Too many inboxes?

I mean a different type of inbox in this post, not the email inbox. Well, not always.

I am still struggling to get a consistent “in-tray” for my captured notes. I basically mean fleeting notes, the notes that you capture while not distracting from your work in the moment, and then deal with later. Since I’ve been homebrewing my own Johnny.Decimal+Commonplace book+Zettelkasten system in Obsidian, so that’s where I put my in-tray. Yeah, I know that’s a lot. Most of it is working, just not really the zettelkasten part so much yet.

  • It’s not always convenient or smooth to get every fleeting note into Obsidian. There are several failure modes: syncing is slow, capture from webpages is clunky.
  • A pocket paper notebook is fun to use sometimes. Nothing beats an inactive surface (paper) at being almost completely unable to interrupt you or distract you like an active screen does.
  • Captio has been really great for a low distraction digital interface, on both my phone and ipad. But it sends the output to my email, not Obsidian. And it’s not available on laptops.
  • What about marginalia? Literally those notes in books. I set a reminder to go back those notes a month after finishing the book to grab the ones that still resonate. Is that in the in-tray?
  • I don’t use Obsidian to manage those reminders. Instead I just use the stock reminders app.
  • For other reasons, I’m starting to explore, and I used before that, and I won’t link to it, it seems to be unsafe! before that. I’m not satisfied with Obsidian for bookmark management.

I have been trying to reduce friction here, but as Bob Doto points out Just found Bob. Bob seems to be talking directly to some of my questions. frictionless can be its own trap too.

I’ve considered using drafts. It’s available in all the places. It’s clean and fast and pretty distraction free. But it’s another system to invest in, it might not be worth the effort. I like simple things.

Maybe some friction is necessary to get a grip on things. Having a few-but-not-one inboxes maybe is okay. The point is to be intentional about handling those notes while taking them out of the in-tray. The point is not focusing on getting it into one perfectly beautifuly simple elegant system, but to have something that works for me and captures most of my notes.

Anybody out there got any thoughts or suggestions on this particular aspect?

J. Garo @garo