Do you have an unified inbox?

I’m interested in what tools people here use to collect the different “inboxes” in their daily lives.

I have noticed that I currently have many different “inboxes” in which I collect ideas, to dos and notes.

  • Most of them end up directly in my To do app
  • Several E-mail inboxes
  • Bookmarks in the browser, Omnivore and Pocket
  • A collective note in Obisidian
  • Several messenger apps

I would like to have a single “inbox” app to which I can send all the information from these channels and sort it there.

The problem is that it’s not always trivial to convert these things into Markdown format, and I also prefer to store more structured notes in Obsidian.

I’m interested in apps, tools but also simply methods you use to do this.

Thanks!

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So far I am using Readitlater and Markdownload as my Inbox unifier however I am very much interested in the larger context of information organization using Obsadian beyond as a text editor.

Actually, it’s not a simple question. The answer to it is multilayered.

First and foremost, why do you need this? Where does this need arise from? I can assume, based on my experience, that you want to increase focus, but by doing so, you’ll significantly increase the level of noise. And that usually, again in my experience, leads to the abandonment of any system.

Second, if you’ve answered the question of “why,” the next question arises almost immediately: how does all this benefit the existing system? Imagine that you’ve organized everything in one place successfully, which is a feat in itself, then what?

The third and last question is, what do you consider information? Just anything that you find interesting? Or something that you’ve thought about? And if you organize it in one inbox, then what? How often and how exactly do you process it?

So now, the practice that I’ve implemented for several years now is the following:

Not all information is worth collecting.

By this, I mean it demands careful processing and analyzing. At the beginning, it seems like a lot of work, but it turns into routine action, if you ask yourself certain questions. I have several notes, which I will publish below in a moment. Three frameworks for working with any information.

Separate sources.

This is as simple as that; if everything lies everywhere, it means only one thing: nothing is worthy of my attention. Mail – where I keep my conversations. Books – for notes, which later are turned into notes. Zotero – for sources and everything else I think is worth thinking over.

And this, the last piece of the puzzle, is the most interesting. Zotero is a place where I collect everything, from articles on the net to books and articles. When I process them, with one click, they are moved to Obsidian for further processing, thinking, linking, and formulating.

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Not some of my ideas about what is knowledge. It’s simple copy-paste from my vault. So everything below is open for interpretation.

There are plenty of the links to follow, that didn’t add to this post, so feel free to ask, I’ll publish them.

What’s the difference between data, knowledge, and information?

  • Take a look at these raw numbers: 8091, 8848, 8167, 8611, 8586, 8485, 8163, 8126, 8188, 8516.
  • And if we arrange them like this? 8848, 8611, 8586, 8516, 8485, 8188, 8167, 8163, 8126, 8091.
  • And what if I told you that they are the heights of the tallest mountains in the world, would you believe me?

Claude E. Shannon, the father of the modern theory of knowledge, distinguished all three concepts:

  • Raw data is facts or figures awaiting processing.
    • Data is made, not found: it is manufactured through careful measurement, as a result of a particular process. It is an infallibly accurate record.
  • Information is data that is structured in a specific way and within a certain context so that it is easily understood.
    • Like data, information is created but, in contrast, it is meticulously arranged and contextualized. Information exists in the absence of knowledge.
    • Information is riddled with noise, and for it to become useful, we must discern the signal amidst the nonstop clamor of everything and everyone. [[Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less#^839ae0]]
      • Taleb echoes this in [[Antifragile: Books 2 and 3#^f81513]].
      • Look up the word NOISE in the Antifragile book for more information.
      • [[The Poverty of Historicism - Karl Popper#^4e5d3f]]
  • Knowledge is verified information that we have good reason to believe is true. ^387fd7
    • Verification is a reliable process for testing the truth of information. See [[Critical thinking#Explanation theory hypothesis]].
    • The process of gaining knowledge is messy and open-ended. It involves a lot of questions about what is possible for us to know, how we know it, and where and how different sources of information disagree. See [[What is knowledge?#^b26d96]] ^b38b8a
    • It requires information and relies heavily on particular decisions about how and what we measure, test, and understand in the first place.
      • This frames knowledge around specific assumptions.
      • Thus, it’s important to be as transparent as possible about assumptions because no knowledge is final, neutral, or exhaustive.

Everything that asks for social proof must answer two questions:

  • Are you correctly interpreting other people’s beliefs?
  • Are these beliefs reasonable to begin with?

Yet, there is another side to the question of data – information – knowledge that has been discussed on the forum. ^c6aafe
- Data — Information (What, where, when?) — Knowledge (How?) — Wisdom (Why?).
- ![[data-info-know-wise.png]]

A nice addition for a deeper understanding of [[What is knowledge?]] would be [[Синтезированное знание]].

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Three frameworks for preliminary work with information:

If you follow link to every strategy you can find extensive explanation, made in Russian, but nothing DEEPl or ChatGPT cant’t handle.

  • SQ3R
    • Survey
      • Know your book. Read the title, subtitle, contents, annotation, and preface. The usual lot.
    • Question
      • At this stage, we can turn each chapter into a question.
        • It’s actually a great exercise. It frames and primes the brain to be sensitive to information. We can go with the question from the [[План урока - Скимминг|skimming workshop]], or we can create new ones.
        • Maybe a question from the learned section of KWL would be appropriate.
    • Read
      • Read with the question in mind.
      • We can mark the book in such a way that it’s going to remind us about them every time we open or turn the page.
    • Recite
      • Write a short summary of what has been read.
      • My opinion is that a summary naturally emerges the moment we start working with notes and manipulate the author’s ideas.
    • Review
      • The last part, where we review the notes we’ve crafted, look for connections and associations, scan for gaps, and plan further research.
  • KWL. Classic questions from my workshops:
    • Know. What do I already know?
    • Want to know. What do I want to know?
    • Learned. What have I learned?
      • This is a shallow question, that is comparatively easy to answer. I suggest another: In what way might this information be useful, or how can I benefit from it, or how does it influence my behavior?
  • SOAR
    • Select. We have to choose key ideas and concepts.
    • Organize. The process of organizing it into a scheme, table, or other form.
    • Associate. Connect with something you already know.
    • Regulate. This seems redundant, existing for self-checking (testing). If I understood correctly.
      • This happens the moment we collide ideas from notes with reality.
      • What survives, represents understanding.
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