I find myself constantly scrolling to bottom of my Inbox over and over to get to the bottom, is there a way to display it in Assending Order where the most recently added tasks in my inbox apear at the top instead of the bottom? This way I would be able to work down my list via most recent starting at the top. Perhaps there is a perspective way of doing this?
Really the inbox should be cleared probably daily, tasks. Should be added to their relevant projects or single action lists and perspectives created to show what you need to see when you need to see it.
The inbox is not designed to be used as a to do list in itself.
I use Siri on my iPhone and iPad to capture tasks to OmniFocus. They automatically appear in the inbox. Then I process them by assigning a project (fix the big thingy in the garage) or single action list (household chores). Optionally I add a tag such as office, house, spouse, conputer.
The inbox is a temporary capture basket. Take items out of the inbox and organize them in the appropriate list as @TheOldDesigner stated.
When I come home from shopping, I move my groceries from the car to the kitchen counter (a form of an inbox). I take out each item and consider where it goes (the freezer, the refrigerator, the food pantry, or another destination). I’m not gonna leave the fresh fish in the shopping bag. It’s gotta go to the appropriate place. Otherwise my kitchen counter will stay full and I’ll have an angry wife who will say I didn’t finish the job.
I usually process the inbox throughout the day. Whenever I have a 5 minute spot in between meetings or tasks, I’ll go through the inbox and organize 1-5 tasks. I’m always waiting for something (a meeting that is starting late, waiting in line at the bank or post office, waiting for the coffee machine to finish.
td;dr What about projects then, could I change the display order there?
I hear yea I think, it doesn’t matter wheather it’s decending or assending just get the stuff out of the inbox. Methodologically, that makes sense. I can get on board with that…
However, what’s left would be moving the same question to the projects section of OF instead of the inbox. I would find that for some projects I’m scrolling down to the bottom over and over.
For some life projects the way it’s set up in my life I want first in, first out. Other projects I want last in, first out. For the latter, changing the decending to assending would be quite super if possible.
I will just add a new user viewpoint: When you are just starting out with either OmniFocus or Getting Things Done, there will be a phase for many, (me, for example), where you have mastered collecting all ideas/tasks in the Inbox, but still are beginning on processing that Inbox. I would really like to see the things I added to the Inbox 1 minute ago without scrolling through the 300 Someday/Maybe items I dreamed up 5 years ago on another list that I haven’t yet processed in OmniFocus. I know this should be a temporary problem if I use OmniFocus right, but it would still be nice to have the option to see newest items at the top in Inbox
On OF3 for Mac, there is an option in the menu bar Organize > Sort Once… > By Date Added. But it will only sort from oldest to newest.
The sort perspective does not have a way to choose between descending or ascending.
I would create a new project called “Older Inbox” and set the project status to “On Hold.” In the preferences window, I’ll set the Inbox to cleanup if a project is assigned. Then I go to my full inbox and select all the inbox items. I’ll assign the Project field to “Older Inbox”.
Now I have a fresh empty inbox where I can capture new items.
Every day, I’ll spend 5-10 minutes in the morning going through my “Older Inbox” and start organizing them. Some items become a project. Others might just go to the appropriate list or project (Household Chores, Errands List, Kid’s birthday party, Christmas shopping list).
When I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, bank, or drive through at the restaurant, I’ll clear out 2-5 Older Inbox items. Just keep chipping away at the Older Inbox as well as the new inbox items.
If there is something from 5 years that’s still in the inbox, it’s time to consider whether we’re really gonna get to it. I do have a “Maybe” list that has a bunch of ideas that I’m considering. I have the review cycle for my “Maybe” lists set to once every 3 months and it’ll pop up in the Review perspective on the appropriate date. A lot of the older items are at the top of the list. I can carefully consider whether I should just delete it or delegate it to someone else who has the time/skills to do it.
Curation/Review is the glue that keeps our system clean. If our task manager (it doesn’t matter if it’s OmniFocus or Todoist or any of the other apps out there) is a junkyard full of items, we won’t trust it because it’s too cluttered.
Now that the capturing part of your productivity system has been mastered, it’s time to adopt the habit of Review/Curation/Organizing.
I don’t clear everything in my inbox to inbox zero. But I do take time to chip away at it every day.
Thank you for those ideas, Wilson, and I think I will try exactly what you suggest. It is a good roadmap to a quick fix that will make me feel better about my inbox.
The one point of difference we may have is that I am fine with having some items sit in a “Someday/Maybe” bucket for 5 or even 50 years. These include interesting ideas I have had that I may never in life act on, but still want to keep track of. Maybe “someday” I’ll create an “Interesting Ideas” file folder that I can put them in and never look at. On the other hand, if they’re still there at my funeral it will give my wife some interesting reading.
Good to know, I’ll email Omni and request this as a feature request. (Just checked and Microsoft To Do does have this ability if anyone wanted to see what it looks like.)
I have a short “someday/maybe” single item list in OmniFocus that is set to On Hold. When I review it, I’ll move many items to a separate Omni Outliner someday/maybe list. I have a reminder in OF to review that list every 3 months or so, at which point I might choose to move an item back to OF as an active project or task. Usually I don’t; instead, I move more things from OF to the external list.
Thank you, Brian. I hope to mature to this level of OF mastery!