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  • Universal Inbox/Calendar?

    Hello,
    What is the general consensus on a Universal Inbox vs seperate business and personal inboxes (I'm talking email here). I am on the fence with having my work email forwarded to my personal account to reduce my number of inboxes. I have a BlackBerry, so I know how the universal inbox works there, but I'm unsure how that will translate over to full scale email clients.

    My other question is about multiple calendars: I currently have a Work calendar, Personal, and a few other calendars for other jobs/AoF, (Fire Dept, Church, etc.).

    I read an article that suggested breaking down calendars in other ways. What's the "proper" way to use multiple calendars, or do most people use a universal?
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by black.rhino View Post
    Hello,
    What is the general consensus on a Universal Inbox vs seperate business and personal inboxes (I'm talking email here). I am on the fence with having my work email forwarded to my personal account to reduce my number of inboxes. I have a BlackBerry, so I know how the universal inbox works there, but I'm unsure how that will translate over to full scale email clients.

    My other question is about multiple calendars: I currently have a Work calendar, Personal, and a few other calendars for other jobs/AoF, (Fire Dept, Church, etc.).

    I read an article that suggested breaking down calendars in other ways. What's the "proper" way to use multiple calendars, or do most people use a universal?
    Thanks!
    My email clients (os x and iOS) give me a unified inbox view of all my email accounts synced across multiple devices. I don't think much about the individual accounts. I have no need to forward email from one account to another because it just works.

    I use multiple calendars for the pretty colors but I always look at all of them because anything else would lead me to miss appointments. Again the calendar software I use (iCal) picks up calendars from multiple sources and produces a unified view. No big deal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by black.rhino View Post
      What is the general consensus on a Universal Inbox vs seperate business and personal inboxes (I'm talking email here).....What's the "proper" way to use multiple calendars, or do most people use a universal?
      I have a bunch of separate e-mail addresses but they all dump into one main inbox so universal. I keep the addresses separate because I do some sorting based on which account it came into and because some e-mails are for roles I may swap with someone else in future so I don't want my personal e-mail address assigned to that role.

      I also use iCal and keep a number of separate calendars, but I also look at all of them all teh time. I use the separate calendars to give me a visual indication of how much time I am spending on my various roles or areas of focus.

      I don't think there is any proper or improper way, just do what works. If what you are doing isn't working, then change something and try again. GTD is not a do it once and it's done system, you have to constantly tweak it as your skills and knowledge grow.

      Comment


      • #4
        I do similar things

        I have an iCal calendar differenciated by context/colour so that I can turn off parts. I put other people's appointmens in for example so I can see when they are out of the house and do errands for me.

        I use Mail and have all my emails come to the one program. This way I can view all emails accounts at once or just one at a time.

        It works for me. I personally would recommend that you keep separate email accounts but have them feed into one system.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by black.rhino View Post
          Hello,
          What is the general consensus on a Universal Inbox vs seperate business and personal inboxes (I'm talking email here).
          It depends on your commitments. Is the commitment over how you respond to emails you agreed with yourself and others the same for both types of emails?

          I could see that you allow yourself more slack with the personal ones. I also guess you should be in a different mood for work items or stuff that friends share with you.

          Originally posted by black.rhino View Post
          I am on the fence with having my work email forwarded to my personal account to reduce my number of inboxes.
          Having fewer inboxes in general is not necessarily a better way. If you have 1 inbox, everything will land there and all the pressure with it. A tiered form of inboxes can give relief here and I am talking inboxes in general not just email.

          Comment


          • #6
            IMO, separate inboxes shouldn't matter too much as long as you process them each/all properly - just like you have a physical and electronic inbox, it's just a repository that needs regular processing.

            On the other hand calendars - I'd suggest one calendar for everything. I would say a poor second would be synchronised calendars, but that adds complication. For me, I want one place to look for calendar items. I use Outlook and Blackberry for mobile, and I've set my calendar to synchronise to my gcal, but that is purely so my wife can see what I have on - I don't personally use it at all.

            Comment


            • #7
              i have separate inboxes, simply to avoid distractions. Most of my close friends aren't on facebook so still use email as the primary method for chatting. It can be distracting when I get a long interesting email from a mate about what they did over the weekend, so I tend to leave the personal email until the end of the day, or lunchtime.

              Food for thought though - if you're retrieving your personal email through a work system (say in your office Outlook) then your employer may, in theory, gain the right to look through your emails. I know none of us intend to ever get in a dispute or disciplinary fall out, but its worth bearing in mind.

              Similarly collecting your work emails in your personal email address may be a breach of company policy, even a sackable offence if client data is involved. I would get the written go ahead from your IT bods before doing so.

              Obviously this is only for people in a corporate environment. If you run your own business you can do what you like.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by black.rhino View Post
                Hello,
                What is the general consensus on a Universal Inbox vs seperate business and personal inboxes (I'm talking email here). I am on the fence with having my work email forwarded to my personal account to reduce my number of inboxes. I have a BlackBerry, so I know how the universal inbox works there, but I'm unsure how that will translate over to full scale email clients.
                I keep separate personal and business on my business laptop, however, they are aggregated together on my iPhone and iPad.

                Originally posted by black.rhino View Post
                My other question is about multiple calendars: I currently have a Work calendar, Personal, and a few other calendars for other jobs/AoF, (Fire Dept, Church, etc.).
                At work, I have just my business calendar for corporate meeting scheduling, however, I enter all of my business and personal appointments on a personal calendar that I keep. It does require some double entry, but I like having control of my calendar.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just use one for business and personal and just use different colors to make me aware and know what is urgent from the not so urgent ones.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tend to prefer separate ones, though they are all set up the same way to make processing simple.

                    When I worked in an office, I had one at work and one at home. Now, I have one for personal/academic work, and one for my work as a wannabe novelist (contact with agents, etc.).

                    I do, however, keep only one calendar.

                    I think separate inboxes are fine, as long as you process each one of them diligently. Technically, even if you don't have separate e-mail inboxes, you probably still have multiple "inboxes:" e-mail, physical, voicemail, your "in" folder in your work bag, etc. So having separate e-mail inboxes is just another extension of that.

                    Comment

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