Thread: Return to inbox
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Originally Posted by janT View Post
If I have a project of building a website, two items within my inbox might read "donīt use .Mac - it is too slow for German subscribers" or "choose an application to design the pages". These arenīt actions. But as long as I have assigned a proper next action to this project, there is no need to think hard about what they mean. And I prefer to store these thoughts within the project instead of cluttering my inbox. (As I understand GTD, you donīt need to plan everything about your project. You have to collect everything and make sure there is one next action with a context assigned to the project.)

I've mentioned elsewhere that I tend to keep the reference material and notes for projects in OmniOutliner rather than in OmniFocus. That's probably more out of habit than anything else. I don't object to OF being able to hold reference material, so long as that doesn't interfere with action collection, planning, and doing.

But, as you note, things like "Choose an application to design the pages" is really an incompletely planned action. I've taken to assigning things like this to a Planning context. When I'm in the mood to organize, I'll chug through my Planning actions and add more detail. This seems like a good approach to me for a couple of reasons:
  • If the non-fully-planned action comes to the top of my action list, then my next action really is to do some planning.
  • If the action didn't have a context, it would block my project.

I'd probably also write the action as "Brainstorm steps for choosing an application...", just to make it an easier widget to crank.

I can see how trapping things in the inbox would interfere with your use. Come to think of it, I don't see how Anna's suggestion would work when planning within a project. If I'm brainstorming actions within a project, I just want to dump them in before worrying about contexts. If they immediately went to the inbox, that wouldn't work. MEP's suggestion that context-less actions appear in both the inbox and their project would be interesting to experiment with. It seems like including such actions in the inbox could be controlled with a preference. On the engineering side, it would just be an additional database query.