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keeping up with my various digital inboxes....

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  • keeping up with my various digital inboxes....

    hello!

    so i'm an avid gtd user, but i'm having a little problem with upkeep of my digital inboxes.

    i have a physical inbox on my desk, which is great. it is the one location everything goes into, so it's easy for me to work through and keep an eye on so it doesn't overflow when life gets busy.

    but in my digital life i have many inboxes: my e-mail, my browser bookmarks, my mint.com account (for finances), evernote (for my ideas and thoughts), my downloads folder, my rss reader, and my omnifocus inbox. these are all of the digital inputs in my life that collect throughout my day and need processing.

    so what i'm finding is that when i get really busy, i have a very hard time getting myself to check every single one of these inboxes. it's the whole 'out of sight, out of mind' problem that i don't have with my physical inbox because it's all in one place right in front of me on my desk.

    a solution that would work for me is having all of these digital inboxes on one desktop (using mac os x's 'spaces' with two monitors). but the problem is that if i spend all this time positioning the windows, then when i quit or restart the computer i'd have to re-position the windows all over again. i haven't been able to find a software solution for this.

    does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone come up with a solution to making their digital inboxes easier to consolidate and process? especially if there is any mac software out there that would could help with window management.

    thanks!

  • #2
    suggestions:

    1. CHECKLIST = having a check list of your digital inbox so you can always check them according to the list. you wont miss out any inboxes.

    2. ROCKETDOCK = using rocketdock and dock all your inboxes on it. that way you'll have a centralized area for inboxes.

    3. START = using the windows start button in classic mode. you can arrange shorcuts in it. so it will only take 1 click to access all your inboxes and another click to activate them.

    4. WINDOWS SHORTCUTS = you can assign shortcuts in windows. just make a shortcut icon on every inboxes and assign a keyboard shortcut to it.

    5. ACTIVEWORDS = commercial program. buy it and assign active words to your inboxes.

    6. TEXTER = freeware, assign shortcut words to your inbox.

    that's what i can think of for now. hope it is helpful

    Comment


    • #3
      thanks for the reply! i'm a mac user, so some of these things i probably can't do. but using the dock to create shortcuts is a really good idea, i'll have to give that a try. i use a daily list to run through the inboxes, but i just want a quick and easy way to have all the inboxes pop up at once instead of having to go get each one manually, so maybe there's a mac dock program that will allow me to do that.... thanks for the idea!

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      • #4
        Try AppleScript

        You could use AppleScript or Automator to create a simple 'launch inboxes' script.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by abutler76 View Post
          in my digital life i have many inboxes: my e-mail, my browser bookmarks, my mint.com account (for finances), evernote (for my ideas and thoughts), my downloads folder, my rss reader, and my omnifocus inbox. these are all of the digital inputs in my life that collect throughout my day and need processing.
          I did some consolidation of mine. I have all my various e-mail accounts go into the mail app single inbox. If I need to add something from e-mail to my action lists I use the mail clip-o-tron to get it into my Omnifocus inbox either the full mail or all the various pieces I need to do separately. Thoughts and things also go to OF inbox via a quick key. If I decide I do need them as reference I then add them to yojimbo otherwise they stay in OF as actions. Downloads I check once a month as most of the time I download something and need it immediately so it's usually not too full. I use Safari so all my RSS stuff is there so I check that once a day or so to catch any articles and then if I need to I clip the actions or thoughts to OF. I don't use mint.com but I do download financial transactions from all the various bank and investment accounts once a month when I balance my checkbook and get the broker statements. I have a monthly filing project in OF that has all the places I have to go to get the data and just work it once a month. I also download PDF copies of phone and credit card statements that go into the digital archive filing system.

          I also have my machine set so that Mail, iCal, Yojimbo, OF and Safari start up at startup and I just hide them on the dock. I tried spaces, but it caused problems with my Palm Treo sync to iCal so I quit.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ah, I appreciate the situation!

            My advice: Consolidate (e.g., bookmarks become RSS subscriptions), and create a checklist. Also consider a folder on the Dock, which contains shortcuts to everything you want to check.

            Also consider cutting out some of those things. I used to check webcomics every day, but felt overwhelmed. I cut them out, and now only "catch up" occasionally. Feels much better for me.

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            • #7
              these are good thoughts, i think having an automator action to open all the inboxes at once would be great, or having a folder on the dock that opens everything up would also work well.

              how do you do bookmarks as rss? right now i just use the built in safari bookmarks, and i use google reader for my rss....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by abutler76 View Post
                how do you do bookmarks as rss? right now i just use the built in safari bookmarks, and i use google reader for my rss....
                In Leopard, click on the RSS icon in the address bar and it takes you to the RSS feed page. From there, add a bookmark in Safari and it gives you an option for it to be an RSS bookmark which will show updates. You also have the option there to get it in mail. I use safari for them though. When I first started getting RSS feeds, I tried them both and liked safari better.

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                • #9
                  For the inboxes that I process every day I follow a checklist (named "Daily Processing Checklist"). For mint.com and RSS feeds I use recurring day-specific reminders on my Outlook calendar; I check them twice a week.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    Also consider a folder on the Dock, which contains shortcuts to everything you want to check.
                    I use the Dashboard for this. At this point intime there are widgets for every online-service I use and I use Tagbag (widget) to get my ReadingPile onto my Dashboard.

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