GTD for Homemakers: Achieving Ubiquitous Capture

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31 Days to GTD for Homemakers & Homeschoolers Based on David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, this series, 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers is about managing our stuff and our actions, and once those are under control, being more free and clear to focus on the present moment with our families. So this series is not about boxing our homes and families into a business model, but rather about being in control of our tasks and stuff instead of letting it control us. So, instead of running around like chickens with heads cut off, we may be left free and calm to make the correct intuitive decision about how to handle whatever is before us in the moment.

Previous Post: Continuing the Collection Process: Collect Stuff

The GTD Habit

In Getting Things Done, David Allen exhorts us to maintain these three rules about our collecting habit:

  1. Every open loop must be in your collection system and out of your head.
  2. You must have as few collection buckets as you can get by with.
  3. You must empty them regularly.


These collection tools should become part of your lifestyle. Keep them close by so no matter where you are you can collect a potentially valuable thought — think of them as being as indispensable as your toothbrush or your driver’s license or your glasses.

That seems like quite a commitment, but keeping something at hand to jot down notes is a frequent tip not only in organization-type books, but even in articles I’ve read about how to keep focus during devotional times. My personal ability to keep any information or reminders in my head has been practically nil the last few years.

Set Up Your Open-Loop Collectors

Somehow, figure out the best ways for you to collect thoughts as they occur to you, something that can be a mostly-constant companion. You’ll probably keep several, depending on the context you are in.

A notepad in your purse or by your bed? Remember a pen!

A clipboard, binder, or notebook that goes with you and stays near at hand?

A fancy-pants phone? Maybe send yourself emails?

An iPad?

A laptop or even a desktop near the kitchen? Choose one program for note-taking!

Hey, even the good-old trick of writing on your hand or arm to keep a note until you can get it into your system will work!

Anything will work — if you do — so pick what most appeals to you and that fits your lifestyle and circumstances and run with it. The key is to learn the essential habit of ubiquitous capture.


Mystie’s book, Declutter Your Head will walk you through the process of clearing your head and organizing your home so you can take calm, intentional action. Also available on kindle.

GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company.

Next: GTD for Homemakers: Establish Physical Containers

  1. Jen in Oz
    | Reply

    I am using an application for my Android tablet called ColorNote. It is a little more flexible than Evernote in that you can move items up and down in your lists and you can create re-usable lists to check off, then clear to use again.

    Jen in Oz

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