Quick Inbox Action

Why does an inbox item show up in the Projects & Actions list?

Items in the inbox have not been processed and therefore should not show up on any lists.

We originally did that because the inbox does not have the ability to assign an item to a particular project. So you really had to do that from the Projects and Actions area.

We still don’t have that feature, so for now you can easily, either filter inbox items out of your view or filter to see them.

The interesting thing is that people have commented that they like to have a view where they can see absolutely everything, including inbox items and we are finding that many users aren’t even using the inbox. They don’t forget to process the inbox this way. They just filter to show area “none” in the Projects and Actions view to do their inbox processing. Or do the reverse to hide these items. See picture below.

So my question to everyone is this: Is the Inbox view helpful to you? Or would you rather use the Projects and Actions view for processing your new items? We have actually considered removing inbox list, in favor of having users process directly in the Projects and Actions view. But we are flexible and want to have the best possible solution for all users.

It sounds like Proximo would be one vote against the idea. What do other users think? Anyone who has a hundred or so actions created? I’d really love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

+1 for Inbox and for not showing the inbox unprocessed stuff mixed with normal actions and projects

I normally do not use the app inbox for collection. I have so many other collection points already (voicemail, email, paper mail …). I use the app inbox primarily for receiving calendar notifications 15 hours ahead of meetings, and occasionally for other things, too.

The best for me would be if I could have new inbox items auto-focused, such that I do not fail to observe their arrival.

As far as I am concerned you could even take away the inbox list from the left menu (but I realize I am in the minority here, and I would not advise it).

I definitely like having an “all stuff” view, and I have no problem with the name Projects and Actions for this view (or whatever other name people might prefer).

Perhaps one solution could be to have a “system” container called Inbox at the top of P&A, and maybe a second one called Single actions. That might help keep the P&A view tidier. It does get a bit messy to have all this stuff uncategorized at the top, although I must say I have no big problems with it.

As a side note: What I do have a problem with is that the quick add field at the top adds new tasks to the inbox rather than to the list I am currently looking at. I would think it more natural to see the new task at the top of my current view, whatever view that might be.

In my opinion it should remain as it is!
Is very convenient in the outline view to drag and drop your unprocessed stuff in the right project/list.

I will keep this simple. Is this a GTD app?

If yes. You should have an inbox because it’s one of the core principles of GTD. I do not ever want to see the ideas, thoughts, and stuff I want to get out of my head anywhere, but my inbox. Until I process my inbox, I have not decided if the items there belong anywhere else in my GTD system.

Capturing ideas, thoughts, and stuff directly in my GTD system for me to hunt down in my “Projects and Actions” list makes no sense to me at all. The inbox is a sacred place for me to always know there is something I need to process and figure out what it means. The inbox is not just another tag, but an integral part of the GTD process.

Just my $.02

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I have no objections to there being a container called inbox, nor a mechanism for receiving emails, but let me argue just for the fun of it :slight_smile: :

I would be a bit careful with labeling this as GTD or not GTD. As far as I know, GTD is a “system”, a methodology, not a specification for an app. GTD mentions lots of things, including capturing tools, various lists, various kinds of project support, general reference and other reference, and so on. Nothing stops you from spreading this out across numerous devices, apps and other tools, e.g. keeping your next actions in Wunderlist, your waiting for actions in Word etc. And more specifically, you already have the voicemail capturing on your phone, your email capturing on your computer, your bar conversation notes on the back of coasters or napkins, voice memos on some device, and so on - all spread out. There is, as far as I know, nothing that that says there needs to be a capturing function integrated in the list app. But of course it is convenient, and customary, to have one. And I welcome it.

I do agree that you should not throw unprocessed stuff in with already processed stuff in a way that may cause confusion or force you to “hunt it down”. GTDNext already employs a color scheme for this. Maybe this is not sufficient. I do not agree with the idea that you should have to filter for them. They should all sit together by default.

I think it would probably be advisable to put them in a system container called Inbox, first in P&A, to be able to collapse them and also too see them better for what they actually are (the heading Inbox for that parent node would be clarifying). As yet a further step, it would be possible to have a user preference setting for “hide inbox from P&A”, but personally I would not use that option.

I think our difference of opinion here is not so much related to whether it is GTD or not, but more to where and how and to what extent we like to collect random thoughts and observations. Some use voice memos. Some use photographs. Some use a memo app. And some like to have the memo app integrated.

Personally, I use the app’s inbox not as a capturing device (I have plenty of others for that) but more as an electronic transfer device - from the inbox or calendar to the list app. It is often quite well processed when it arrives - definitely no random notes. This is why I would like them auto-focused upon arrival, to make sure I really see them and can add the final touches to their processing ASAP.

And I can perfectly understand why someone who uses the list app’s inbox as a capturing device for random thoughts would prefer the exact opposite.

Let’s keep it simple.

GTDNext is a GTD app that is designed to be used as your GTD system. Your argument is fine but it’s not related to GTDNext because we are not keeping things in different apps that make up our “GTD” system.

If GTDNext is aiming to be a GTD System that can contain the majority of your stuff in one place, you should have an Inbox. Not having one makes little sense to me.

Well, luckily, it does have an Inbox :slight_smile:

What I think maybe is important for the developers to observe is the fact that the app’s inbox can serve two very different purposes:

  • a capturing point (one of many) on the perimeter of your overall GTD system, for collecting all kinds of random thoughts and observations, many of which may not necessarily result in any changes to your GTD action lists.
  • a transfer point, internal within your GTD system, for saving a click or two when entering new list actions that have been previously captured in other electronic systems that are part of your overall GTD system.

These two uses call for quite different sets of supporting features. For the first kind, it is natural to keep the items as isolated from the processed actions as possible; the quantities can be huge, and the relevance can be low (high percentage trash and reference). For the second kind, it is natural to give immediate notification of its arrival and to facilitate the final step of its conversion to a listed action; the quantities are tiny and the relevance to your action lists is high.

Thanks for the great feedback everyone! Sounds like we should keep the inbox list. We will also look at giving users the option of hiding new items from the Projects and Actions view. However, since several people want this, we will look to do that as a setting. Once we have a settings page. Stay tuned.