Inbox - in the planner???

What is an inbox?

The idea comes from the GTD system, in there you have to collect all the stuff you need to deal with - no matter it it trash, task, todo, or info material. Inbox (for me) is a place, where thing that has to be handle lands before I find it's place. What I mean about this "things"?
  • receipts
  • letters from school, maybe with events, or only with infos
  • notes written by me (someone else)
  • tickets
  • emails printed out
  • shopping list on a post it
  • etc

Where is the inbox, and how it looks like?

My inbox was for the first time only a pocket after the dashboard in my main planner. The pocket is very useful, because not every piece of paper can be punched. If you have no time/opportunity to punch the paper, or you don't want now to deal with it, place into the pocket.

After that I read in a blog (sorry, I don't remember any more) that she has some notepaper at the beginning of the planner to write notes quick down. And this is also an inbox. You write here your ideas, a todo list, or shopping list. And you will remove this note paper later, where it belongs in your planner!

More than one inbox? Oh, yes, I have more. As I decided to remove my calendar from my main planner to be simpler to carry on, when I'm out of home, I might write something in that smaller planner. That's why, that planner is an inbox too.

The inbox extensions

We have a chalkboard in the kitchen, there can all family members write what we have to thinking on. Mostly what to buy. If I'm cooking, I don't want to take my Filofax, I write on the board quick. When the board is full, I write everything to my planner on the right place.

My phone: if I'm driving I can make audio notes with a voice recorder in my phone (I have to remember - how hard it is!!!)

Why should you have an inbox?

Simplifies your life, minimize the distraction. If you have an inbox, that gives you the opportunity stay in your task on you are working, and leave you to decide later, what to do with that info. In my daily routine I have a task, called "clean up inbox". Every morning I'm looking through, what I have here, and I put away. Do your tasks, when you have time for it! Imagine a situation (happens with me often): I'm working on my computer. My daughter comes home, and gives me a letter from the school with lot of events for the whole quarter. Yes, I could punch it at the moment, and starting write the appointments into your calendar, but it makes no sense, remember: I'm working on something! It can also happen, that you don't know yet, where you should place that piece of paper, take your time to find the best for it. Or you are away from home, get a receipt. It is going to the inbox. At home you can put away, where you have your receipts.

Good luck! Later I will come back with a tutorial, how to create your own inbox pocket, because I don't like mine, I will do a new one :)


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about an inbox.

  2. I have one, but I really try not to use it. I try to put things where they belong. But, yes, sometimes it is absolutely necessary!

  3. I love this idea! I am going to work on implementing something similar. Thanks!

  4. I would like to see it :) if you would share it you can post it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chaosplanorder
    or send me in email :) zsuzsa at softrainbow dot ch

  5. I love this inbox concept. I'd just have to remember to clean it out!

  6. print out the review checklists, and than you will ntot forget any more :)