Carl,

There's a post from a while ago about using GTD on Remember The Milk.

Remember the Milk as described here is mainly a todo manager, but the
saved search (as a list of todo tasks that match the criterion) is
what's being utilized here that makes me think so much of notmuch.

This seems to capture some of the things that you want to see, since you
are trying to manage action items which happen to live in mail bodies.

http://blog.rememberthemilk.com/2008/05/guest-post-advanced-gtd-with-remember-the-milk/

apparently another post has expired on the topic, with some focus on
contexts:

http://web.archive.org/web/20080331121051/http://www.geektronica.com/2007-01-15-gtd-with-rtm-getting-things-done-with-remember-the-milk

The main tool in use here is a viewport on the collection of things that
might need to be reviewed. RTM tabs (which are saved searches) which you
have designed to be the contexts you might be executing in, in this
case.

I know this is related pretty heavily to what you are looking for, but
how to bring this about specifically, that's going to be up to you.

Enjoy,
-Mark

On Fri, 26 Feb 2010 14:00:06 -0600, Carl Worth <cworth at cworth.org> wrote:
> [This mail started as some off-topic rambling in my reply to the
> notmuch-reply script. So that's why it starts on one topic and ends
> somewhere else entirely.]
> 
> I'm currently avoiding any locking failures with notmuch commands by
> running "notmuch new" manually, (rather than from a cron job). And it
> occurs to me that running "notmuch new" manually has a certain
> benefit---it allows me to bring in a chunk of mail, and then process all
> of that (either by replying, or setting aside to a particular project or
> "todo" tag, etc.) without getting distracted by other mail coming in.
> 
> It almost makes me want to just run "notmuch new" something like once
> per day.
> 
> But then, of course, there are times where there are important messages
> I need to get to quickly, or fast-moving threads where I need to reply
> several times throughout the day.
> 
> But I do have particular mailing lists that I don't want to read more
> than once a day, for instance. If I wait until I have about a days worth
> of mail in those lists, then I can deal with them very efficiently,
> (just scan all the subjects, read a thread or two and the "* -inbox" the
> rest). This gets a lot less efficient if I have to deal with those lists
> on a regular basis throughout the day, (particularly before we have
> support for "muted" threads).
> 
> So I'd like to be able to deal with important messages as they come in,
> but postpone bulk stuff.
> 
> But I also notice that there's a bad tendency I have if I try to do this
> postponing manually. Mail starts collecting in one of these bulk-list
> folders, and I start training myself to ignore the folder, then it gets
> huge, (which discourages me even more from looking at it, etc.). [*]
> 
> So I want better support from notmuch to tell me what things deserve my
> attention, so that I can avoid training myself to ignore things. I think
> what I want here is the ability to set a threshold on a particular
> folder based on number of messages or date. Something like: "Don't show
> me this folder at all until it has more than X messages or until the
> oldest message is at least Y hours old".
> 
> [*] A similar, (but more dangerous), problem occurs with manually
> postponing things into a "todo" folder. If I just added a bunch of
> things to my todo folder then I have a tendency to think, "I don't need
> to look at that---that's got a bunch of things I just decided to
> postpone". But then I forget that I put some things in there previously
> that really need my attention now.
> 
> I know that what I really want instead of "todo" is a way to express the
> reason I'm postponing a message. There's probably some resource I'm
> missing that I need before I can deal with it. Perhaps that's:
> 
>   * I can't decide on this until I'm with co-workers and can talk about
>     this.
> 
>   * I can't resolve this until I'm at the office with the right hardware
>     to test.
> 
>   * I need to remember to do something with this when I'm at home.
> 
>   * I need a nice block of "discretionary time" to be able to give this
>     topic the attention I want to.
> 
>   * I need to look at this message again on this Saturday.
> 
> So what I really want to do is to tag things based on those criteria,
> ("office", "magic-hardware", "home", "discretionary", "2010-02-27"),
> which I can at least do now.
> 
> But what I'm currently missing is a way for the folders based on these
> tags to only appear at the right times, (when the resource is
> available).
> 
> When the messages appear at the wrong times, it just trains me to ignore
> things, and that's when I start forgetting things and let things fall
> through.
> 
> No concrete proposal here, but just some musings on the kinds of issues
> I'd really like to be exploring with notmuch, (once we can get past all
> these little things like maildir flags, keybindings, failed HTML
> rendering, missing FCC support, etc. etc. etc.).
> 
> -Carl
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