The very first step of “Getting Things Done” (GTD by David Allen) is to capture what has our attention and get the stuff all out of our mind (externalisation of my RAM).
To make sure we can keep a habit of keeping nothing in our mind, we need to have a trusted system / collection tools in place.
I have minimised the number of my collection zone into a few only, and I make sure I empty them regularly. They are my boogie board (電子板) and my mind palace / memory palace. They have become part of my lifestyle in order to capture any valuable thoughts at anytime! I become less overwhelmed and anxious when I can always offload my ideas to a safe place.
I like my boogie board because it is erasable with a click. It is light to carry. And I could always take a photo if I need to record them.
I have given up using any kind of post-it note / notebooks. I make sure that I only have one single “taking note” tool in my life so I won’t be wasting time searching for my notes.
I also use memory / mind palace (see post on “Moonwalking with Einstein”) when I have no way to jot down my thoughts physically E.g. during shower!! It works quite well. After the shower, I will immediately write them down / simply do it (if less than 2 minutes).
After boggie board and mind palace, I will then migrate them to Evernote or Google Keep as actionable steps (Step 2 of GTD – Clarify) (e.g. to call Herman to schedule meeting with wedding deco company) with appropriate tagging or labels. (#to contact, #wedding, #pending, #someday/later, #reference)
Ridiculous enough, my company has recently blocked Evernote, so I have switched to Google Keep. I like Evernote more because it shows the exact number of actions in each category. I have a better grasp of the volume I am dealing with in each category of life.