.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but AIB is a mail processing tool where as Boomerang is a reminder tool. I am agitated when you say that one wouldn't need AIB, I have been using it and I am on top of all the things that I deal with gmail.

    AIB follows GTD for making your inbox zero, thus parking all my messages to respective labels, status, projects and references etc.

    I have installed boomerang but never used because of few back of my mind concerns.
    1. I don't want to hide messages from myself and order it again to come and land in my mail box in future, this will result in duplicate processing of my mails.
    2. I won't have peace of mind when my messages keeps flying between gmail server and boomrang servers and in case if one of the message is lost I will not trust the system.

    For Sending future mails or automated mails is easy earlier I was using lettermelater.com, its pretty simple.

    For reminders, I have a suggestions, find out which are the items that are critical to you and that you needed to be reminded of, set it in google calender specially with SMS enable, and then honour your reminders when it lands on your mobile phone by executing it.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m hopeful that my comments are more clear now
    OOPS --- I don't think what I said was clear. I wouldn't need AIB to have a feature to perform this function if Boomerang works well. (I did note that I need to try it for a week to see too).

    What I was trying to say was in reference to the last comment made by @sirmontegu -- "I would love to see something like this in the function of AIB Deadline."

    I was thinking, if there was a viable solution dedicated to this feature --- maybe Andy and the team could spend their time on some of the other things on all our wishlists :)

    Sorry to frustrate you Arun... hope that clarifies my thoughts there. AIB is 100% crucial in my world too.... I can't live without it... SERIOUSLY. Gmail / Google Apps is not complete without ActiveInbox!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m happy
    You brought smile on my face :-) friends.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m relieved
    phew! ... nice to meet you Arun... smiling now too! haha :)
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • 1
    @arun: this definitely doesn't replace AIB in any way. It is simply a collaborative tool set. This is so much easier than creating a calendar event with a reminder, but does the exact same thing. As I mentioned previously, this works exactly as a tickler would as described by David Allen. You don't process twice. It just returns the needed info to you at the correct time. (it would be nice to easily label the returned emails as actions rather than inboxed)

    I agree with Nathan that using this as a supplement to AIB would leave a terrific amount of programming effort to be focused on other areas of AIB. I saw another post mentioning AIB collaboration and I think this is a great example of a perfect complement.

    Also, I was concerned about emails flying around on multiple servers, but it seems that boomerang only moves the email to specific folder. It then sends a email to their servers asking it to call that email back via subject line only. I have been using for about two weeks and have had excellent results.

    @Nathan: I have restarted using the deadline feature for actions that need to be BEFORE a certain time. Boomerang is only good for emails that need to be handled at a SPECIFIC time.

    @Hillary: I agree that Boomerang is slow to process. I used Nudgemail previously, and I hated that the whole email got duplicated. Besides, pushing a button and waiting requires much less cognitive drain than turning a specific date/time/ into an email address. Though I guess we each do what works for us. :)
    • view 2 more comments
    • I had the same thought process as you. But often I need to deal with some emails anytime before a certain date (such as pay a bill) they should be on my action list. and I should be aware of them the whole time in case I need get an oppurtunity before the due date. Other items are to be done after a specific time and that is where boomerang is helpful. If I need to pickup drycleaning Monday I want to be reminded on Monday and not think about it before that
    • @sirmontegu -- this makes sense to me, in my workflow I would mark it as the appropriate action level (i.e. action) and then boomerang it for the day before it "has" to be done so that I still have time... or... 2 days before etc depending on how much lead time I need to get it done.

      What would be ideal is if Boomerang allowed you to send yourself a specific note at that time... but using AIB's note feature should be good to remind yourself of what you should be thinking about when it pops back up.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m thankful
    1
    Just a quick update, I've been finding the Boomerang app to work quite well -- for simple reminders on things that I want to see again later, it's perfect and there's also a quick way to view all of those reminders you've set from one screen.

    I find myself using it even for things I want to be reminded about again in a couple hours --- not just things for days down the road.

    I just wish it could set the reminder and stay on the email view --- so I can continue processing it afterwards but I have gotten used to processing it first with labels and then adding the boomerang. I emailed the Boomerang team about this and they are considering it.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I use Boomerang too, in this way:

    1. I receive an email which for me is a task i'll have to do let's say next monday
    2. I tell Boomerang to send me that again on monday morning
    3. As i pay a loto more attention to Inbox than to the Today box, on monday i'll receive again that mail and i'll do the task

    This works for me also when i plan a task let's say again for next monday, i autocompose to me a mail with the task and i Boomerang it to next monday.

    I would love if a Boomerang like features would be integrated in the already great ActiveInBox
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m thankful
    @Cristiano -- This is exactly what I do now too with ActiveInbox -- the Plus version (a very affordable $25 per year) has the exact features you are looking for. Here's more info on the plus version -- http://activeinboxhq.com/buy.html

    I can't remember the last time I used Boomerang since these features were enabled... between the Return to Inbox feature and the Export to Calendar option --- AIB covers all the bases now for Day or Time/Date based items you might want to mark for reminder. I use the Return to Inbox calendar for things I want to remind me on a specific day as a quick way to defer something until later... and then if I need to remember something like a phone call time or appointment, I put it on the calendar via export to calendar.

    Hope that helps
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Hi Nathan,
    i can't find the Return to Inbox feature and how to use it on a email.

    Could you help me?

    I just see the tool to set a date for an email, but this will put that mail in the "meta-label" *today* when that date will come, it doesn't put that mail back in Inbox.

    Thank you very much!

    Cristiano
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m hopeful
    Oops, maybe I'm using some sort of beta feature and didn't realize this was not part of the Plus version yet --- I signed up as a "guinea pig" to test something out previously, so I better let Andy or Lisa answer this question because I might be confusing things.

    Hopefully they can help with how to do this -- I currently just set a deadline and it pops back to the inbox on that date. It has been seeming to be reliable to me, but maybe it's still in beta.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • It just means we might have something on the way as a feature but we're not mentioning it yet....
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • yes, I think she meant... I might have let the cat out of the proverbial bag.. sorry :}
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I know the last post here was 11 mos ago but I am hopeful the "return to inbox" feature is still being worked on. I am currently using the free trial with plus features enabled (and love it) but I am not seeing any feature like this. This is such an important feature to me because I am looking for a stronger reminder than what the indicator for deadlines currently offers. Any hope a "return to inbox" feature will be added to AIB?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I agree with @Terry - a MUST HAVE functionality... I see this thread started even 3 years ago! Any news on it?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Hello

    We have lots of ideas of how to alert you that there is work to be done that day but for now, the most obvious one is the top bar. It clearly shows you, if you use the deadline feature, that there is work to be done by the number count.

    Lisa
    AIB Support
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Thank you Lisa for your comment / input. I appreciate it.

    Br, Ivica
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Hello... Im a user of Mailbox on my iphone. The best feature is: WHEN THE TASK IS DUE, IT GET BACK TO THE INBOX.

    The emotion attached of having things on my inbox is anxiousness so I work hard everyday to take things out. Having my due tasks back in my inbox is currently helping me to use that anxiousness. to get things done.

    PLEASE CONSIDER THIS FEATURE!!!

    VEry easy...in my mind....like boomerang...snooze

    THANKS!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Hello Christian

    We've considered this before and in fact, a couple of years ago, we developed it and then decided not to release it as a feature. 

    We have our own review bars which allow you to see at a glance what's outstanding and needs working on - it avoids the clutter of emails dropping back into your inbox when you've already cleared them out. Using the review bars (either top, side or both) allows you to keep your inbox clear apart from new emails, and work on the list of emails you've marked for a particular day, when you want to. 

    We adhere to GTD principles, so snoozing emails isn't something we will do. It causes procrastination by making it all too easy not to work on emails when you've committed to, but putting them off...again and again.

    Lisa Reynolds
    AIB Support
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly