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  • How many digital inboxes do you have?

    I'm interested in finding out how people manage all the various inputs in their GTD system. These days you can get your inputs from social media, direct email, web browsing on bookmarking sites, etc. What inboxes / buckets do you use to collect all these inputs whether you're on the go, online or off, in front of your desk or not, etc.

    What sort of techniques do you use to consolidate effectively, so you don't have too many 'inboxes' to check up on when you're processing? Do you feel there are any major gaps in your inbox collection?


    Myself, I'm not on the GTD wagon these days as my work life is very different (I'm more a stay at home Dad). That said though, I'm sort of building a system now so I'd like to understand the collection process better considering how diverse inputs can be.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MalucoMarinero View Post
    What inboxes / buckets do you use to collect all these inputs whether you're on the go, online or off, in front of your desk or not, etc.
    I have a number of separate e-mail accounts. I have them all dump into my main mail program, the standard Apple Mail program. With a bunch of rules I sort them into separate mailboxes for e-mail lists (most are fairly inactive) Ads and news (that I review only when I am looking for something to buy on-line and to clean it out of old stuff weekly) and Order Info (for notes about something I have ordered on the Internet). After processing list mail stays in its list inbox, order stuff goes to orders rcvd when the item comes in and the rest get dumped to Reference. I check my Spam folder daily and clear it out, even with a good spam checker I still get 1-3 false positives in it a week and also get 1-3 spam coming through to my regular inbox a week so I can never depend on an automated spam checker.

    Then I check Twitter daily, Ravelry forums and inbox daily, Facebook once a week or so.

    There are a number of forums that I go into and read interesting threads. Some I check daily, British Farming Forum, Sheep Production, GTD forums here and NerdFitness. Some I check once or twice a week, DEVONThink, Omnifocus and Scrivener and some I check depending on specific projects or problems, Lightroom, NaNoWriMo, LibreOffice, Eclipse.Org

    I read several on-line news sites at varying levels of frequency, BBC, Denver Post and NewsHour daily, Merchant Herald & Delta County Independent only once a week (they are both weekly papers) occasionally I go to the local TV news channels or to the NY Times, CNN or Reuters but usually only when there is breaking news or I need their views on something or have been referred there by someone I trust.

    Some people read paper news, I read mine on-line.

    I do all my reading and processing on my desktop computer. The only mobile inbox I have is my phone and text messaging, which I deal with as they happen. I also carry a notepad for my own paper inbox items I think of.

    Edited

    Of course anything from those inboxes that becomes actionable ends up in Omnifocus where it is added to existing projects or becomes a project. But I deal with that somewhat differently. It's not a place to check for inputs but a place I go to do the processing of the inputs that came in.
    Last edited by Oogiem; 12-02-2012, 07:12 AM. Reason: Add actional inbox

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    • #3
      Digital Inputs - Narrowed to Three

      My digital in sources are in three areas:

      1. OmniFocus - my primary collection point. The iPad version is my most frequently used and favorite version. I also have the desktop and iPhone versions syncing via Omni's server (works great).

      2. Email - Apple Mail for personal email and Outlook for email at work

      3. Apple Notes - I use this occasionally as a digital equivalent of my Notetaker wallet. I mainly capture here from my iPhone because I have an aversion to the "micro fonts" in OmniFocus for iPhone.

      I occasionally use Noteshelf which is an iPad app that emulates a notebook with handwritten notes. But I've found the real handwritten method better - i.e. paper and pen.

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      • #4
        RE: How many digital inboxes do you have?

        I have 3 personal mailboxes and 4 for business purposes. All are managed with Mozilla Thunderbird. In my opinion the best, easy to transfer and backup. The RSS feeds are also managed by Thunderbird with a plugin.
        All chatting platforms are on Trillian, because support almost all chatting platforms also Facebook, G+,... and so on.

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        • #5
          About twelve or more, total.

          In two of my email accounts, I have different types of messages sent to different inboxes, to make it easier to discard a lot of unimportant messages at the same time or to read the more important ones before the somewhat important ones, and for other more specific purposes.

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          • #6
            I have... as few as possible. There are a few must-check's and a few more nice-to-have's.

            Main capture - OmniFocus (desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone)

            Email - 8 different accounts (means I can just archive, no filing needed!) but all combined in Postbox

            Twitter & Facebook - email notifications set up for replies, direct messages, etc., so that anything I NEED to see drops into my email inbox. If I fancy dropping into the websites, that's a just a nice-to-have

            HelpDesk - book registration forms get processed on the website once a day, all other messages feed into my Postbox email accounts to be managed with email

            Forums - my own forum I visit on the website, any other must-follow feed into a single gmail account for processing there, nice-to-follow are just buttons on my browser toolbar to check when I have spare time

            Bookmarks - must-read go straight to OmniFocus, Pocket as nice-to-read-later stuff

            RSS feeds - only nice-to-read stuff, Reeder/Google Reader

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            • #7
              mainly 5 inboxes

              1) omnifocus inbox
              2) iphone photo, when I find an action in iphone, I just press POWER+HOME button to capture it to photo album
              3) gmail inbox, when an email will be processed, I put it inbox, don't archive.
              4) cloud disk, I use kingsoft fast disk, I usually sync some files between office and home, between Windows and Mac
              5) windows desktop inbox directory, when I receive someone's file, I put it there firstly

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              • #8
                I have one at the moment, and want to keep it that way. Omnifocus.

                Most of my tasks come in via email from customers, so I have an Actionscript which will add any email message in a certain folder in Apple Mail and create a new task for it in Omnifocus. So my folder is called "Follow Up", then every 15 minutes anything in here will be a new action in Omnifocus. So all my tasks are in Omnifocus.

                As I process email, if I need to create a task from it I move it to the Follow Up folder.
                If I have a new task that does not come from someone emailing me, I either add it to OF myself (on Mac or iPhone) or more usually just email it to myself - I created a rule to put any email from myself to myself in my "Follow Up" folder.

                So everything goes into OF directly or into the Follow Up folder which then goes into OF.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MalucoMarinero View Post
                  Myself, I'm not on the GTD wagon these days as my work life is very different (I'm more a stay at home Dad). That said though, I'm sort of building a system now so I'd like to understand the collection process better considering how diverse inputs can be.
                  Now that I'm a work-at-home mom, I couldn't keep it together without having a firm grip on GTD. You nailed it when you said "diverse inputs"! And that only gets more challenging as your children go up and become more involved in activities.

                  If you can establish your system early (oh, say... now.), your kids will grow up understanding that things go in your inbox, not your pillow, or that wildly strewn toys can be processed one by one just like your inbox, or that your weekly review time is sacred... that's the best one, believe me!

                  But to answer your question... let's see... five. For now.
                  Inbox (for paper stuff) on desk
                  Email (2 accounts)
                  Voicemail
                  Evernote

                  Dena

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                  • #10
                    Dena.... no bookmarks? Don't you save bookmarks? For me, I find that bookmarks need to be considered as an inbox, otherwise I don't get around to reviewing and filing them appropriately.

                    Chas29

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                    • #11
                      crazy, huh?

                      Originally posted by Chas29 View Post
                      Dena.... no bookmarks? Don't you save bookmarks? For me, I find that bookmarks need to be considered as an inbox, otherwise I don't get around to reviewing and filing them appropriately.
                      Hey, Chas... no bookmarks that I need to review. I have started using the "Reading List" feature in the Safari browser, though, so thank you for reminding me to add that to the list! I still have to sync it across all of my devices to make it useful, though. There's another action item for the old lists!

                      Good observation! Nothing gets by you people!

                      Dena

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