Are you supposed to have multiple inboxes?

neovr

Registered
How many inboxes is too many? Should you have an inbox for work, home, computer, etc.?

do you treat your mail inbox as an “in”? Or do you gather these and move them into an “in” somewhere else? If you do have multiple “in”s, does each inbox have it’s own GTD system, including someday/maybe, calendar, next actions, etc.
 
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Gardener

Registered
I have multiple inboxes. I have two systems, work and personal, because trying to have just one never worked out--it's not OK for my work information to be as insecure as my personal information is, and the security barriers for getting to work are too much of a pain when I want to deal with my personal stuff.

Re inboxes, stuff flows in through multiple inboxes--work email and personal email and Reminders and notebooks and so on and so on--and coalesces into one inbox per system. That's the Inbox area for OmniFocus and an Inbox column for my kinda-Kanban, kinda-GTD work system. Then I process THAT inbox.
 

enyonam

Registered
I differentiate between capture tool and inbox. I process from my inboxes. I do have some capture tools that are "stuff" collectors but they simply forward the inbox item to an inbox. So one example is my facebook account which has a messages section but I access that using a social media management tool called HootSuite where I can see not just my facebook messages, but also my twitter and LinkedIn messages. So facebook is a capture tool and HootSuite is my inbox.

I have several inboxes. Especially electronic ones. I have two physical inboxes at home - one in the hallway by the front door, and one in my office. But they all get processed into one primary system which is in Asana.

I do keep a list of both my capture tools and inboxes. My checklist of capture tools I review occasionally to make sure that they are flowing where I need them to flow, and that filters are setup and working the way they should.
 

Sojourner

Registered
How many inboxes is too many? Should you have an inbox for work, home, computer, etc.?

do you treat your mail inbox as an “in”? Or do you gather these and move them into an “in” somewhere else? If you do have multiple “in”s, does each inbox have it’s own GTD system, including someday/maybe, calendar, next actions, etc.
I have three (3) inboxes per Area (I divide Work and Personal). Each area (Work and Personal) has it's own separate GTD instance, but not the inboxes themselves.

I have:
  1. Physical Inbox (metal tray) that holds paper (written notes, bills, magazines, etc.) or other tangible items
  2. Digital Inbox (NirvanaHQ and Google/Apple Calendar)
  3. Email (divided into labels/folders for Next Actions, Waiting For, Active Projects, and Archived)
(1) and (2) I clarify during weekly reviews. (3) I clarify daily as needed, but I review all emails in Next Actions, Waiting For, and Active Projects during my weekly reviews.
 
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julie777

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I think you can break it down pretty easily by locations and/or personal/work.

The minimum is a physical inbox at home, a personal email inbox, and a digital inbox if you are using an app to manage GTD, which I assume is true.

Working raising the questions:
- Do you have an office not at home?
- Are you required to keep work information separate from personal info?
The answers for most of us leads to a physical inbox at the office and also a work email account with an inbox.

Then depending on the nature of your work, the tools you use at work to manage things, etc. you might have to keep work separate from personal in your digital GTD management. That could be done with GTD areas, or it might require you use some proscribed tool at work to manage your work tasks. Even if there is a required work/personal boundary at the task level, you will want to have goals, etc. related to your professional carreer as part of your personal GTD system.

Then for people, such as consultants who move around day to day, you might have a briefcase that is a temporary inbox when away from your primary office.

I guess that a complex life requires a more complex GTD system of inboxes. :)
 

Oogiem

Registered
How many inboxes is too many?
Mor than you can handle

do you treat your mail inbox as an “in”?
Yes Heres an list of my inboxes

Omnifocus Inbox folder - This gets Siri reminders automaticall placed her efor my review and adding to my system. Devon Think - This is going away as I move to Obsidian but while I am still in a dual system it is here. Global Inbox - This gets the automatic capture of thoughts, ideas links etc from the web Inboxes for each Database This was used for automatic sorting into either the reference files DT only or my notebook database of anything I captured from emal or web that needed processing either int my Omnifocus system, my reference system or my someday/maybe system. E-mail Main Inbox - I have 23 separate email account that I have to handle and after trying them into separate email inboxes I find it faster and easier to just have them all come into one main inbox folder for processing. Order Info - Automatic on-line order information messages are sorted by email rules into this inbox. I do have to check it to be sure things are coming but I don't have to clean it every day. Paper Main Inbox - Normal incoming paper. Belt pouch notebook Mostly a capture system but often I actually use it like an inbox in that I capture the notes and rather than ter them out and into my paper inbox I just look at the notebok when I am next at my desk doing processing and handle them there. Safari The web browsers is how I access htigns that are also potentially inboxes fo rme. Twitter Timeline - I do get things I have to handle via my twitter timeline. Some are private, so come in as private messages others are more open but I ahcve to deal with them. For example I have an alert to lok for Black Welsh Mountain Sheep. I get questions to me as registrar via twitter so it's an inbox. Private Messages - as above. Like an email inbox Facebook Private Messages - as above. Like an email inbox. I never read or participate in any Facebook pages but a few foks still try to contact me as registrar or as our farm from there. I even have a pinned message with my email address on my pages but I still get stuff in facebook. Ravelry - Web site for fiber artists Private Messages - usually from customers or potential customers and yes they may become actions or projects. Ravelry Forums - Usually only things that as registrar I have to handle like quesitons about BWMS or the wool General Forums GTD Connect - This is an inbox. Yes I read it but when I read it I may have actions like I want to respond to this or that thread or I may have private conversations that are part of projects or have actions Mac Power Users - Ditto. Sheep Production - Is nw the Black Welsh Associaiton forum. It's a inbox for me because it is our official online presence. So I have to deal with new members, answering questuons, get projects like helping peple research pedigrees ertc. System General Scanning - Throughout the week I scan papers or items I need a digital copy of. I use Hazel to move those to a separate folde so I can handle them in one go for efficiency Downloads - Aythign I download including scientific papers goes here first. I then can decide whetehr it's aproject, add to Zotero and mark it ready to read and review or can be delete. So it's an inbox for digital files and info Oogie Pictures for the Year - My phone automatically syncs to a special folder when I am in my own wifi system. I do not use iCloud. Pictures are frequently the trigger ro either actions or projects. For example, I took a picture of a sheep and a short vddeo of him limping. That's beciame a project tocatch him, check his feet and se hwat's going on. Or a picture of a broken part becomse a project to find or maek a replacement.

I handle them all in sequence and try to get them all to zero at least twice a week.

Updated 28 November to clarify why these are all inboxes.
 
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julie777

Registered
@Oogiem
I hope you are joking.
Inboxes are places where you collect stuff to make decisions about and act upon.
Most of what you listed is just reading material that might trigger a thought that you might want to capture in your inbox.
 

Murray

Registered
@Oogiem
I hope you are joking.
Inboxes are places where you collect stuff to make decisions about and act upon.
Most of what you listed is just reading material that might trigger a thought that you might want to capture in your inbox.
@julie777 - A quick glance at Oogiem's profile indicates she's been a member on the forums for 13 years and has shared over 5000 posts. So it seems highly likely that there is some thought and practice and refinement behind how her system is set up. My personal opinion is that your comment comes across to me as a bit dismissive of what she has shared.
 

Oogiem

Registered
@Oogiem
I hope you are joking.
Inboxes are places where you collect stuff to make decisions about and act upon.
Most of what you listed is just reading material that might trigger a thought that you might want to capture in your inbox.
I'll go edit so it's more clear.

I agree, inboxes are places where you collect stuff. They then need to be clarified, and processed. Either organized into my system as actions for an exisitng project, one off actions, someday/maybe items or deleted as no longer relevant. I have automatic capture and sorting into that whole list or they come from different sources so yes, they are all inboxes. They are automatic capture places. I treat most of them like email. That's clearly an inbox that needs processing. As the registrar for Black Welsh Mountain sheep in North American I have to make sure that I cover the social media where people ask questions. So ravelry, twitter and facebook are inboxes I have to handle.

Why do double work of capturing to a separate inbox when these systems do it automatically? Most of the items are a read, and handle as a less than 2-3 minute action. I don't need to read a twitter message, then write a note in my task manager to respond. I need to do it right then if it's simple or else it's probably a project. Like a private twitter message sent to me like, "Do you know who has sheep X or that bloodline in the US?" That's a project that I have to add or else respond that I can't do it now or that I'll get to it in some timeframe. That type of stuff makes Twitter an inbox for me.
 
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