This is my first content post so there are a couple of things I want to cover before jumping into the meat of the subject. The first thing is how this will be structured. As of right now, I have 5 blogs prepared on the method of capture, process, benefits, my history with it, and lastly a breakdown of how I currently use it. All of this is subject to change based on feedback I get or if I realize I have left something important out. I plan on reviewing these afterwards in order to figure out the best way to format these multi-blog topics and would like feedback when the time comes. The second thing I want to make sure everyone is aware of is that these are my personal processes I have adapted over the years to fit my needs. I am not saying this is the way things should be done, or that they are better than what you currently do. These are the processes I use as a CEO that allow me to stay productive and I am sharing them because I believe they can be helpful.
I would like to tell you that I get lots of questions about Capture, but that isn’t true. Most of the time when the subject of organization is brought up I have already launched into explaining Capture before they get the chance to ask. Since you are here, you might as well know too.
Capture is the personal process of writing down (capturing) things running through your brain in order to process those ideas later. It is the glue that allows you to grab thoughts as they race through your brain and pin them down in the reality. From there, you can build the idea, or save it for a later day, but we will talk about that more in a later blog. Capturing successfully begins and ends on building good habits around the process, and there are a few key points to consider if you decide to give capture a shot.
1. It should be ubiquitous. To capture, you need a place to write things down. I personally suggest something on your cell phone that you can also access from any internet browser. I do that and will write from that angle, but pen and pad work just as well. The medium you chose, in the beginning, should be something you are willing and able to engage with frequently. Over the years, I have used Evernote, Google Keep, Google Assistant, Siri, Apple Reminders, Outlook Tasks, To-Do, and Microsoft Planner. All of those work, but I require something with a consistent cross-OS experience since I carry and switch between multiple devices as I test them out. That is why I currently use To-Do. It is the same on every device, there have been no issues with syncing (that I have experienced), and it is easy to get info into the app quickly.
2. Know what you capture. What do you want to make sure doesn’t slip through the cracks of your feeble human memory? Figure that out, and start capturing it. In later blogs, we will go into detail about what to do with all the fancy stuff you are writing down, but for now, we are talking about building a habit around the act of writing things down that you think are important. Knowing what you want to capture only helps you……
3. Be consistent. As I understand things now, this is the most important part of the entire process and it will be something we talk about frequently (yeah, it's that important). My general productivity is most closely correlated with my capture consistency.
These are the most important things associated with the habit of capture. Next, we can talk about processing what you capture and how that works, or we can talk about the benefits of capture. Let me know on Twitter (@minorleagueCEO) if you have an opinion, and any other feedback is always welcome.
- Charlie Yielding