ZTD: capture


I have fallen off the GTD wagon of late and I’m about ready to try and jump back on. I’ve decided to approach it slightly differently this time by using Leo Babauta’s ZTD methodology.

ZTD (Zen to Done) is a stripped out version of GTD that focuses more on simplifying rather than taking on ever more stuff, and also, more importantly, focuses on building the habits that are required to get organised successfully and stick to it.

I like to think of ZTD as GTD for minimalists.

I’ve rediscovered ZTD at a rather good time: there are 10 habits to learn and 10 months left in the year. So I’m going to set myself 10 thirty day challenges, one for each month of the year.

The first habit is capture, and my thirty day challenge is twofold:

  1. Keep my capture tool with me all the time
  2. Capture everything to get it off my mind as soon as possible

One of the things I’m going to change this time around is to go analogue. I think that part of the reason I fall off the wagon often is that I’ve always relied on a digital system, whereas actually I am trying to use tech less and less. I’ve used a pad in the past,but I’ve never done a great job of keeping it with me all the time. So I’ve revived my A7 pad with attached pencil to be my capture tool.

What I’d really like is to ask my readers to come along for the ride with me and keep me accountable. I’ll be checking in every week or two on the blog, but I’d like to encourage my readers to try ZTD as a system, but not to get organised and productive. These “systems” are often sold with these things in mind, but actually there are more important benefits:

  • Peace of mind – Serenity
  • Regain mental space to think clearly, and even allow the mind to switch off when you want to
  • Regain time to dedicate to your values
  • Less stress as you lighten your mind’s load of constantly remembering things that are best left to a notepad.
  • More joy as the weight lifts from your shoulders

If this sounds interesting and you’d like to join me, then please drop me a comment and a message. We can encourage each other by talking about how things are going. Initially, we’ll use this post as a platform.

Next, have a read of the first link in this article that links to Leo Babauta’s blog. You will probably find a copy of the book useful, you can find a link to the book on amazon (UK) here. There is the eBook version as well, I have the iBooks version and there is a version for Kindle as well.

From Leo Babauta’s website (Link at the top)

“1. collect . Carry a small notebook (or whatever capture tool works for you) and write down any tasks, ideas, projects, or other information that pop into your head. Get it out of your head and onto paper, so you don’t forget it. This is the same as GTD. But ZTD asks you to pick a very simple, portable, easy-to-use tool for capture — a small notebook or small stack of index cards are preferred (but not mandated), simply because they are much easier to use and carry around than a PDA or notebook computer. The simpler the tools, the better. When you get back to your home or office, empty your notes into your to-do list (a simple to-do list will work for now — context lists can come in a later habit).

So our first job is to find a capture tool that is simple to use. I’ll be using my pad, for capture and I’ll be putting in my entries to an A5 notebook. Let me know what you’re going to be using. Are you going analogue or digital? If you’re using an app on your phone, which are you plucking for? Have you used GTD or ZTD before? Let us know how it went and if you plan to do anything different this time round.

I’ve listed below the habits we’re going to be forming.

March – Capture. April – Process. May – Plan. June – Do. July – Simple Trusted System. August – Organize. September – Review. October – Simplify. November – Routine. December – Find your passion.

I’ll post my progress on Tuesday 14th March. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


4 thoughts on “ZTD: capture

    1. I found GTD 2 years and ZTD maybe a year ago. I have struggled to get a system to stick though, partly through changing phones and OS too much. I’m focusing on the habits rather than the system this time round. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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