Our mind is incredible at generating ideas but terrible at storing them. Our ability to process and hold information is limited.

  • Heard a movie recommendation? Write it down.
  • Feeling creative and ideas are flowing? Write it down.
  • Want to learn the piano one day? Write it down.
  • Had a challenging day? Write it down.
  • Meeting your friend after work next week? Write it down.

As with any new habit, start small and build from there.

Have a place to collect inputs, have an inbox. It shouldn’t take more than a moment to add something to your inbox.

Have a place to collect time-specific events, have a calendar. Have a place for tasks, have a to-do list.

Your calendar and to-do list are sacred places. Only real commitments goes in there. Have a separate space for the “would be nice” to-dos or events.

Your to-do list shouldn’t be overwhelming. It should show you the tasks you should do right now. Not tomorrow’s tasks, not next week’s, just things to do right now.

Have a place to collect notes, have a notes system. Create an archive to store things you don’t need anymore. Create a list of recommendations for resources that might be useful one day. Have a list of books, movies, tools, blogs and apps.

Have a place to collect your thoughts, have a journal. Have a place to brainstorm and draw things, have a whiteboard.

Once you get the system up and running. Maintenance will be your next challenge. Try not to be too fanatic about it. Your system is there to help you, not to be on the way.

We tend to overcommit, saying yes too often. Learn to un-commit to things. It will be easier to see your commitments when it is all written down.