August 18, 2022

What’s a Capture System (And Why Creators Need One)

Is your mind often crowded with the things you should do, need to do, and are going to do?

These open loops or “incompletes” take up space in your mind (similar to how RAMs temporarily store data so you can easily reaccess them). As open loops pile up in our head, we become overwhelmed the same way our computer’s performance slows down when we use up all of our RAM.

And this is what capture systems are for.

One of my key takeaways from the cornerstone productivity book Getting Things Done is collecting and capturing your tasks and ideas in one trusty place, so your mind doesn’t have to carry the extra weight.

But the point is not to introduce yet another app or software to complicate your workflow. You can use the tools you already (and always) use to get things off your mind and work with clarity, knowing that you have a system you can trust.

Here are 3 ways to know if you have a solid capture system:

  1. You free your mind from open loops by collecting your tasks and thoughts.
  2. You have 3 or fewer capturing buckets (more than that can become chaotic).
  3. You empty your buckets regularly by doing what needs to be done, delegating what you cannot accommodate, deferring and scheduling tasks on your calendar, and deleting what you don’t need.

Currently, all my tasks and projects live on Notion. But since the app loads slowly on my phone, I’m trying out Hints. I capture data through Hints (set up with Zapier), which automatically sends the note to the appropriate Notion databases based on the #hashtags I’ve assigned.

Other capturing apps I’ve used in the past include:

  • Good old pen and paper
  • Physical in-basket
  • Drafts
  • Reminders

Do you have a capture system in place? I’d love to hear about it!

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for Love Notes, a newsletter focused on compassionate productivity and marketing strategies for starting and thriving in the creator economy. ✨

Share post: