GTD® Dictionary

Glossary of terms

Collection Tools

They are the different types of tools, both low-and hight-tech, that can be used to capture your incompletes. The following can all serve as versions of an inbox, to capture both self-generated entries and inputs from outside:

  • Physical in-basket: The standard tray is the most common tool for collecting paper-based materials and any physical thing that needs some sort of clarification.
  • Paper-based note-taking devices: Loose-leaf notebooks, spiral binders, and legal pads all work fine for collecting ideas.
  • Electronic Note-Taking: Computers, mobile phones and any portable electronic devices can be used to type in notes for later clarification.
  • Auditory Capture: Include answering machines, voice-mail, and dictating equipment, such as digital recorders; but nowadays some mobile apps can be the most accesible and easy-to-use tools.
  • E-mail: The software contains some sort of holding area for incoming messages and files, where they can be stored until they are viewed, read and clarified.
  • Higher-Tech Devices: You can dictate into computers as well as hand-write into them. As more and more communication is morphed into digital and wireless formats, it's becoming easier to capture ideas.

Pick the capture tools that best suit your lifestyle and keep them close by so no matter where you are you can collect a potentially valuable thought.

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