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When not to collect

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  • When not to collect

    If I'm brushing my teeth, or in the shower, or out to dinner with my girlfriend's parents, etc., and suddenly I want to collect something, is it actually vital that I write it down immediately? I don't want to seem rude to the parents, etc.

    I know it seems like a rather silly question, but I'm curious if anyone has encountered any "official" DavidCo advice regarding this.


  • #2
    two facets to that i think.
    You should be trying to capture whenever you can. Yes there are situations where it's not practical, or not appropriate. Try to capture as much as possible, or as soon as you can after you had the thought.
    Once you manage to capture everything and if you truly manage to get it out of your head, you will stop having stuff to capture. You will be able to enjoy that dinner without having random stuff popping into your head all the time. You will not think much in the shower except how nice the hot water is, unless of course your boiler breaks


    • #3
      No matter where I am there always is paper and a pen, even in the bathroom. So I'd write down everything except when it seems rude. Why not?


      • #4
        I have found that if I am in a situation where I can't capture....the everpresent notetaker wallet (or insert your preference here) bails me out as soon as I am out of the situation. I have found personally there is really not much elapsed time between being unable to capture and then back into a position where I can capture.

        On a side note I remember a thread (I think in this forum) when I was just getting interested in what this GTD thing is all about. People were actually talking about writing on shower walls with water proof crayons. I almost closed the browser right then...but decided to hang in as who am I to decide what is an inappropriate place for someone else to capture...glad I stuck with it. I have still yet to purchase crayolas as I think I would freak my wife out.


        • #5
          I don't think it's rude if you take out your note taker device saying that you want to write down that state of the art idea your parents suggested


          • #6
            Yes, I tell people "Oooh, I want to write that down!" And I pull out my Hipster PDA and write it down. People seem more impressed than anything that I feel their idea is worth writing down.


            • #7
              Well, in this case it would not be rude at all but very flattering! Unfortunately the much more frequent phenomenon is that during an especially long+boring story of your MIL about her last holiday your mind begins to wander ... and whose MIL would believe that what you're writing down quickly is a note about her last holiday?!


              • #8
                I've found people tend to be pretty tolerant of a very short cellphone call. So occasionally I'll briefly excuse myself, call up my voicemail, and leave myself a message related to whatever brainwave just hit.



                • #9
                  People who I hang around with me know that I capture good ideas, etc. in my Notetaker wallet.

                  While shaking hands at the church doors on Sundays (I'm a pastor), people will ask me for an appointment, etc. and then wait, knowing I'll pull out my wallet and record the action so I can get back to them on their request.

                  Funny how a positive, learned behavior has now become an expectation with those who interact with me.
                  Last edited by GTDWorks; 06-22-2009, 06:16 PM.


                  • #10
                    I don't have any of the expensive notetaker wallets or anything, but something similar. I simply have one of those 3"x5" cheapo notepads in my wallet along with a Fisher Space Pen. I have a cheapo wallet that only folds once, so the notepad just stays in-between the two sides. Nothing fancy, but VERY worthwhile!


                    • #11
                      No clue about offical David Co mantra, but I pull out my notepad from my belt pouch and write it down. Hubby has asked me to write somethihng down for him at all sorts of odd times and most folks I visit with think it's ok. Some of our best collaborative ideas come out of serendipity and the ability to catch thoughts right then right there no matter when or where that is.

                      While I haven't used crayons in the shower I have taken short notes on the fog on the mirror until I could grab my pad of paper. And I have to admit I have written notes on my hand or arm if I ran out of paper.

                      Oh and I take the tear off calendar papers from our daily Murphy's Law calendar and put stacks of them plus a cheap ballpoint pen in all sorts of places. I have them in both bathrooms, by the sink, at my desk, beside my bed, in the barns, in the shop, just so I'm never anyplace where I might have an idea and not have a way to save it just in case my belt pouch pen isn't working or I accidentally ran out of paper.


                      • #12
                        Become the geek with the notebook. Bask in your geekiness.

                        Do you know when many ideas come to me? As I'm drifting off to sleep. And when I wake up I often forget them. Sigh.


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=cojo;68200Do you know when many ideas come to me? As I'm drifting off to sleep. And when I wake up I often forget them.[/QUOTE]

                          Funny you mention this. We've got a major project hubby & I are gearing up for and last night just as we were both about to fall asleep he turned to me and asked if I had any way to write something down. I said sure, turned on the light, grabbed some paper from the stack I keep next to the bed and took notes for 4-5 minutes. His notes triggered some of my own. I just left the papers beside my glasses and we drifted off to sleep. This am while drinking my coffee and before I started reading forums I processed those notes into the project plans and we are currently working through them now. Well not this instant, I'm taking a 15 minutes break before starting in again.


                          • #14
                            Thank you all for your creative and insightful responses!

                            DA and the gang actually briefly addressed this very point in their recent podcast "best practices of collecting." DA notes that you could use visualization to picture yourself back in a place you can collect, collecting the thing that you want to collect. That way, when you get back there, your mind will subconciously remind you that you need to collect something because of the association it built.

                            I tried this method out yesterday when I went on a run, and it worked perfectly! However, I was so excited about the method that I couldn't stop thinking about my unwritten tasks until I got back to my house... So maybe that wasn't a proper trial :P


                            • #15
                              Roger, just be careful about that 'short phone call': I'm becoming increasingly cranky about phone interrupts. I used to be moderately tolerant, but I've found increasingly that people will take or even make calls in company, and that is really starting to bug me - maybe those people were always rude, and just never had the chance to show it before, or maybe they're just so accustomed to calling someone up or answering a call, regardless of what they're doing or who they're with, that they just don't even notice.

                              Nonetheless, be wary of using the phone in company - it might be someone like me, who'll be tempted to give you a slap.