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Collect and Processing Items effectively

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  • Collect and Processing Items effectively

    As I read through your book one thing I struggle with is having a good collection point for all my tasks, appointments and meetings. At work I use lotus notes for my tasks, appointments and meetings which is okay for checking availability for scheduling others for a meeting. However, if I use this for manage my personal items. I feel as though I a tied to my computer or have to carry extra pieces of paper around to manage my personal items. Please advise the best solution for collecting and process all my items.

  • #2
    Portable device


    If I were you, I would get a syncable portable device such as a smartphone or a Blackberry or whatever fits your IT infrastructure. I sync my HTC phone with Outlook, which I know is possible with Notes as well.

    In that way, the central parts (to dos, calendar, mail) of my system is completely portable and I do not need to keep track of my tasks in more than one place.

    David (though not David Allen)


    • #3
      There's no single collection tool that will do everything you need. Paper is still the fastest way to capture information; electronic devices do a better job of organizing that information and making it portable. When I'm out and about I usually have the following items on me:
      • Palm PDA (I use the notepad for capturing thoughts that require < 5 words)
      • Homemade version of GTD notetaker wallet and Rotring Pen (or I could use a pocket memo book with tearoff pages)
      • Voice recorder (for use while I'm driving)

      I also keep a small scratch pad and pen in every room of my house.

      You never know where an idea will hit you. If you find yourself getting ideas in the shower and losing them, get a divers board and pencil at a dive shop and hang it in your shower with a suction cup hook.

      Good luck!



      • #4
        Hi there, Jldalgle! I think I see the source of your frustrations, and it's in this line (emphasis mine):

        Originally posted by Jldalgle View Post
        Please advise the best solution for collecting and process all my items.
        Collecting and processing are separate events. This is not merely an academic distinction.

        For example, I keep tasks, calendar items, and such in a wide variety of places: on paper, on my laptop computer, and on the web. But I collect with a deck of 3x5" index cards and a pen, both of which I keep in a pocket. If I'm out and someone asks to schedule a meeting, I write it down on the card. I add it to my calendar later. Same with tasks, future projects, etc.

        In other words, you don't need a tool that will process. Just a tool that will capture.


        • #5
          Agree it's 2 separate things

          I agree with Brent that it's Collect and Process as 2 separate activities. I tend to collect either with my camera or paper but process and organize onto Omnifocus.

          I'd try to separate them more carefully and see what works best for you.


          • #6
            one of the things that we always have on us these days is our cell phone. I would highly recommend getting a "smartphone" that you feel comfortable typing fast on (blackberry, iphone, etc). Send yourself a text, email, or keep is as notes on the phone (if allows) then when you get back to your computer, copy everything in.

            The next level of this behavior is to have a device that can sync directly to your GTD software of choice. I have Omnifocus on both my iphone and macbook. 1 database, capture everything on either iphone or mb. Process on mb.




            • #7
              Well, I don't have a cell-phone. And I work in the meedia


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cpu_Modern View Post
                Well, I don't have a cell-phone. And I work in the meedia
                really?lol is that a possiblity? someone in the media not using / owning a cell phone?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bnbarry34 View Post
                  really?lol is that a possiblity? someone in the media not using / owning a cell phone?
                  I prefer you just stay digital instead of last-century, hockay? Emails, Twitter, have you heard of it?!

                  Seriously, sometimes a longish phone-call is needed and best place is to call me at my desk. Yes, I have a landline, if that isn't enough for somebody it is normally a warning sign about the working culture there.


                  • #10
                    You don't need the one perfect collection tool -- it doesn't exist.

                    Instead, during your weekly review, follow a checklist to make sure you've emptied all the places you collect ideas. For me these are pocket notebook, email, stickies, cell phone and physical inbox.