ForumsTips & TricksHow do you capture a brain dump of tasks?

How do you capture a brain dump of tasks?
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Posted: Apr 02, 2010
Score: 0 Reference

When I start my workday, I have 5-20 things swimming in my head that i want to do a fast capture with. I now use notepad because it keeps up with me as fast as I can type in 'dump' mode, like this.

task one
task two
task three

etc. This isn't organized, but it IS fast. Now it's time for druthers and hacks.

If I had my druthers:
'Add a task' would be dump-friendly or have a dump mode - a compact grid format (just like the task list when I view it) and I could tab through quickly, drop things in and then adjust & submit.

since I don't have my druthers...

Any Hacks for capturing a pile of loose tasks into my daily-changing GTDish system?

Posted: Apr 02, 2010
Score: 1 Reference
For this purpose I use the "Add multiple tasks..." option under add tasks. I set the fields to go to my inbox for processing later and let the tasks flow.

Posted: Aug 09, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
I have a 'csv template' setup with headings for folder, context, notes, priority, etc...

I input all my items, save, and then import all at once, they drop right into place without having to add them one at a time using the website.

Posted: Aug 10, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
Posted by larryg215:
I have a 'csv template' setup with headings for folder, context, notes, priority, etc...

I input all my items, save, and then import all at once, they drop right into place without having to add them one at a time using the website.

Hi larryg215 - I'm brand new and can't find any place that shows what fields are importable. Would you share what you use in your csv template?

Posted: Aug 10, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
You can find more information here:

Posted: Aug 12, 2010
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I'm not real familiar with the bones behind GTD, but are you using TD as your sole place to write things down as they occur to you?

I love TD, but find it is more useful as a planned task list, not as grounds for brain-dumps or even gathering of {often unorganized} info at meetings. I still use my trusty little moleskin-type journal with hand-numbered pages for capturing info and making quick notes throughout the day. Not only is it more convenient to jot down notes in a meeting this way, but I find I retain info better if I hand write it rather than type it. Then once or twice a day, I pull from my journal to create projects and tasks in TD, noting the page number in my notebook where I can find the backup info.

Posted: Aug 12, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
I use several methods to collect tasks / brain dump.

I have a small notepad & pen in a few key locations, e.g. at home where I keep my keys & wallet, in my car, in my wife's car, on my desk at work.

I almost always have my iPhone with me and use Appigo Todo. It has a 'quick add' function that works well - you just type the task name and it goes straight to the Inbox. If I don't process it later on the iPhone, I will do so in Toodledo after syncing.

At my desk or on my laptop at home I use Toodledo. For single thoughts that come up I just click add, type the description and let it go to the inbox (no folder) when I'm busy and process it later. If I have a bunch of pages from my notepad or have a number of things swimming around in my head, I will use Toodledo's bulk add feature which works great for me.

I also have a spiral-bound A4-size note book that I use for work, e.g. in group meetings or one-on-one conversations with the CEO. I use this so I can take detailed notes. These often lead to the generation of new tasks so I will usually photocopy the page(s) and put this in my tray for later entry.

Posted: Aug 14, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
I use the "add multiple tasks" function as well. My trick is that I created a folder called "Inbox" where I dump everything. That way I can quickly get everything off my mind without having to worry about categories, etc. Then I can find everything in one place and process it later.

Posted: Aug 14, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
I do my more focused brain dumps in digital mindmaps on my iPhone and computer, and use Evernote for more sporadic ones throughout the day.

Digital mindmaps are great for things you're still editing, organizing or categorizing, and I would loath to go back to any normal text editor for planning or brainstorming after using them. Once I've got something locked down there, I copy and paste it into Toodledo's multi add if it's task oriented.

I agree that Toodledo, or any taskmanager / scheduler app for that matter, tends to make for a horrible 'Inbox.'

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
I'm just switching to Toodledo but I brought a trick from another GTD system:

Set the email address for submissions.
Install Launchy (PC) or Quicksilver (MAC).
Configure a short cut in there for emailing that email address.

Thus entries involve, alt-space, type "tood tab Call Bill" and Enter. I'll start building in the syntax once I've used this awhile.

I also set a Contact shortcut on my Android which links to this submission email. This is a quick way to note that movie/book/idea that comes up on the go.

If you need help with Launchy config, check Lifehacker and look for an article that uses a VBS script that you mod w/ your specifics.

This message was edited Aug 27, 2010.

Posted: Sep 15, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
I use SlickRun instead of Launchy, so I can add a task by clicking WIN-Q and typing something like "td new task #tomorrow *work"

with this config:

in Slickrun I have a keyword setup as:
filename: C:\path\to\slickrun-email.vbs
parameters: "$I$"

contents of slickrun-email.vbs (replace all caps email/password)

Set iMsg = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
Set iConf = CreateObject("CDO.Configuration")
Set Flds = iConf.Fields
schema = ""
Flds.Item(schema & "sendusing") = 2
Flds.Item(schema & "smtpserver") = ""
Flds.Item(schema & "smtpserverport") = 465
Flds.Item(schema & "smtpauthenticate") = 1
Flds.Item(schema & "sendusername") = "MYEMAILADDRESS"
Flds.Item(schema & "sendpassword") = "MYPASSWORD"
Flds.Item(schema & "smtpusessl") = 1

With iMsg
.From = "Chris Lott <MYEMAILADDRESS>"
.Subject = wscript.arguments.item(0)
.HTMLBody = message
.Sender = " "
.Organization = " "
.ReplyTo = " "
Set .Configuration = iConf
SendEmailGmail = .Send
End With
set iMsg = nothing
set iConf = nothing
set Flds = nothing

This message was edited Sep 15, 2010.

Posted: Sep 18, 2010
Score: 0 Reference
I'm relatively new to Toodledo but i'm using it as "Is it actionable" part of GTD.

My inbox is a Post-It note on my cellphone, yellow for work, blue for Other (Home or supermarket).

This way i only need to go to one place to process it all, and do all the 2 minute ideas before they entering the system. This way my processing is a bit further than simply sorting everything in Toodledo.
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