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Clarification of Inbox use


Now that the Inbox is an unmovable fixture in the Todoist world, is there somewhere that explains how it is intended to be used? Every time I try to think of how to maximize the benefits of the Inbox, I still come out with more time and more clicks needed to accomplish the same thing.

Example (my own situation, in fact):

I had a 'Misc Stuff' project and a 'Misc Thoughts' project. 'Misc Thoughts' was for loose, yet-to-be-figured-out stuff, e.g. "Bob likes Mesa Grill". 'Misc Stuff' was for concrete, dated/timed tasks that were simply not part of any larger project, e.g. "Look up Mesa Grill info", "Make Mesa Grill reservation for Bob's birthday", etc.

The vast majority of the tasks I created were loose but immediately-scheduleable tasks. 'Misc Stuff' (the place for such tasks) was my default project. Ergo, the vast majority of the tasks I created were already going to the correct place WITHOUT CLICKING TO CHANGE THE PROJECT.

My impression is that the Inbox is intended to be similar to what my 'Misc Thoughts' project had been: a place for loose bits of information and intentions that need to be quickly jotted down, then later organized into more concrete plans. However, I do that way less often than I add a task and immediately assign it to a day and time. So am I just supposed to accept that I now have to click to change projects EVERY DAMN TIME I add an everyday "loose" task? Or am I supposed to put everything in the Inbox, delay assigning it, and handle it a second time to sort it? Those both sound stupid to me, when my previous system was: click "+", type task, <TAB>, type date, press enter. It was so fast. Why did this have to get bungled up? Please explain how the new system is supposed to work, because either it makes life harder, or I'm simply not understanding it.

All responses

David Trey  staff
Replied on Sep 04, 2013 - 23:23 UTC

Hello David,

The only thing that really changes is that instead of using a project named "Misc Stuff", you can use a project named "Inbox". That's it. Now you can hit Ctrl+Q, type in task, hit TAB and set a date. No further click necessary... but the name of the project is different.

In your particular case, I would suggest using it as a replacement of the "Misc Stuff" project and if you keep "Misc Thoughts" for the rest - it will work just as before because before you also had to select at least one of the project, the one that wasn't on top.

Alternatively, you could even put both "Stuff" and "Thoughts" into the Inbox which would reduce the clicks even further because you won't have to pick the "Thoughts" project. This way, "Stuff" would be tasks with a date and "Thoughts" - tasks without a date. This way, you could go to the Inbox, hit the "s" key and instantly all tasks in there would sort by date which would leave all without dates at the very bottom clearly differentiating them so you could easily see: Stuff at the top, Thoughts an the bottom.

In fact, if you usually always use dates for all tasks except for the "Thoughts", you could then type "no date" to the search box and find them. Even if you do have other tasks with no date - if you'd see some of them being in the Inbox - these will be the Thoughts.

As we've explained in another thread earlier, we think the main "issue" is not as much the Inbox itself as the fact that it's not easy and fast to select a project from the Quick Add menu or have a project set as default so that you've used the workaround of putting one of your projects at the top so we'll consider improving the Quick Add option to solve this "underlying" problem, but for now, you're welcome to try one of my suggestions and hopefully it will work for you the same way the Misc projects did so far :)

Best regards,

David Rogel  premium
Replied on Sep 04, 2013 - 23:52 UTC

Putting both into the Inbox was the only solution that didn't add clicks, but I had ruled it out, foreseeing a messy jumble of tasks and proto-tasks. However, I didn't know about the 's' keyboard shortcut...that totally solves the problem!

Thanks for the detailed (and very helpful) response.