I learned this idea first from Andy Matuschak. According to Andy, before notes become evergreens, or as he likes to call them Evergreen notes, they are Fleeting notes. Because most permanent notes start this way, to Use a note-writing system effectively, there has to be a mechanism to:

  1. Quickly capture fleeting notes (Inboxes to capture fleeting notes).
  2. Isolate them from permanent notes.
  3. Store fleeting notes that need further development.
  4. A practice to drain fleeting notes (see my morning writing practice).

This is what a “writing inbox” is designed to do.

As of the moment, my main writing inbox is the “Inbox” in Craft. However, I also treat my analog journals, especially the old ones, as inboxes to be drained. I process at least two journal entries a day.

Consequently, fleeting notes will indeed accumulate in the writing inbox. Although, A cornocupia of writing topics is a sign of a good writing workflow, these Open loops must be closed (Close open loops).


  • Find a way to create a single reading inbox. But if it’s currently not a problem, then it is not a problem.


Ahrens, S. (2017). How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Matuschak, A. (n.d.). A writing inbox for transient and incomplete notes. Andyʼs Working Notes. Retrieved August 31, 2021, from https://notes.andymatuschak.org/A_writing_inbox_for_transient_and_incomplete_notes