Put things into folders, to focus
If your inbox is like a Saturday morning street market with all the stall holders hollering for your attention then it's time you discovered folders.
There's a reason that the humble folder is the de facto metaphor for organising all your electronic 'stuff' - whether it's Windows, Mac or Linux. Folders work. They make sense. They let you take all that Gmail cacophony and turn it into a handful of simple, organised projects that you can work your way through.
Creating a Folder
- Open an email
- See the Folder button at the top in the middle? Click it to open the drop down menu
- Choose Create New to create a new folder
- Give your new folder a name and click Create
- The email you were looking at in Step 1 when you created the new folder is added to it automatically
- Next time you click a Folder button anywhere in ActiveInbox you'll see your new folder there
- Psst. Want to create a new empty folder? Just click the folder button on the left above your inbox and open the drop down menu there, click Create New...and so on.
Remove an email from a folder
- If an email is assigned to a folder you'll see the name of that folder in a grey panel on the right hand side of the message
- To remove the email from that folder just hove the pointer over the message, open the menu on the folder button and click the name of the folder - it's highlighted in blue
- The email will be removed from the folder
Create a sub folder
- Make sure you've already created a folder and then click any of the Folder buttons to open the menu
- Find the folder you wish to add the sub folder to and click the 'more' button (it looks like three dots stacked on top of each other)
- Select Create sub folder
- Type in a name for your new sub folder and click Create
- If you selected a folder button that was already associated with an email, that will be added to it automatically; if you selected the folder button at the top right, the sub folder will be created without any contents
Deleting a Folder
- Open the Folder menu on any Folder button
- Find the folder you want to delete by clicking the 'more' button (it looks like three dots stacked on top of each other)
- Select Delete from the menu
- When the dialogue box appears, click OK
- Your folder is deleted - but any emails inside it are returned safely to your inbox
Here's how we use folders
We have a ‘Bugs’ folder and an ‘Ideas’ folder, and then we create sub-folders for each Bug or Idea that comes in. We’ll keep gathering ‘evidence’ (aka adding emails to the folder), then make a decision, and email everyone in the folder to notify them about it.
Here's how you can use folders
- you can see how many tasks are inside a folder and its sub folders because every folder has a number next to it
- you can pin a folder to the review bar above the inbox for easier access
- and then unpin it whenever you need to
- you can sort tasks in a folder (you can even drag and drop them)
- you can sort folders in the Today view
- you can filter emails directly into folders (remember that our folders are like Gmail's 'labels')
- you can see regular emails and completed tasks in a folder at the same time
Configuration Gold Star
Don't like the fact that things you add to a folder are automatically removed from your inbox? Just turn it off. Open ActiveInbox settings dialogue by clicking the little cog icon in the left hand column, find the 'Archive threads when added to a Due-Date/List/Folder' and remove the tick next to it.
You can pin folders as Buttons, for easy access
If you click the Folders dropdown, you'll notice a menu button on the right of each folder. If you click it, and choose 'Pin', the list will be added as a shortcut button to the bar, for quick access. Use it for your highest priority projects!