How to Inbox for Work and Home

Hi there, new to Omnifocus 2, not new to GTD.

I was wondering how people inbox work and personal items with Omnifocus efficiently.

I’m trying to employ Omnifocus for both work and home. One of my main needs is to completely separate office & home. When I’m at home, I don’t want to see or be distracted by home items. When at work, I don’t want my home items jumping out at me.

This seems to be quite achievable with perspectives. I’ve been creating “Home - ____” and “Work - ____” perspectives. And this is working OK so far, except for the Inbox.

Case in point: I’m at home in the late evening, and I quickly inbox a bunch of home items. I haven’t processed my Inbox yet and I go to work in the morning. By midday I’ve inboxed a bunch of work items, plus maybe a couple of things I remembered for home. In the afternoon, still at the office, I need to go ahead process my Inbox for work purposes. Now I have to weed through all my collected work and home items. Ick.

I was wondering if people have found a solution for that or if there is a way in Omnifocus to somehow separate inboxing for work.

I thought of creating an “Inbox” project in each of my “Home” and “Work” top level folders. But that defeats the purpose and quick availability of a true Inbox.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

To me, Inbox items should have no decisions made on them hey. This would seem to include the Work vs. Home decision.

Rather than seeing this as having to weed through, I see it as reassuring that I have both work and home accounted for.

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I’ve been trying to figure this out for a few minutes. It’s not that important to me, but it would be neat to control what I see in the Inbox along contexts.

My conclusion is that you can’t do it. Inbox has been designed for everything.

With that said, if you’re at home for the evening and you want to not even look at work-related inbox items, you can switch to “Available” view, then highlight everything with a work context and defer them until tomorrow at the time that you normally show up for work. They’ll pop up again when you’re at work.

During the day, while you’re at work, you can defer inbox items for home until about the time (5:00 PM-ish?) you’re about to leave work.

This might not be the simplest solution, but I think it’s in the spirit of GTD.

Good Luck!


I think the thing is that Capture/Collect, in the GTD workflow, precedes Clarify/Process. The inbox is for the former, but you’re looking for the output of the latter (or at least a “lite” version of it).

What I might do is create a couple of single-action projects called “Home - To Clarify” and “Work - To Clarify” which you could dump stuff in to, effectively serving as separate inboxes.

I also dig @henrysaltandson’s idea as an option for you.

I’m a “whole life” sort of person, though, so I’m happy to have “plan dinner with mom” and “complete stats analysis” on the same playing field where it comes to inboxing and processing.

Good luck!


P.S. I realize I have nerdily listed both the 1.0 and 2.0 versions of the terms for the GTD Workflow steps. I am okay with how nerdy I am.

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I prefer to review all inbox items for both home and work at the same time. It often gives me a cooler head in the Clarify phase: did I have 50 ideas at work today that really only boil down to 5? Or do those ideas signify some deeper planning that needs to be done in mind mapping or OmniOutliner first?

That said, I think flags can come to your rescue, @JSBach. Decide whether home or work will get the flags, and then with each new quick entry or inbox item pound ⌘ ⇧ L to flag it. You would clutter up a custom “Today” perspective if you normally use flags, but those could be sorted to the bottom of your lists because you wouldn’t have defined either a project or a context.

That way, when you process your inbox at work, just look for the flagged items!

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Henry that’s a great idea. I had no idea the “defer” function worked that way. Thanks for the tip.

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If clear and accurate is “nerdy”, then I’ll take nerdy any day. Thanks for your feedback @deturbulence.