It is true, you have hidden inboxes that slow you down. It is not a bug, nor is it a feature, it is a nuicance. A normal inbox is bad enough, I have spent several posts on the subject of reducing the amount of stuff in your inbox. But that is specifically for email. There are many more inboxes that you work with online, you may just not have looked at them that way.
Email is the most well-known inbox, basically because it was one of the first inboxes ever, and it carries that exact name: Inbox. Nowadays though, we have many more inboxes that eat up time, require attention and cause distraction and make you reactive instead of proactive and creative.
Facebook messages, Twitter, LinkedIn, forums, and many other services that require you to have a profile and present you with notifications, messages, etc.
Several of these inboxes are sending stuff to the 'real' inbox, which means that it requires twice the attention. First, you see an email drawing you to the other inbox and once there you have to deal with whatever it was that triggered this in the first place. In case of a forum you subscribed to or a LinkedIn job offer, this is only inefficient, but still handy. When it comes to facebook and many other services, this may even only lead to another picture of a cat. We all need a dose of cat pictures every now and then, but I would like to be in control of that :-)
Besides reducing the amount of inboxes (I quit facebook, unsubscribe from mailings regularly and (try to) close forum accounts I have not used in a while), I am trying to find a way to streamline as many inboxes into one and preferrably one that only draws my attention to the important stuff. The rest can either wait, or be deleted/unsubscribed. One candidate I am looking into it Slack. An online communication service that is geared towards team communication, but offers many integrations with existing services (i.e. inboxes) such as twitter, email and dropbox. Additionally it looks like relatively easy to add your own integrations or write bot users that you can talk to or provide relevant information. So, I am not quite there yet, but I am going to look into a way to streamline as much as possible into one single place: a slack team.
There is not much more to share right now, but if there is, I will report about it. In the meantime: Do you have experience with Slack and some killer tips and tricks to share? Please leave a comment!