In this segment of “The Whys of Productivity”, we will look at why productivity systems all want us to keep things together in one place.
Minimizing Places to Put Stuff: Part of Every System
Every system out there, particularly those that are dependent on a specific format and/or planner, advocate putting everything in one place. Some systems insist that the only place to put things is in their product; GTD advocates a more realistic approach: minimizing how many places you put stuff.
Why Minimize the Number of Places You Put Things?
Looking at this from a practical standpoint, it makes sense that the fewer places you put things, the fewer places you have to keep track of.
If you have ever written something on a sticky note and then subsequently lost it, you can see the value of having a more permanent method of capturing things. Or if you have ever written something down, just to enter it in the computer later, you can see the duplication of effort.
The reason systems have you minimize your input points is so that you have a finite amount of things to go through later. (See The Whys of Productivity: Gathering)
Things To Consider: Minimizing Capturing Requires Awareness
Unless we have sat down and written them out, the places where we take in information can be hidden. If you want to minimize where you take things in, you need to know where all the places are.
I went through a point-of-capture-reducing a few years ago, then updated it last year. Here are links to the most recent articles:
- Simplifying Inboxes 2007: Overview and Other Inboxes
- Simplifying Inboxes 2007: Voice Mail
- Simplifying Inboxes 2007: Physical Inboxes
- Simplifying Inboxes 2007: Electronic Input
- Simplifying Inboxes 2007: Email
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