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GTD: Collecting

If you want to be truly effective, you’ve got to have a way of getting things out of your head and into a trusted system. GTD: Collecting is the first step.

We need a way of capturing and collecting everything that comes at us, which these days is a lot.  As David points out in the Getting Things Done book, a lot is collected for us automatically:  email, voice mail, things in your physical in-box - if you have one.

On top of the things that are automatic, we've got to have ways of collecting everything else, like the actions and projects we think of, errands to run, shopping lists, birthdays, and the list goes on and on....They key here is that no matter what shows up - or even more importantly, where we are or what we're doing when it shows up - we've got to be able to get it out of our heads and into a trusted system where we know we wont lose track of it.

Examples of "in" include:
  • Physical in baskets
  • Pen and Paper
  • PDA's
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Voice recorders, either in your phone or separate
To be effective, have as many in-baskets as you need, and as few as you can get by with.  

By now you're probably thinking I already have all of those things...thanks for the brilliant insight....

There's a key concept you're probably missing:

You must empty "in" regularly.......

Emptying "in" doesn't mean you need to do anything with the item, other than deciding what is it and what's your next action, which leads us to....Processing, and the fantastic flowchart by David Allen that I mentioned earlier.

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