Midnight Inbox

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Midnight Inbox (a/k/a "Inbox")
Platform: OS X
License: commercial
Cost: $35
Download Size: 2.6Mb
Site: Midnight Beep

[edit] Description

Most implementations of GTD software tend to "adapt" an existing program that was designed for some other purpose. Midnight Inbox was designed from the ground up to implement David Allen's workflow from Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity; the company's webpage, in fact, is peppered with David Allen's signature phrases.

The program is broken down into separate Collect, Process, Organize, Review, and Work areas. The Collect area offers several user-definable agents that sweep your computer periodically to gather new items that need to be processed (e.g. new e-mails, calendar events, Safari bookmarks, document files). The Process area walks users through the process of making decisions about items collected in their inboxes. In the Organize area, users can create projects to gather together related "next actions." The Review area encourages the user to periodically evaluate the status of projects created in the Organize area. The Work area allows users to create next actions and associate them with a particular context. Midnight Inbox also includes a Reference area for filing materials collected in the Collect phase.

Several features distinguish Midnight Inbox. The first is an attempt to leverage the Cocoa programming environment to create a slick and elegant interface. It bears many similarities to Apple's i-applications (including the use of thin wood accents as in Garageband), but establishes its own identity through the use of varied colors and serif fonts. Its other important feature is the way the program encourages living by the GTD process--not just managing GTD information. For example, the top of the Inbox window contains a status display that keeps track of your active context and the next action slated for that context. Contexts can be created with particular timeframes (e.g. @office M-F, 8am-5pm) and the program can remind you to enter those context at the appointed time. Items can be tagged not only with contexts but also with project levels (e.g. 10k ft, 20k ft).

[edit] Comments

Although the Midnight Beep webpage makes reference to future versions and upgrade prices, the program is currently a pre-1.0 beta.

As of January 22, 2007, Inbox is version 1.0.5 v445. Website now states that all updates up to 2.0 are free.

[edit] Testimonials

This program looks like it has a lot of promise, especially for those who want a pure-GTD app. On my 867Mhz TiBook this application runs a little slow and tended to crash when deleting items in the Organize area. --Mmcroberts 12:52, 24 November 2006 (EST)
It's gorgeous and well-designed, but all the builds released so far are seriously buggy. The just-released "1.0" is the first I've tried that I'd consider beta-quality, but it's got a long way to go before it's solid enough for me to trust any real data to; I've managed to corrupt its data store several times in about an hour of experimenting. I worry that the developer will go under, due either to the volume of tech-support issues, or to people staying away from the app and not paying. If they can get through that and get the program solid, it could be an amazing tool. --sneJ 5 December 2006
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