The Inbox in task management

When working with an app like Things 3 or OmniFocus 2, one will quickly notice the folder in the top, called “Inbox.” 

After using emails for decades, the concept of an Inbox should be clear, but what is its meaning in task management? Can one not enter tasks directly into the relevant task list or project? Why is there an extra step, adding a task to an “Inbox” folder, when it will be temporary anyhow?

This feature will help streamline your workflows if used correctly. In this article, we will discuss its purpose, how new tasks should be captured, and how to make sure that the inbox stays tidy.

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Sending emails to the task inbox

Capturing new tasks is an important habit needed for successful use of a task management software. Many tasks in daily life involve incoming or outgoing emails as it is a main tool of communication with supervisors, business partners, and colleagues.

There is a convenient feature called Send-To-Inbox, which is supported by many task management applications. The idea is simple: Every email sent to a specific email address will be added to the task management as a new task.

In this article, we will discuss how to set up such a workflow, go over a couple of interesting use cases and in the end talk about how this feature can be used for automation.

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An overview on automation

When using a multiple of productivity apps, the number of inboxes can get overwhelming. An email from a supervisor and a related task in a task managing app. Each app serves its own purpose, but a variety of apps cause noise. This causes the stigma, that productivity geeks are busier with handling their workflows than handling their work.

So, how to avoid such situations? Automation is one way to solve this. There are more situations, where automation helps making workflows more efficient.

The following will give an overview of apps and utilities worth mentioning when talking of automation. A more hands-on approach with screenshots and examples will be part of future setup articles.

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