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ubiquitous paper capturing tool and planner

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  • ubiquitous paper capturing tool and planner

    I use a 100% paper system and have a few questions for you GTDers. Since I need to have my lists (my paper planner) with me for those opportune tasks, I figured I’d just keep my capturing tool on my paper planner’s first tab. Does this make sense? Because usually what happens is that I use the capturing tool only when I’m in a hurry and couldn’t figure out right away where’s the best tab to park my random thoughts, or what’s the specific next action for that thought. Would it be better to keep my capturing tool ubiquitous and separate, while leaving my planner behind until I need to process those thoughts? Thus distinctly separating the tasks of capturing and processing. How does one exactly use the capturing tool? Is it a temporary placeholder for those thoughts that for some reason you don’t decide the next action immediately? Or it’s just because you don’t have your lists with you at the moment? I was wondering, did DA mention that the planner should be ubiquitous too? And just a thought, would it make sense to keep @home lists at home, @office lists at the office, etc.? Is it counter GTD to look at lists that you couldn’t do at the moment, such as @out list when you’re at the office?
    Last edited by NA_johnny; 10-26-2006, 12:51 AM.

  • #2
    Sounds like youre on the right track...

    I'd read Doug Johnson's essay on the paper planner inbox, http://www.diyplanner.com/docs/diypl...erplannerinbox for confirmation/affirmation of what you are trying to do.

    For me, I dont adhere to Doug's use only one inbox rule. I have several stuff capturing tools, appropriate for the physical location I am at the time - one which includes the planner. For times I need/want to be more mobile, an original hPDA (a small deck of 3x5's held together with a bulldog clip) is also in my bag/coat pocket. When there are times I've forgotten that, I leave messages using the cell phone.

    Remember its part of a process. You need to make a habit of clearing out that inbox and putting NA's, reference/list items, calendar committments, oh yeah and deleted items in their proper place.

    Good luck!

    -Lou

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NA_johnny
      I use a 100% paper system and have a few questions for you GTDers. Since I need to have my lists (my paper planner) with me for those opportune tasks, I figured I’d just keep my capturing tool on my paper planner’s first tab. Does this make sense? Because usually what happens is that I use the capturing tool only when I’m in a hurry and couldn’t figure out right away where’s the best tab to park my random thoughts, or what’s the specific next action for that thought. Would it be better to keep my capturing tool ubiquitous and separate, while leaving my planner behind until I need to process those thoughts?
      You should have a capture tool with you at all times: that's what ubiquitous means. If you're willing to keep your planner with you at all times, that's fine. If not, whatever alternative you prefer is fine, too.

      How does one exactly use the capturing tool? Is it a temporary placeholder for those thoughts that for some reason you don’t decide the next action immediately? Or it’s just because you don’t have your lists with you at the moment?
      Have an idea? Write it down. Think of something you need to do for your Aunt May's birthday party? Write it down. Remember that you need to call your most important client? Write it down. The capture tool is for capturing whatever is on your mind that isn't relevant to what you're actually doing at that moment. It's most obviously useful when you're away from your main system, but I use mine in my office, too. It's less distracting to write a note on a scratchpad and throw it in my inbox than it is to process that note into my system immediately.

      I was wondering, did DA mention that the planner should be ubiquitous too? And just a thought, would it make sense to keep @home lists at home, @office lists at the office, etc.? Is it counter GTD to look at lists that you couldn’t do at the moment, such as @out list when you’re at the office?
      The whole point of a context list is that you only need to look at the list for your current context. You can't do the other stuff, anyway. Whether you actually want to keep different lists at different locations is up to you.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        put another way...

        "If you think it, ink it." (from the Time/Design article Is Your Brain Getting the “Memory Full” Message?).

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        • #5
          Thanks Lou. That article’s definitely what I need. Sometimes I use my cell phone as capturing tool too, because I wouldn’t want to be lugging around a planner when I’m out with friends.

          Originally posted by kewms

          The whole point of a context list is that you only need to look at the list for your current context. You can't do the other stuff, anyway.

          Katherine


          What I meant was looking at contexts other than the one you’re currently in, and then deliberately switching contexts to do its associated actions… would that be counter GTD?

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          • #6
            Lately, I've been messing around with a new default capture tool. In one of the books (or maybe both), David talks about having a ubiquitous capture tool that you always have with you--he even says it would be great if you could tie it in with your wallet or purse, because those items are already in that "always handy" category. So, when my last wallet wore our, I bought a passport-size wallet. It still fits in my back pocket (though I had to cut down on the number of plastic cards I carry!), and I can keep a few index cards or a small NON-wirebound notebook in it. I even found a pen (a Yafa Poquito) that's small enough and durable enough that it fits in the wallet and stands up to my sitting on it all day without hurting my posterior.

            It require discipline to keep the wallet lean enough to accomodate the notebook, but it's been worth it--at the end of every week (and frequently every weekday), I toss it into my inbox and go through it item-by-item for processing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NA_johnny
              What I meant was looking at contexts other than the one you’re currently in, and then deliberately switching contexts to do its associated actions… would that be counter GTD?
              No, it wouldn't be counter to GTD.

              On the other hand, if you find yourself doing this often, it may be that you haven't yet defined the contexts that are most relevant for you. For example, many people have found that an @Computer context doesn't make much sense if almost all of your work assumes the use of a computer.

              Katherine

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