The Capture Habit

Made famous by David Allen through his book "Getting Things Done", the Capture Habit is simply an ingrained habit that helps us to jot down anything that our brain or the external environment throws at us.

Capture Habit - An intro

To put it plain and simple, it is the habit muscle you to build to capture information that comes your way. But, to be honest, capturing information is not easy as it sounds in todays world, where information is everywhere and we are constantly drowning in it.

To effectively manage information or build your own [[ Knowledge Management ]] system Capture Habit is one essential component that you cannot miss. Imagine your life, as floating boat in a endless stream of information. Every second you are exposed to a new information or an update to the information that you are already aware of.

Sadly, your brain can hold only a little amount of information at a time. The more information you try to handle simultaneously the less efficient the brain becomes at processing it. Eventually, as you try holding on to more and more information, you lose everything and end up feeling overwhelmed, confused, and in efficient.

Capture Habit is the antedote to this. It is your first step towards solving this generation’s greatest challenge “Information Overload”

What is a Capture Habit

You capture what comes your way! I wish this was true, but it isn’t. You can’t capture everything that comes your way. Because, if you look closely, 90% of the information you recieve are noise. To build an efficient second brain or a digital garden for knowledge management your priorty is collect signals ( [[ Signal vs Noise ]]).

There is not reason for you to capture everything. But you still need to [[ capture information that is essential to you ]].

The capture habit has two components, the [[ Idea Capture ]] and [[ Task Capture ]].

How do you build a Capture Habit

There are two aspects for you consider here. Tools and the habit itself. Both are important, later takes the priority, but tools exist to reduce as much friction as there is to information capture.

Tools for Capturing Information

Bookmark Manager - To capture important links. Ex: Raindrop To do list - To capture tasks and actions that you must perform. Ex: Todoist, Things 3 Highlight Capture - To collect your favourite passages and highlights from various reading sources. Ex: pen & paper, readwise Read Later apps - To collect articles that you find interesting and might read later ex: Instapaper, Pocket, Readwise Reader Note taking app - To capture ideas and thoughts ex: Evernote, Obsidian, Roam Research, Logseq, Notion

Building the Capture Habit

Start small. Try to capture one element of your life on a everyday basis. What you should be aiming for is to build a natural reaction to capture information. I recommend starting by writing down your shower thoughts and ideas. Build you habit muscle by trying to write down ideas right when it strikes your brain.

Once you establish that, you build on the capture habit to other thinds - like conversations, tasks, memories, passages.

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