Capturing tasks to Inbox

The GTD concept of an inbox suggests: if something comes to your mind that you might want to act on in the future, throw it into an inbox without having to deal with any details. You can come back to it and make decisions about it later.

Once items have been placed in the Inbox in MLO, you can then access them either from the Inbox view or in the special Inbox folder in the Outline view — and then if needed you can add all the additional classifying data for each task (subtasks with next actions or details, like date due, context, importance, urgency, flags, stars, etc.) and move it to another branch in your task hierarchy.

Learn how you can capture stuff to Inbox fast and on-the-go with the following tools:

Inbox view

Task by email

Rapid Task Entry

Inbox view

You can open the Inbox view and add your tasks there:

Adding task in Inbox view

Tip: you can assign a hotkey to quickly access the Inbox view: right-click on the view name > Assign hotkey.

Since ideas strike anytime and anywhere, you may need to use other tools for a quick task capture. Try Rapid Task Entry and Task by Email to send a task to MLO while working on other things.

Tip: In most cases, only phone is at hand. Use widgets and shortucts in MLO on Android to capture ideas instantly.

Task by Email

You can add items to your MLO Inbox by sending an email to a special email address created in your MLO Cloud account. It will be sent to the Cloud in the background and pushed to all connected devices on sync. The email title becomes the task and the email body is placed to notes. The detailed description can be found in this article.

Rapid Task Entry

It is very handy to use the Rapid Task Entry (RTE) dialog to quickly add tasks to MyLifeOrganized while you are working in other applications. Rapid Task Entry can be accessed from the MLO tray icon and via the hotkey Shift Ctrl M. This dialog can be also find in menu View > Rapid task entry window.

Multiple task entry

Need to capture to Inbox many tasks at once? Check the "Multiple task entry". In this mode, each text line will be interpreted as a separate task when you press the Add task(s) button. You can use indentation to create subtasks.

Single task entry

Uncheck the "Multiple task entry" checkbox to have only one task added to Inbox when you press the "Add task" button. If the text you entered has more than one line, the first line will be used for the task name and the entire text (including the first line) will be placed in the task note.

Input parsing

You can type in all your task information — task name, start and due date, context, etc — into a single field. The built-in input parsing tool will automatically convert it into a task with the ready-made properties. Check "Parse input like..." to use this feature.

Here are more examples and supported syntax:

Prepare report for Bob 3:10am 5/22
Prepare report for Bob 15:10 22/5 tomorrow 4pm
Organize party with my friends May 28th 2021 reminder May 23 2021 3pm
Send report to Bob in 3 days remind me tomorrow 2 pm
Call Jim tomorrow context @office; @calls
Send report next Tue 11am  context ProjectX
Send report in 1 month 2 weeks 1 day @ ProjectX; Reports
Send report in 1 m 2 w 3 d
Ask Michael in 2 d remind in 3 h -i5 -star
"Inform about meeting with Bob April 10 2pm" tomorrow at 16:00 remind me 10 min

Reserved words:
* to set a reminder: reminder or remind or rmd 
* to assign context(s): context or cont or @
* days of week
* tomorrow, in X days, in X d, in X min, in X h
* date and time in local format

Advanced options:
-* or -star to star a task
-s or -start to set a start date
-d or -due to set a due date
-h to hide in todo
-o to complete subtasks in order
-i1 to -i5 to set importance
-u1 to -u5 to set urgency
-p to set project
-f to set folder
-t to set min time required
-tm to set max time required
-to<Task Name> or -to=<Task Name> to move to a specific parent task
-tofld<Folder Name> or -tofld=<Folder Name> to move to a folder 
-toprj<Project Name> or -toprj=<Project Name> to move to a project

Use quotes to not parse the keywords:
"Call Bob tomorrow and remind about the meeting" in 1d remind in 10h

You can find more examples and reserved words in our manual.

How to manage Inbox

Once you have everything captured, it's time to clarify and organize your Inbox items.

Follow the GTD two-minute rule: if it takes less than two minutes, then do it now. The rest should have additional classifying details like date due, context, reminder etc. and appropriate place in your task tree.

There are several ways you can move tasks out of Inbox:

If you don't follow GTD, you can ignore Inbox and put new items directly in a folder/project where they belong. However, in this case the items may be not carefully thought out. So, give Inbox a try and see how it goes.