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  • Collection ideas

    Well, I'm 100% committed to GTD and Outlook. Big step for me coming exclusively from ACT.

    I'm looking at how people collect information during the day. Some use legal pads, some used a binder (aka Franklin Covey), some use a record book (like I do). I'm starting to think that going to legal paper make sense. Especially since I can toss it or file it after I input it into my GTD Software for Outlook.

    I would like to get ideas on how and what you use to collect information (voice mails, meeting notes etc.)

    Thanks!

  • #2
    collection

    Doug, paper is definitely the best way to collect info for processing later.

    A lot of us have started using small spiral notebooks with perforated pages, Mead makes a great five star version that's 7x5, very nice to take to meetings or keep open by the phone for notetaking etc. Tear the sheets off and throw into inbox for processing later.

    In the car or moving quickly elsewhere --a digital voice recorder is great for making sure nothing goes uncaptured.

    you might want to check out the GTD note-taker wallet on this site also--it's great for quick capture of thoughts etc when it's not convenient to be carrying the notebook --like in the middle of a mall for example

    GTD is all about getting it out of your head etc. Too bad about ACT it's a great program if they'd only let you categorize to-do's --maybe someday.

    hope that helps

    Paul

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    • #3
      Work --> Inbox

      Since typically, Work generates new Inbox items (notes, reference, follow ups, waiting for's, appointments, etc.) and such activities are fluid during the day (e.g., Make Call -> WF Callback -> Receive Callback -> Make Notes -> Process Notes), going in and out of the software can waste time with redundant entries (e.g., the WF), so I keep a running daily journal which is easy to maintain free-form, and at the end of the day I only need to Process the end-points as the Inbox items (e.g., Process Notes). The daily journal is on paper (Mead wirebound Sudent edition), which I find more flexible and accommodating for right-brain work.

      One major advantage of this approach is a "hard edge" between Planning and Working, avoiding Planning activities while in Working mode. This counters the main drawback for me in trying to use one tool (Palm) for everything. Another way of looking at it is that when I write down the Work topic in my notepad, I can separate myself from the software and focus better on the topic. For me, it's using the the tools that work best for me in each context. Others don't necessarily need the psychological crutches that I use.

      Andrew

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      • #4
        re:capturing in course of day. If you get a digital recorder check the sound quality of your voice on it in the store and then in your car which may have a lot of road, traffic or wind noise in background. I bought 4 of the same kind-- one for the car, one for at my desk at home and desk at office (so that while I am writing something I can capture one of those thoughts that concerns something so very important). The 4th was a gift along with the GTD book to someone. But on play back after a week's trial of recording in these places I can understand very few words. I am also experimenting with caputuring on index cards because they allow me to sort into context categories and to distinguish projects from NAs fairly quickly without re-writing but I'm not sure it is so great to have a pack of cards and a rubber band all the time. Spiral-bound top-perforated cards are available but these are $$$ and the cards are a bit flimsy.

        Comment


        • #5
          More and more, I enter things straight into the Palm (if I am away from my desk) or into Outlook if I am at my desk in the my office so that I avoid any recopying. For example, if I am on the phone, open a new task and type any notes into the note area. The thing I have to do before I turn my attention to something else is be very clear about what I put in subject line of that task and the category to which I assign the task. Yes, that is mixing collecting, processing, and organizing to a certain degree, but I have gotten pretty good at making quick decisions about the next action required on whatever notes I have taken.

          I do carry a small memo pad (which also holds a couple of credit cards and a handful of business cards) in my shirt pocket for those thigns that occur to me while I am in the car, working in the yard, etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            What about Palm collection tools?

            I am wondering what people are using to collect on the Palm. I find it too easy to overlap the phases of collecting and processing when using my Palm, and it is blurrrrrring GTD for me. It shorts circuits the thinking I need to do on the front end - a habit which I need to strengthen. I feel a need to separate the phases further or more clearly. What are some ways people use to help them to keep these phases more distinct?

            TIA,
            Gordon
            - in C-C-C-Canada

            Comment


            • #7
              On my T3 I use the voice recorder and the notepad application to collect. Even if I know that I am just jotting down an appointment or a task, I still enter it first in one of those two applications. I then process as needed and always check those two places along with my physical inbox. I've owned palms for 5+ years and entering things on the fly just didn't do them justice. I find that jotting them down as they occur to me and processing them later when I can fully digest what they are and what the REAL next action should be is the best way to ensure the proper thinking is done on the front end. If you have an older palm without these applications, Diddlebug is available at palmgear and it's free.

              One word of advice, I do check the calendar before I collect appointments so I know up front if there is a conflict and if there is I usually note it in my collection data.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What about Palm collection tools?

                Originally posted by Kudzu62
                I feel a need to separate the phases further or more clearly. What are some ways people use to help them to keep these phases more distinct?
                I've had problems with this too, especially when using an outliner. Here's what works for me. I use memos for both projects and my collection of next actions. Each project has its own memo (done in Pigpog format, so I have an objective for each) and I also have an "Inbox" memo. From here, I use ptools to push each next action into either a todo or datebook item. I use A5 to view the whole thing.

                The advantage for me is that I can just collect in my memo. When I start the process to move them over, I can rewrite them, if my original idea isn't a true next action. Since I'm using the built in databases and can sync stuff at work, I can now use Palm desktop for a lot of this too. If you are having a problem with trying to process and collect at the same time, the best fix is to force yourself to have to keep them separate.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What about Palm collection tools?

                  Originally posted by Kudzu62
                  I feel a need to separate the phases further or more clearly. What are some ways people use to help them to keep these phases more distinct?
                  I've had problems with this too, especially when using an outliner. Here's what works for me. I use memos for both projects and my collection of next actions. Each project has its own memo (done in Pigpog format, so I have an objective for each) and I also have an "Inbox" memo. From here, I use ptools to push each next action into either a todo or datebook item. I use A5 to view the whole thing.

                  The advantage for me is that I can just collect in my memo. When I start the process to move them over, I can rewrite them, if my original idea isn't a true next action. Since I'm using the built in databases and can sync stuff at work, I can now use Palm desktop for a lot of this too. If you are having a problem with trying to process and collect at the same time, the best fix is to force yourself to have to keep them separate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What about Palm collection tools?

                    Originally posted by Kudzu62
                    I feel a need to separate the phases further or more clearly. What are some ways people use to help them to keep these phases more distinct?
                    I've had problems with this too, especially when using an outliner. Here's what works for me. I use memos for both projects and my collection of next actions. Each project has its own memo (done in Pigpog format, so I have an objective for each) and I also have an "Inbox" memo. From here, I use ptools to push each next action into either a todo or datebook item. I use A5 to view the whole thing.

                    The advantage for me is that I can just collect in my memo. When I start the process to move them over, I can rewrite them, if my original idea isn't a true next action. Since I'm using the built in databases and can sync stuff at work, I can now use Palm desktop for a lot of this too. If you are having a problem with trying to process and collect at the same time, the best fix is to force yourself to have to keep them separate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Like Teri, I have an Inbox memo on my Palm where I can collect everything for processing. I use this mostly when I am on the run. In my office, I either enter things directly into my system or I jot it down on a piece of 6x9 paper (or even a post-it if I'm in a hurry) and throw the paper in my inbox. Occasionally, I use a voice recorder, such as when I'm driving to a meeting.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry about the multiple posts

                        My computer kept timing out this morning, while trying to post. Maybe one of the administrators could clean this up?

                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I used to fall into the trap of having too many ways to collect information. I ended up with info all over the place, so I wasted time trying to bring it all together each week for updating.

                          I finally settled on a couple of collection methods:

                          At my desk at school, I have a composition book that acts as my journal. I write down anything I need (each day is dated) so I can refer back to it. Any action collected that I transfer to my planner I cross it off in the journal. In the car, I use a Sony digital recorder. I keep it in my pocket in school too in case I can't get to my journal. So far, it seems to be working.

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                          • #14
                            Mostly I use a Treo 600. Since I always have a cell phone with me, it's useful to have one that I can take notes with. Plus I can knock some some NAs on context lists like @computer (e.g. check/send email or look up some web info) or @phone. I use Progect Manager (Palm freeware) for projects. If the original source material of what I need to capture is already on paper (flyers, bills, notes from people), then I don't copy it; I just stick it in the tickler file.

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                            • #15
                              I am getting to the point that I am using the Outlook Notes function on my Dell Axim to take notes in meetings, jot down thoughts and put quick reminders as they pop in my head. Trick is keeping the Axim with me at all times.

                              Wish I had a belt case for it. If anyone has seen one available, PM me with a link please.

                              The notes sync into Outlook on my office PC where I can process them into my Projects page (set up as a list of contacts in categories) and my calendar.

                              Another purpose this serves is to segregate my collection and processing (organizing) functions.

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