I’m excited

Let reminders and deadlines return on time! :)

Basically, I would really love to be able to select the time I'd like to receive my email back to my inbox.

So, instead of having a whole day as a deadline, I can have a day and a time within that day. :)

This would definitely be a great feature to add, and as I see it, it should not be too complicated to include.

Thanks!
Fede
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  • Hello Federico

    I've spoken to Andy and we're not currently planning to make timed returned available. It's an added feature but not the *only* feature so there's a limit to how far we want to take it.

    Lisa
    AIB Support
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  • I’m thankful
    OK, thanks for the prompt response Lisa.

    I guess I'll have to use some other extension for this.
    I would much rather use yours for everything since I'm planning on buying the Plus subscription.
    I hope you can eventually add this feature since I'd be of great use for many people I think.

    Regards!
    Fede.
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  • Hello Federico

    It's a difficult one - for each feature we get LOTS of emails asking for many more options for their personal choice of specification. We aren't able to do everything for every feature - it's not possible and certainly not at the very fair price we charge for AIB.

    It might be that we have to have a different product, with separate charge, for one feature which is then multi levelled and much more in depth. Do you think you would pay separately for a single feature with many more options in it?

    Lisa
    AIB Support
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  • I’m excited
    Hi Lisa!

    Thanks again for your response.

    I'd definitely pay something extra for some more features.
    Not too much, since one of the main things about your product is that it's not too expensive right now.

    So far your product is the best I've seen around and other than the fact that it lacks what I suggested, I'm extremely happy about it.

    It's been very useful so far and I really love the fact that you replied this quick. :)

    I've started using it for my job and it really helped me sort out a lot of info I had laying around in my corporate email. Bad news though, lost the job today so I might take a few weeks to purchase the Plus version of the product ... but no matter what, I'll buy since I'd really like to support you guys.

    Thanks for your great work!

    Have a great day!

    Fede.
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  • I’m confident
    Hi Lisa!

    I wanted to let you know that I've just purchased a full year of your Plus service since I really want to support you guys.

    Thanks for your great work.

    I look forward to learning about new features and other stuff you will be adding.

    Regards,
    Federico.

    P.S.: I'll be missing 3 days of my full service since I still had 3 whole days in my Plus trial account and the expiration date I have now is a year from now ... not a year and 3 days from now. :) Hehehe ... just for you to keep in mind. Keep up the great work!
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  • Hey Federico

    Great that you've upgraded - I've added those 3 days to your Plus for you,.

    If you have any questions, just ask here or email.

    Lisa
    AIB Support
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  • I’m Disappointed.
    Yeah, unfortunately I was hoping to see email reminders set for later in the same day.
    (eg: 1 hour, 3 hours, 5 hours)
    This way if I want to address an email or be reminded later that day I can just postpone it til the end of the day, not just have the option of a whole other day. Now I still need to use RightInbox or Boomarang to do this. I feel I am overloading Gmail.
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    • Yes! That's what is said to be done. But it's really inconvenient to use the calendar... and Boomerang is too limited in the amount of emails you can return in their standard version (for what I remember of my use of it a long time ago).

      I guess if you only use it 10 times a month of less you could clutter your Gmail with one more add-on.
    • I use gmail drafts for things to get to later in the day. If I know I have to reply by end of day I start a draft reply with what I have to do and make time to clear those out end of day
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  • I’m hopeful
    I'd absolutely love to be able to set an email to return to the Inbox in a specific date and or date/time. That'd be the ultimate feature for making AIB the only thing I'd ever need to manage my emails.

    I'd really...really...really... but, seriously, really love it!

    I think for some reason it was discarded as something users would not use or as something that would not be useful. Andy said so a few days ago in a comment if I recall correctly.
    But, I hope you guys can reconsider and make this at least available to whoever wants it and let the rest of the people disable this functionality via their settings and config.
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    • Yes! I agree about reserving the Inbox... but sometimes... meaning many times, I'd love it if an email returns to the Inbox so I am reminded that there's something pending to be done.

      Maybe I'll process it again and the same way, or maybe I'll act on it in that particular moment... but in any way, It'd be easier if I could just forget, absolutely keep off my mind, something until a specific time. Other that having to keep it in mind and/or check for it in my AIM processed emails.

      And using Calendar is really not very practical for this from my point of view.
    • What about using the Calendar falls short, from your perspective?

      You can set up alerts (even email alerts) to prompt you at or before the time you set on the event, and it even includes a link back to the original email. It seems like a great solution to me--I just haven't used it enough to make it part of my routine.
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  • Andy Mitchell (ActiveInbox Founder) March 06, 2014 22:46
    Hi everyone,

    My view on this is summed up at http://www.activeinboxhq.com/supportV...

    First, it's *really* not a simple switch to enable deadline times. It's a lot of code to both build and maintain. But if it was necessary we'd do it.

    However it's one of the part's of ActiveInbox I'm proudest of: that we DON'T do deadline times.

    They're stressful for all of us, as they clog the inbox back up, and they don't really give an advantage.

    If you need a time because it's an event (make a phone call, attend a meeting), then put it in GCal. GCal will even email you a reminder. We have a feature to make exporting to GCal easy.

    If you just want to 'postpone but don't forget' use our Today view. Put it above the Inbox using our Radar feature, so that you cannot forget. Make this the central area of your focus for your day. Get it empty.

    And if you want to prioritise your Today items, you can drag them up & down.

    Ben asked the best question -> what specific examples do you have where deadline times would be critical to your workflow?
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  • I’m Excited!
    Hello all!

    Thank you all for your great input. Thanks Andy for taking the time to read, reply and specially for trying to give us the best experience with AIB.

    Here are a few facts about my usage of AIB so you can understand my inconvenience about using the GCal export functionality:

    1- I manage a lot of emails. Really a lot.
    2- I absolutely depend on AIB. I'm fully addicted to it. I could not function without it.
    3- I have set up a lot of Statuses, Projects, Tasks, References, created customised Label types... I really take advantage of everything that AIB has to offer.

    Different actions when getting an email I use:
    -Usuals: take action immediately (reply, forward, act on something outside my email), archive (do nothing), postpone (for Tomorrow or a specific day), associate with a project/label/reference/etc.

    Why I stopped using the GCal function (I tried it very shortly):
    -It's outside my AIB/Inbox/Gmail.

    -Time consuming: load the new page with the GCal, check out parameters, correct/update them, set specific reminder, Save, Save in AIB.

    -Impractical: not only it'd be compared with using an external program to do reminders (which I'm really trying to avoid by using AIB for anything and everything), but also when opened in GCal I have to take many steps before having the reminder set up the way I want it to be.
    a. Open GCal.
    b. change the All day to a specific time of the day (sometimes even setting the day if I did not input it in AIB yet).
    c. Update the reminder to Email from popup (I use popups reminders for another kind of use not related to emails so that's the default).
    d. Update the reminder time to the one I need for that specific email.
    e. Save in GCal.
    f. Close GCal tab or window.
    g. Save in AIB.
    Taking these steps for 5 or 10 emails a week would be kind of acceptable. But doing so for hundreds, well...like I said, impractical.

    Finally, when the email returns as a calendar reminder, clicking the email link will open the email I need in another window/tab, not the current one.

    And, even tough I set an email for Tomorrow or another day, I really don't rest easy until I process that email that day. This is because in that specific day I might not have access to the computer to access my emails and would probably be using my iPhone/iPad. And, I'd only see the "Inbox" of my email, not the "Today-box" or the radar feature (which btw I could not love more!).
    And also, sometimes, in the middle of the rush of the day, I'd love to be really reminded about something I need to do.
    I think I'd only really rest easy if I knew that an email would come back to haunt me :) if I'd not really done something good or definite about it.

    Well, that's basically a lot of stuff about why I really need to have actual alarm-like reminders, instead of just visual clues. I started typing this answer many hours ago... and went completing it as possible until now when I have a long... kind of detailed-mixed answer.

    Hope this clarifies my situation, and I'm fully opened to having suggestions about how to make a better use of AIB.

    Actual time/date reminders, I think would really make AIB the ultimate tool needed for email. Not a single add-on more would be required. And most likely many customers of other paid tools would switch to AIB.
    And just to close up, having this kind of reminders in the Plus version of AIB... that'd really be a good reason to pay for it. AIB is pretty amazing by itself, so adding this would be a decision making feature for many people.

    Sorry for the extremely long and heavy comment.

    No matter what, I'll continue to be a huge fan of AIB and I'll continue to get people to use it more and more. Keep up the great work Andy and AIB team.
    Your efforts show in every minute I gain by using your amazing product!

    Have a great day!
    Fede.
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  • I lean towards Andy's approach. I think there's such a thing as over-organization, especially if you have a lot of emails. Applying times to many of them would require you to start scheduling your "email day", which can take a long time and planning! It either has to happen precisely at a certain time (has to be on the calendar!) or it doesn't. If you merely want a reminder, why not just take Andy's advice and rank the emails? You could even add a special status or context called "Timed", and rank within that view (things to do first, second, etc.). You could rest easy only after looking compulsively at your "Timed" list throughout the day. Does that work?
    • Hi mz,
      I thought about some very similar solutions.
      But any of this would require me to keep all my emails in the Inbox or group them all together in a status for mobile viewing... or most likely many statuses.
      It's not really convenient to switch from one label to the other in "Mail" in my iPhone/iPad.

      I receive an email in the morning, I know I'll not do anything until 5pm with it, and I really don't want it in my Today-box all day because, now, my Today-box is me new "Inbox" with notes/TO DOs, statuses...having it in my Today-box all day just keeps me "anxious" (per se) or makes me think that I have too much to handle...etc.

      My idea is to focus on the current or immediate actions I have to take with my emails. And don't really think about what I'll have to do later Today.

      At least, this is my personal view, use and opinion.

      Also, if you'd develop an actual postpone email, you'd be a tiny step from being able to postpone sending an email and doing some other really cool things with your Gmail.

      Thanks for the comment!
    • You're not talking about merely adding a time-based label. I think you want an actual "return to inbox" feature to mimic Boomerang. I agree that the postpone send would be nice - I occasionally have a use for that too. Two more comments:

      "It's not really convenient to switch from one label to the other in "Mail" in my iPhone/iPad"

      I think the preferred approach would be to actually make a mobile app that can handle switching labels, a "Today" view, etc. That would be much more useful than re-architecting the approach AIB takes to managing emails, in my opinion.

      "having it in my Today-box all day just keeps me "anxious" (per se) or makes me think that I have too much to handle...etc. "

      I'd rather know what I have coming up for the day. Imagine how you'd feel if you have nothing in your "do now" view, then suddenly the clock changes to 1pm and you have 20 items. Instead, why not just go down through a ranked list (that you ranked in time-due order), then stop and feel good about yourself if you reach an item that you don't need to do until later? You could even add a Note saying "don't really need to worry about this until 1pm" if you can't remember when you wanted to try to complete it by?

      Just some thoughts...
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  • I’m Stressed out!
    These days I'm going crazy because I "have to have" a few emails in my Inbox since I really need to work on them during the day and I'm not in any of my computers to check out my Today-box.

    For me, not having the possibility to let emails return on a specific time (or even a specific date), is like:

    -Having an alarm clock that tells you to just look at it until it's the time you need to wake up and then wake up.

    It's a huge difference from an alarm (or reminder) to just an indicator light or sign.
    What I really need so I can manage better my emails is an "alarm clock"... not an indicator light.

    Indicator = just to let you know. No immediate action to be taken. Dismiss me easily.
    Alarm = Take action. Don't dismiss me so easily. Do something!

    I hate having emails in my Inbox... but I can not avoid it unless I can make emails return later.
    • I would consider exporting those emails to a different system that you can use to set a time-based reminder.

      I use Dispatch to handle my email on my iPhone, and it lets me export emails to several different apps, including Due (which is perfect for nagging you to get something done) and several other task managers.

      That's the best solution I can think of based on my workflow.
    • Thanks Ben! I hope I do not have to use many systems to handle my daily workflow.
      I really look forward to having AIB help me (and many others) manage my emails, tasks and projects.
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  • I ran into this script today and thought it might be helpful for what you are trying to accomplish without adding an extra app to your system. Hope it helps!

    http://googleappsdeveloper.blogspot.c...
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  • Quick question to Andy and team: is there any chance you'll add this feature in the near future?
    I need to make a decision on how I handle my email and it depends on this answer.
    Have a great day!
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  • Hello Federico

    It's not something that's imminently planned and may not be introduced at all. By not having emails come back into the inbox, but allowing you to see which ones need to be worked on by looking at the review bar, you are in better control of when you work on things.

    Having them just drop into your inbox at a certain time, means extra clutter and no guarantee that you would actually be ready to work on them at that time. The next solution requested would probably be to 'snooze' emails for another, 10, 15, 45 minutes which goes against GTD principles.

    Lisa Reynolds
    AIB Support
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  • I’m disappointed
    I understand Lisa.

    That's very unfortunate for me.
    I've been missing some very important emails due to not having them on my phone when I needed them... and not getting a reminder when I was expecting one.

    I like my alarm clock to make sounds... not just display a sign that says it's time to wake up!
    And the same goes for this... thanks for the response.
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  • Been using AIB for years and just purchased 3 years worth of future access.

    I've actually wanted this for a while. My main issue is that there are items that come in that I know I want to address when I get home, but don't want it clogging up my email during the day. These are things that I can't do until I get home due to not having some papers, or needing to talk to family members, etc.

    Also, the new Inbox (which I finally have been able to access in my Google Apps account), has this feature, and it works well.

    I could see maybe a workaround but it involves something that I don't see and maybe it's something that's planned - allowing for the radar sections, e.g. those marked as "today" for example - to contain an additional filter based on other fields. This way I could mark some items with the context Home and filter those out of the today radar.

    The point is, Today, as well as Next, are items that I want to alert me of something I need to do now, but if they are cluttered by items that I know I can't do, these areas lose a lot of their value, because I start to ignore all the items in them, and have to remind myself to look through them more...
    • I've asked Andy for more control over the radar - the ability to customize the sections or create custom sections based on a search. If AIB added this feature, you could just add all home emails to a C/Home label (for a context), and then create or modify a section in the radar to show those emails. When you are at work, you could just collapse that section, then expand when you arrive home.

      Not as easy as Inbox, but it would work, I think...
    • Ben, any idea whether they are considering this? This would help enormously in contextualizing how we process our tasks in different locations. Once the mobile app is here things will get that much worse. I understand that context adds a great deal of complexity to task management, but it's still a very important one to tackle...
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  • Hello Levi

    I know we looked at the way to alert you to tasks etc. and Andy decided that he wasn't going to add the time feature. He's not changed his mind about that. You could have another active status of !Home or !Evening (or a word of your choice) and then add the date deadline as normal. Then you would be able to filter on status and deadline and keep the stuff you only want to look at when you're home, but have the correct date on them. Would that work as a workaround?

    Lisa Reynolds
    AIB Support 
    • Maybe - guess I need to look this up more, as I probably don't do a lot of tweaking with AIB, and haven't really used it as a full-blown task managing system with tweaks that make it work exactly for my needs, so I'll need to read over the newest documentation and see how such filtering would work...
    • Hey Lisa, finally got a chance to play a bit more with this. I tried creating a !Home status (I think simply allowing filtering within each radar section by context et al would be much more straightforward from a user's standpoint), but when I do this and add the Home status to my inbox radar, I now have the item in question listed twice - once in Today (because I set the date to today) and once in Home. At work I assume it will show up in Today, whereas I don't want it to show up at all in any radar at work. You had said I should leave the date deadline as normal, but that doesn't seem to work? When you say I'll be able to "filter on status and deadline" what do you mean by "filter"? I see no way of doing this other than adding or removing an entire radar section. Can you be a bit more descriptive in what you're suggesting? Thanks!
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