FacileThings

New Feature in FacileThings: The Mind Sweep

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
tags Improvements Capture Reflect
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” ~ David Allen
New Feature in FacileThings: The Mind Sweep

What is the Mind Sweep and why is it important?

Although the Mind Sweep is a tool that David Allen recommends that you use to get things out of your head and into your GTD system, the truth is that it is useful whatever personal management system you use. Even if you don’t use any in particular.

The Mind Sweep is the process of capturing all the things in your life that have your attention. This way, these things go from your head to the inbox of your system, so that they can be clarified and conveniently organized later. Your head is freed and your management system improves because it contains everything that matters to you.

The Mind Sweep is something you must do when starting to implement a new organizational system. Then you should do it with some regularity, and also in certain specific situations; especially after a period in which, for whatever reason, your system has not been properly updated and you have lost some control. And, of course, when you have completely fallen off the wagon.

I am not going to fool you, it is an exercise that requires some effort and some time, but in the end you will feel that everything is under control again. To facilitate the process, David Allen suggests reviewing a list of incompletion triggers that will help you explore all aspects of your personal and professional life in a guided way.

Doing a Mind Sweep with FacileThings

At FacileThings we have built a tool that will help you perform the Mind Sweep in a guided way whenever you need it, with two important advantages:

  • You can customize the list of incompletion triggers and adapt it to your reality.
  • The captures made with each trigger are memorized so that you can carry out the mind sweep in several sessions and on different days (for example, throughout a week).

You can find it in the Reflect menu:

mind sweep option

The process is very simple. Select any trigger in the list on the left, read its contents, and write down everything that comes to mind. Clicking on “Capture X items” will send the list of captures to your Inbox.

If you do not have anything pending in relation to a certain trigger, click on “Nothing to capture here”. This leaves the trigger marked with zero captured items.

capturing stuff

Continue selecting triggers and capturing things until you can’t think of anything else to capture. If you have a lot of things pending and the process becomes burdensome, you can spread the mental sweep over several days. When you return to this option you will see the triggers you have already used marked (as long as they have not been more than 7 days).

marked triggers

The trigger list

We’ve preloaded the recommended incompletion trigger list in the GTD® methodology, but you can customize it your way.

You can add new triggers that are interesting to you using the “Add Trigger” button (1) and edit any triggers already created with the “Edit” button (2).

add end edit triggers

Update the description of any trigger with more meaningful words or questions that are more suggestive to you, and remove triggers that don’t make sense to you (3).

trigger editor

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Francisco Sáez
@franciscojsaez

Francisco is the founder and CEO of FacileThings. He is also a Software Engineer who is passionate about personal productivity and the GTD philosophy as a means to a better life.

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14 comments

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Commented 10 months ago Michael

An interesting new development - thanks Francisco and the team. I look forward to giving it a go.

avatar Michael

An interesting new development - thanks Francisco and the team. I look forward to giving it a go.

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Commented 10 months ago Eddie

This is MUCH BETTER than referring to my PDF (or printed) copies of the "Incompletion Trigger Lists" from GTD.

avatar Eddie

This is MUCH BETTER than referring to my PDF (or printed) copies of the "Incompletion Trigger Lists" from GTD.

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Commented 10 months ago Tiago Melo

I'll definitely will try it out as soon as possible, thanks a lot for this new feature!!

avatar Tiago Melo

I'll definitely will try it out as soon as possible, thanks a lot for this new feature!!

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Commented 10 months ago Francisco Sáez

Thank you guys! :)

avatar Francisco Sáez

Thank you guys! :)

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Commented 10 months ago Brendan

This is dooooope! I also hate having to refer back to a printed list or second window. And because this is INTEGRAL to David Allen's system, it's a natural fit. YAY! Excited to try it!

avatar Brendan

This is dooooope! I also hate having to refer back to a printed list or second window. And because this is INTEGRAL to David Allen's system, it's a natural fit. YAY! Excited to try it!

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Commented 10 months ago Francisco Sáez

Glad you like it, Brendan. Thanks!

avatar Francisco Sáez

Glad you like it, Brendan. Thanks!

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Commented 10 months ago Joe Krueger

This is very cool! A great tool that will help me capture things that get missed from time to time. Looking forward to trying it and using it in my review process.

avatar Joe Krueger

This is very cool! A great tool that will help me capture things that get missed from time to time. Looking forward to trying it and using it in my review process.

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Commented 10 months ago Cyrus

Excellent. A very useful tool, indeed!

Is there a plan to include the Mindsweep in the "Ideas" (step 9) portion of the Weekly Review?

Is there a way for me to clear the "Total Items" count?

avatar Cyrus

Excellent. A very useful tool, indeed!

Is there a plan to include the Mindsweep in the "Ideas" (step 9) portion of the Weekly Review?

Is there a way for me to clear the "Total Items" count?

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Commented 10 months ago Francisco Sáez

Thanks Joe and Cyrus!

We don't plan to include the Mind Sweep within the Weekly Review. In principle, they are different processes that are usually done with different frequencies. Of course, you can always add that step with the Weekly Review customization options if you want to do it every week.

The counters show captures in the last 7 days, so you can remember what you've already done if you spread the Mind Sweep over multiple days. They self-clean after 7 days.

avatar Francisco Sáez

Thanks Joe and Cyrus!

We don't plan to include the Mind Sweep within the Weekly Review. In principle, they are different processes that are usually done with different frequencies. Of course, you can always add that step with the Weekly Review customization options if you want to do it every week.

The counters show captures in the last 7 days, so you can remember what you've already done if you spread the Mind Sweep over multiple days. They self-clean after 7 days.

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Commented 10 months ago SHADY QADDOURA

Cool features I really like it

avatar SHADY QADDOURA

Cool features I really like it

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Commented 10 months ago Josh

Can’t wait to give this a go! New user (long time GTD practitioner) here about a week in to using facilethings. I’m really loving it, and love seeing improvements come out regularly.

Side note… what Mac XML software do you recommend using to get a summary of a project out of an export quickly and cleanly? I imagine there is a method that makes it easy but I’m not sure where to start. I ask because it would be nice to be able to do that to send updates to my clients.

avatar Josh

Can’t wait to give this a go! New user (long time GTD practitioner) here about a week in to using facilethings. I’m really loving it, and love seeing improvements come out regularly.

Side note… what Mac XML software do you recommend using to get a summary of a project out of an export quickly and cleanly? I imagine there is a method that makes it easy but I’m not sure where to start. I ask because it would be nice to be able to do that to send updates to my clients.

avatar
Commented 10 months ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Josh,

Downloading data in XML format may be useful for moving data in bulk to another system in the future, but it is not a good system for extracting specific information on a regular basis.

We are working on a new feature that will allow you to generate beautiful PDF reports of projects, both summary and detailed. It will be available in a couple of months, I guess.

Thanks for your words!

avatar Francisco Sáez

Hi Josh,

Downloading data in XML format may be useful for moving data in bulk to another system in the future, but it is not a good system for extracting specific information on a regular basis.

We are working on a new feature that will allow you to generate beautiful PDF reports of projects, both summary and detailed. It will be available in a couple of months, I guess.

Thanks for your words!

avatar
Commented 10 months ago david

exelent, high value there

avatar david

exelent, high value there

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Commented 10 months ago Francisco Sáez

Thanks David! Thanks Shady! :)

avatar Francisco Sáez

Thanks David! Thanks Shady! :)

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