The human mind is quite peculiar in the sense that while it is quite smart to relate things and generate interesting thoughts, it totally sucks at remembering them. You must develop a habit of capturing them at a single designated place, if you want to act on those ideas, sooner. Worse, you get more ideas when you are away from your desk, so it makes sense to have this “single designated place” on your smartphone.
The idea is to collect such thoughts super quickly in a mobile App before we forget what it was and then process the collection after coming back to the desk. There are dime a dozen Apps for this purpose, but you need a lightweight App that does not take you on a tour, just to add an item to the list. “Goggle Keep” is one such app that fits the bill, for its simplicity and wonderful features.
You can install Google Keep for both iOS & Android. It has a browser version also to access your lists interchangeably from your computer. You don’t need to do a whole lot to set up the Keep App other than creating a list named, say, “Catch all”. This is where you would capture anything and everything – a pending task, an idea that can be posted on social media, something you want to buy online, something you want to google about, etc.
The only other thing you need is a ritual, preferably a morning one, to process your “Catch all” list at your desk. Although you might just finish some items right then, our goal is to process the items – simply sorting them! You may slip some items into your To-do list. Some items may get into your other lists such as writing ideas.
Once you have Google Keep with you, you may use it for other interesting purposes. here are some ideas:
- Meeting agenda items – A running list of meeting agenda items is very handy.
- Meeting actions – to capture actions from your meetings. We process this list too as part of the morning ritual, exactly like the “Catch all” list.
- Things to do when out – If you are one of those who do not move around a lot, you will have to maintain this list so that you get as many things done whenever you are out.
- A bunch of checklists – Monthly recurring payments, things to pack for travel, etc.
Set different color and picture backgrounds for your lists so that you will be able to quickly locate the one you want out of the whole bunch. You could even order the lists in the App in a certain fashion, like, the ones you need more often on top.
This simple setup and more importantly, the habit of collecting and processing will go long way in keeping you ahead on all your responsibilities and stress-free.
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(Originally published in Times of India on September 10, 2022)