Saturday, August 4, 2007

Gaining Control

cap·ture (kpchr)
tr.v. cap·tured, cap·tur·ing, cap·tures
1. To take captive, as by force or craft; seize
2. To gain possession or control of, as in a game or contest: capture the queen in chess; captured the liberal vote.
3. To attract and hold: tales of adventure that capture the imagination.
4. To succeed in preserving in lasting form: capture a likeness in a painting
-The Free Dictionary

Evidently I wasn't paying attention when GTD (Getting Things Done) and UCT (Ubiquitous Capture Tools) became buzzwords in time management. Or I forgot to write, photograph, skype, text or IM the terms to myself. Scott Elias, Leo Babauta and countless other bloggers have enlightened me. It seems that it is beneficial to record important data so that it won't be overlooked. Who could have known?

According to Scott, "It’s not important what tool or tools you decide on as your capture devices — analog, digital, a chisel and stone tablet — as long as you make it part of your routine to have it with you. A capture tool left in your office does no good."

I'm comforted that Leo appears to favor a small spiral notebook over some of the other popular devices (Hipster PDA, a PDA or smart phone, or a Moleskine notebook). It makes my wall calendar and refrigerator-magnet-held scraps of paper seem less a badge of Luddism (although I do like to knit) and more a matter of personal preference.

As one of those ever pertinent Chinese proverbs says "A good memory is not as good as a ragged pen."


Unknown said...

I hosted a Chinese exchange student this summer who shared this proverb. The only problem these days is trying to write fast enough to keep up with all the constant changes.

diane said...

I am open to more advanced solutions (tagging, for example) though I still consider my mobile phone a last ditch emergency device. As my body ages, I find it easier to keyboard than to script. Good thing I dropped Physics in high school and took typing and shorthand instead!

Scott Elias said...

Nothing wrong with paper and pen! Most folks who know me are surprised that I prefer it sometimes to more advanced, crash-prone tools!

diane said...


The calendar I use at home is very effective; the pocket calendar in my pocketbook is less so, because I forget to notate things in it.

When I'm online, I tag things for del.ici.ous. Since I move around a lot at school, this is the best way for me to save and retrieve websites. And Google Docs has come in handy for collaborative projects - like the guest list for my daughter's wedding.

Guess I have one foot in each world right now.