Migrating from pins to stars and todos

Shortwave is transitioning from the pinning feature to a more robust task management system of stars and todos. This guide will walk you through the changes and how you can adapt your workflow to take full advantage of the new features.

Why replace pins?

Pins were useful for temporarily highlighting emails, but they lacked the flexibility and organization needed for managing a large number of tasks effectively. With stars and todos, you can now categorize emails more dynamically—stars for quick tasks and todos for complex tasks.

What should I do now that I can’t pin things?

Use a combination of stars and todos to handle different types of tasks and threads you need to take action on. You can also configure settings to have stars and todos behave similarly to legacy pin behavior.


Use stars for lightweight tasks that you need to keep top of mind. Like pinning, starring a thread will move it to the top of your inbox in a dedicated, reorderable “Starred” section. The main difference between them is that unlike pinned items, starred emails cannot be grouped into bundles (that’s where todos come in).

There are 3 settings you can configure to customize how stars behave and tailor things to suit your workflow. If you want stars to behave similarly to pins, we recommend the following configuration via Setting > Inbox > Stars:

  • Enable Show “Starred” section
  • Set “Starred” section size to 25 threads
  • Enable Unstar when marking done


For tasks that require a custom name or grouping multiple email threads together, use todos to organize them. You can create a new todo based on a single task and give it a custom name, or have AI generate a task name for you. You can also use multi-select to group multiple threads together under a single todo, or add threads to existing todos.

By default, todos show up in a separate inbox tab. If you want todos to behave similarly to pins and show up in your main inbox, we recommend enabling the setting Show "Todos" section via Setting > Inbox > Todos.

How do I migrate?

Most of your existing items will migrate seamlessly and automatically to the new world of stars and todos. In some cases, items may require manual migration, which can be easily handled with our one-click “Migrate” buttons.

What are "Legacy pinned" and "Legacy todos"?

These legacy items refer to previously pinned threads and bundles with notes. Rest assured, all of your legacy items are still intact and not going anywhere. Your legacy items will be moved into two new sections “Legacy pinned” and “Legacy todos”. You’ll have until May 29, 2024 to migrate your old pinned items and bundles with notes to the new system of stars and todos.

Pinned threads

Depending on the type of pinned item, it may make sense to move certain items to starred and others to todos. Any pinned bundles with custom notes will automatically be moved to the Todos section. Any remaining pinned emails will automatically appear in a "Legacy pinned" section in your inbox. From there, you can individually star them (shortcut S) or add them to todos (shortcut T).

We also provide a one-click button to migrate all pinned threads to todos with names based on the contents of the task. This categorization ensures you do not lose any important information or context during the transition.

Custom bundles with notes (not pinned)

If you have any bundles with custom notes that were not pinned, they will show up in a "Legacy todos" section. From there, you can individually convert the bundles into the new todos format or use the one-click button to migrate them all at once.

Step-by-step migration process

  1. View any legacy sections in your inbox: Start by reviewing any items in the "Legacy pinned" and "Legacy todos" sections.
  2. Migrate to todos: Use the 'Migrate' button at the bottom of each legacy section to convert your pinned emails and bundles with notes into todos
  3. Configure settings: Customize your Inbox settings to make stars and todos behave similarly to legacy pin

After May 29, 2024, the legacy sections will be removed. But rest assured, all emails will remain in your inbox. They will simply lose their pinned status and bundle notes unless migrated.