Quick-capturing is your new superpower
If I could suggest just one habit for creative people to pick up, this would be it.
☕ This is an article from the Flygohr’s Ramblings. Here I help digital artists and creative people with productivity, growth, and inspiration. Tips, guides, links, and articles come every few days.
👋🏻 If you’re a new reader, thanks for stopping by! You can take a peek at the about page to know more about this publication.
📬 To get future articles delivered to your inbox, enter your email below:
All creatives have been there. You are driving, running an errand, minding your own business, and you have a great idea. You can’t wait to put it into action!
As soon as you get back to your workstation and have a couple of free hours to work on your idea, you realize you forgot it! No matter how hard you try to recall it, it’s gone, like a dream in the morning.
If only you jotted it down back then, am I right?
What is “quick capturing” 🤔
If I could only suggest one habit for creative people to pick up, quick capture would be it. But what is it?
The habit of quick capturing is a frictionless and trusted process you have in place to dump your notes, ideas, findings, and thought processes in an inbox to be processed later, fast.
In short, it means that whenever you have an idea, you can take out your trusted system and save it in a matter of seconds, no matter where you are and what you are doing.
As world-famous GTD author David Allen puts it:
Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them
I have an article on how to never run out of inspiration here:
Give it a read once you are done here. It has some complementary bits to this very article!
Your inbox 📥
I go more in-depth regarding the inbox in the aforementioned article, but in short, your inbox is your trusted storage for your ideas and quick notes.
Your inbox can be whatever you want, but in today’s world, it will probably be an app of your choice. I very much doubt you will be able to take out a good old notebook while you are rushing through the Home Depot’s cashier and manually write down your notes. That’s just not efficient!
As mentioned in the other article, a good inbox is:
Searchable: it doesn’t force you to rely on folders or any other predefined structure to find your stuff. Even better if it can do OCR
Cross-platform: you should be able to access your inbox and add to it from wherever. It needs to be on your smartphone, watch, laptop, computer, smart home devices, and even fridge - if it can support it
Fast: you can just wait a minute every time you want to do some quick capturing, right?
Supports ALL file types: ideally, you should be able to share to your inbox links, images, videos, text, and documents. The easier it is for you to just share to it whatever you find, the better it will be for you
Use shortcuts ⚡
On mobile, you can place shortcuts to your apps on the home screen. By long tapping over their icons, sometimes you have access to additional functions.
But I have something better for you! Did you know you could download shortcut apps and configure specific sequences of taps or keys or swipes to get directly into input mode for many of those apps?
The apps I recommended ALL have a shortcut that brings you directly into note creation without additional taps. I’m on the Pixel 6 and I use the ‘double tap phone back’ shortcut to open up Todoist’s quick-add popup. On my previous phone, I was using an edge swipe inwards to get the same.
A shortcut will become second nature in no time.
On the desktop, you can easily configure keyboard shortcuts for quickly adding notes as well. Todoist even comes with a global hotkey built-in so you can jot down things in seconds.
Additionally, you need to install the browser extensions of the app of your choice so you can be even quicker when navigating useful ideas.
On your smart devices, you can configure voice commands to do custom actions. I know both Alexa and Google can do it, and you can point the command to the action you prefer. Most apps also come with some integration or recipes ready-made for your system.
Enable voice commands for your smartphone as well, as it’ll help with the shower scenario. Not all phones come waterproof 🙈
Lastly, smartwatches and other devices also can be set up to accept quick notes.
Try to make your shortcuts as easily accessible to you as possible. The easier it is for you to quickly jot down your thoughts, the fewer ideas you’ll miss.
Now, whenever you sit down to create, you’ll find all your notes and ideas in your trusted inbox.
As a bonus, you also get to stimulate connections between seemingly unrelated ideas and generate new ones!
I hope you found this bit useful. I’ve been practicing quick capture for years now and I am not going back.
If you enjoyed this article, I'd really appreciate it if you could forward it to a friend, or colleague who you think might like it too. If they are a creative type, they’ll surely find value in what I have to offer.
You can also help me by sharing this on your social networks. That’s always a big boost for me!
All the best,