The problem I've had for as long as I can remember is having too many thoughts on a consistent basis. My personality is the type of person who can take everything in from the past and put an effective strategy together for how to move forward effectively.
I'm always thinking two or three steps ahead for my busiensses. But at the same time I enjoy studying the data of how things have been going in the past.
I'm always having thoughts of where to go next. Especially when I'm exercising.
When I do activities outside of work, i'm able to allow my brain to shut off from a logical perspective and something happens to the neurons. New connections seem to be made and I'm able to solve problems at hand.
If you're like me, you have thoughts running through your head all throughout the day. I'm working on a lot of different projects at any given time and I have thoughts associated with each business at random times .
For example, this weekend as I was skinning up the mountain, I thought to myself, "It's time to put some money into FB ads for The Perk." We're to a point where we've developed our product and operations enough to handle orders as they come in.
If I don't write this down somewhere, I'm highly likely to forget about this thought until it decides to resurface again. And this amount of time always differs. Could be next week, could be next month.
So, I had to develop a system to capture my thoughts.
Sure, I could write this down in my Apple Notes app. But that's about as effective as writing down on a piece of paper for me. It helps me zero.
Because Apple Notes is an app I don't normally open as part of my daily workflow.
What app do I open on a daily basis, no matter what?
Well, maybe that's a better question for you. What app do you open EVERY SINGLE DAY, no matter what?
For me, it's email.
I'm a fan of time boxing email. I'm not a fan of being consistently responsive to email. It's impossible in my mind to be an effective entrepreneur or creator if all you do is sit around and be responsive to email.
What I mean by time boxing is dedicating a set time block during the day to answer all of your email at once, rather than responding immediately as the emails come in. Usually, this is towards the end of the day when I'm shutting the work day down. I (usually) burn through email before I shut my laptop for the day.
I leave emails unread until I'm ready to handle the email. At any given time, I may have 50-60 emails in my inbox unread. But that's ok. Because email is reactive work.
Answering email is necessary and important work to run an effective business. It's just not always important & urgent. I leave my emails unread until I'm ready to handle the emails on my time.
What I consider important & urgent is making time for productive, deep work.
Email should be classified as important but not urgent. (Most of the time, at least. Of course there will be situations where time sensitive replies are required. But this is very rarely the case if you've set up your workflow correctly.)
But the point I'm making here is that I open my email inbox EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even if I don't answer every single email, I still open the app multiple times per day.
And this is why I've deemed my email inbox as the best place for my "captured thoughts" to live.
So, how do I ensure my captured thoughts make it to my inbox?
Sure, I could open up my email, type in my thoughts into an email, add the email address I want my thoughts sent to, and hit send.
And the thought would end up in my inbox.
But this has always felt clunky to me.
Enter thought capture app.
3 years ago, I was on a mountain bike ride with my friend Marco, a fellow entrepreneur & mountain community builder himself.
We were riffing on ideas associated with building mountain towns and he stopped mid ride and pulled out his phone.
"What are you doing?," I said as I stopped next to him.
"I had an idea and had to write it down."
He quickly typed in the idea on a simple UI and hit send. "Alright, I'm good." He said.
"What was that app?" I asked.
"Captio, it's an app that sends my thoughts straight to my inbox. You've never heard of it?"
So simple. Yet so effective.
I pulled over to download the app and I've been using this as step one in my Personal Productive Stack for the last three years.
On that day, Marco mentioned Captio was the best money he's ever spent on an app. And I can confidently say the exact same thing.
Captio lives at the top right hand side of my home screen for quick access.
Whenever I have a thought, no matter if I'm working, skiing, mountain biking, or meditating — I pull out my phone, tap the app icon, type in my thought, and hit send.
Captio has a quick set up and allows the user to connect an email inbox to the app immediately after downloading.
The thought ends up in my inbox as an unread item.
Due to the fact I leave items unread in my inbox until I'm ready to handle them, this is a bulletproof system to ensure I effectively categorize my to-do items while I'm in a setting to take next steps.
I'm definitely not always in front of my computer as I absolutely love my time outside of work for things like outdoor activities or hanging with my wife or friends. But I'm 100% best fit to handle my to-do's when I'm in front of my computer.
This thought capture system I've developed is what works for me. And if you're known to miss out on thoughts, I'd highly recommend looking into a thought capture app like Captio to send your thoughts straight to your inbox.
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