How do your paper inboxes look like?

Hi all,

We are moving and I finally convinced my spouse that we need paper inboxes for each of us. I think I will install ones for the kids as well.

Most of the time, we will put the snail mail into it, so it should be somewhat near to the entrance (false assumption?). I think the best is a container of some sort, where it is easy to see the bottom (so you know if there’s anything in it). It should possibly have nothings above it, so I can put also larger items in there (in true David Allen fashion).

However, our hallway is quite narrow, so a vertical solution seems appropriate, but I fear that it’s not as functional.

I am looking for your advice and/or for your solutions as an inspiration.

I wonder if something like these might be better?

With a little creativity I’m sure you can wall mount them (or better, install a floating shelf and put them on that so you can take your whole inbox to process if lots ends up in there!), and personally I like to keep these things flat.

On a somewhat related question: what do you want the kids to do with something that is for you or your spouse? It might be worth having a 3rd inbox for joint items where both of you can process together, or one of you can grab things to handle stuff and drop of anything for the other one in their inbox.

P.S. I moved this to the Focused subforum as it seemed most appropriate there!

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Thanks for the suggestion and for moving in the right section.

That’s easy: it definitely will go into my inbox.

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Awesome! I just remember my Dad getting really frustrated when I was a kid because I kept giving him school things to deal with but (for many good reasons) my mum usually dealt with those things. Plus as a builder there was a pretty good chance his hands were dirty so by the time it made it where it needed to go my mum sometimes couldn’t read it :laughing: - if only they’d had inboxes!

I hope you find a solution that works!

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A vertical magazine rack with a slot for each person. Something like this:

I’ve embraced the paperless lifestyle enough to make this unnecessary.

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I think the best choice for inboxes is near where you process items. So on the desk or home office area. Having it near the entrance for me at least, would mean I never actually do anything with the stuff. I also do not like vertical filing systems. Small papers fall to the bottom and get crumpled and lost.

My preference is a sideways inbox tray and the limited size is a good way to force handling the stuff in it. Our own are some I got from David Allan Co years ago, they are not wood but have survived mostly. You can see them in the pictures I just posted over in the homescreens and office section. I have the bottom 3 and hubby has the top one. They are starting to come apart a bit so I’m looking at replacing them with this style

Wooden Inboxes

I like that they are wood and stacking. The only issue is that they are not very deep, only about 2 inches of stuff can fit in one. I’d prefer something about 3 inches high as that’s closer to what we have now. Even so they are on my list for when the current ones die.

I’ve been through lots of plastic ones and they always get brittle and crack and the wire ones get smashed, at least in our house.

My paper inboxes are every horizontal surface in my office.


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