The Ultimate Ubiquitous Capture Device?

In case you didn’t know, I’m a subscriber (though not necessarily a hardcore enthusiastic legalist) to David Allen’s personal productivity system for Getting Things Done (for an introduction to this system, go here). Over the past couple of years, I’ve played with different ways to implement the system, from an all-paper system to a hybrid electronic/digital system, to where I am now which is almost 100% digital.

However, there are times when you just have to capture an idea on-the-spot, and the most convenient way to do it at that particular time is by writing it down. To do this, you are supposed to use your “Ubiquitous Capture Device,” something you always have with you so you can never miss recording a thought. I’ve tried different ways of doing this, from carrying around note cards to scrap paper to moleskin notebooks. None of my solutions thus far has been satisfactory.

Recently, I came across the new Moleskine Volant (Extra Small) notebook and think this might be the ultimate solution. They are extremely thin and only two and a half by four inches, which means they will slip unnoticeably right into your back pocket. And they also have perforated pages, which is perfect for those times you need a loose sheet of paper. Learn more from the company website.

You can get two of these notebooks for $6, making them a bit pricey, but they might be worth it if they are fun to use. And, hopefully, they will stand up well to wear and tear. I’m going to see how I like using them over the next few weeks. Anyone else have a great solution for a ubiquitous capture device?


  1. says

    I love the Moleskine Volant Mini notebooks. I almost always have one in my front shirt pocket, or in my pants/jeans pocket. I’ve become pretty addicted to these little notebooks, makes things so much easier when I can just jot down an idea or reminder, I feel like I never forget anything now because Ive got a running list of things on my Volant Mini. I did a review of them a while back on my blog as well:

    You are right about the overall cost, but for the convenience and theboost to productivity and remembering that I get from them, I find them to be WELL worth the price, and its more of an investment than just a purchase.

    • Matt says

      Hey, thanks for the comment. Yeah, I’ve only been using mine a little while now, but it really comes in handy. I usually put it in my back pocket, so I’m interested to see how well it takes abuse over a period of time. I’ll have to remember to put it in my front shirt pocket when I can.

      Nice review, also.

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