This post outlines the system of inboxing that allows me to keep track of everything, or at least most things. These apps and methods are a result of trying many different things over the years.
Todoist: I use Todoist as my task management tool. For inboxing, I use Todoist’s task inbox. I just type in a description of the task and leave it for later: no due date, project, labels, etc. Though I do apply David Allen’s two minute rule here. If I’m editing a paper, for example, I try to keep all the edit tasks inline or as comments on the document itself. It makes things much more efficient. Likewise, if I’m drafting an email, I “snooze” it for a later time rather than creating a task to respond or putting it in another “bin” that I have to look through again later on. (The snooze feature is one of my favorite things about Gmail.)
Notion: Notion is a great organizing tool for information. I will devote a post to how I use Notion in the future. Here, I will describe how I use inboxes in Notion. These are split into three areas right now.
- Inboxes: I have dedicated “inboxes” for the following general categories: “Personal“, “Research“, “Notes“, and “Projects“. This allows me to quickly dump information/thoughts into a general bucket and process during my weekly review. Inboxes are all linked on my Notion landing page for fast access.
- Notes for meetings: Sometimes I will only meet with someone once every month or two (e.g., a committee member). These notes allow me to record things I what to talk to that person about. Instead of thinking “I need to remember to talk to XYZ about this next month!”, I just drop it in the appropriate Notion page.
- Sticky Notes: At the bottom of my Notion landing page, I sometimes dump in random short thoughts and notes that don’t have a clear inbox category. They’re like virtual sticky notes. I process them during my weekly review.
Pocket: I use this for saving articles I want to read later. Pocket removes distractions like ads and other website graphics, which makes reading much more pleasant. Plus it saves your place, and allows you to read (and pick up where you left off) on any device!
Rocketbook: Sometimes you just need to hand write something on paper. That’s what I use Rocketbook for. I also find that writing down my tasks at the beginning of the day makes for less distractions during the day. If I keep going back to Todoist to find out what to do next, I get distracted with administrating task management: shuffling tasks around, checking in on projects, etc.
Google Recorder App: I use this for quick on-the-go recordings. It auto-transcribes, which makes it easy to organize/save later.