The Kaizen Blog

Attempts to continually improve in all walks of life

Ubiquitous Capture Tool

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Portable Ubiquitous Capture Tool that fits in my shirt pocket, doesn’t require charging, or batteries for that matter. Refills are (almost) free, takes only few minutes to refill. I get lots of curious looks when people see me use one.

Those who GTD know that it is of utmost importance to not leave things on your mind. One should put it down somewhere, so that mind it free to do the creative tasks. This requires one to have someway of capturing ideas, tasks or any other data onto something that can be referred to, at later time. Hence the need of Ubiquitous Capture Tool.

I have two primary capture tools. I use both of them extensively depending upon the context.

On the Go: Old business cards held by keyring

Portable Ubiquitous Capture Tool

I saw it on the web somewhere, and liked it a lot. It is simple and efficient. Over the period of time, I have lot of Business cards which I can’t give out. It is small enough to be carried in the shirt front pocket, along with a pen. Since I started using this, I make sure I do not leave house without this. Since the writing area is small, I list just enough details so that I can understand the action. At times, I’ll add a context as well, but not always. As things get done, I tick them off. Every once in a while, I have a card where most items are ticked off except a few. When I have couple of such cards, I transfer the still-pending-ones to a fresh card, and older/completed ones go to the shredder.

When at work: Simple Notebook
This is a no-frills notebook. While it captures mostly the data related to professional work, I carry it home with me. It is useful when I need to refer to something from work at home.
Since the notebook is bigger than business cards, I use it slightly differently. I put a date stamp when I start a new day, and all the meeting get their own heading. I use a notation inspired by Cornell Note taking method. I create (an imaginary) margin on the left of the page. For action items, I’ll put a star. For others items, like meeting notes, decisions, I add a dash in the margin. So later it is very easy for me to find all the action items, either process them right away (2-minute rule) or transfer to my “Inbox”. If I do either of these, I tick off the item. So only starred items are the ones I have not processed.

I have been using the combination of these two capture tools to manage my professional and personal life for a while now, and I must say, it has been a great help to ensure that Things Get Done.
Please let me know what capture tools do you use, in the comments.

Thank You Note
I wish to Thank gtdfrk for this post that inspired me to blog about capture tool.


Written by Mandar Vaze

September 28, 2007 at 11:02 am

Posted in GTD, Productivity

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. […] is very similar to the UTC mentioned in GTD. Richard doesn’t talk about rest of the GTD, but I have a feeling that […]

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