Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GTD - Ubiquitous Capture (doh!)

Merriam Webster's definition for ubiquitous:
Main Entry: ubiq·ui·tous
Pronunciation: yü-'bi-kw&-t&s
Function: adjective
: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : WIDESPREAD ubiquitous fashion>

Right. So up till now, I've been using the term "Ubiquitous Capture" to talk about the initial major collection (including the mindsweep) that dumps everything into my inbox for the first time. In other words, I've been using it incorrectly.

Thanks to Ben (of bathgates|dot|net) for clarifying my error. He writes:

I think 'anonymous' is right about ubiquitous. Allen's intent is that you always have the ability to capture information into your trusted system - everywhere - whether that's using HipsterPDA, a 'real' PDA, the back of your hand etc. If it doesn't go straight into your trusted system then, it at least gets captured. What you're talking about is a mindsweep.

Doh! To be fair, "Ubiquitous Capture" isn't even an official GTD term. David Allen only uses the term "ubiquitous" once in the book (on page 166). And only one article (by Robert Peake) on the davidco.com website uses the term "ubiquitous." Thus, the term "ubiquitous capture" must be an invention of the vast GTD blogging community.

Unfortunately, I cannot blame the blogging community for my mistake. The overwhelming evidence is abundantly clear:"Ubiquitous Capture" means having a voice recorder with me in my car, bathtub crayons in my shower, a pad of paper by my bed, and my PDA with me at all times. Sorry for leading anyone astray.


Leo said...

Don't worry about it Jay -- we still love you! :)

I wrote about tips for ubiquitous capture at Zen Habits:

Tips for GTD's Ubiquitous Capture.

Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

dude - I am anonymous

How can you give "Ben" credit, for the correction I gave you?

You removed your original comment in which you quoted the dictionary to try to refute me.

You have also removed the second blog comment I left when I explained how you got it wrong.

Jay said...


I had no way of knowing what you were talking about. And I never received your follow-up explanation that you claim I deleted (although I will own the fact that I deleted my original defense when I understood it was wrong).

And how am I supposed to credit anonymous when anonymous doesn't explain what s/he's talking about.

Thanks for the early red flag, I guess.


Todd Stanfield said...

I still think the UC term is the best reminder for closing all open loops. Is more action oriented than mindsweep. That's the beauty of the blogosphere - it can improve and refine concepts taking them from the abstract to the practical.

Jason (via email) said...

I see that your article on Ubiquitous capture has created some erm.....”activity” on your blog. J This may help or may confuse the matter even more.

You mentioned that “Ubiquitous capture” isn’t even an official GTD term. I’m not sure if that’s correct.

See, I was listening to the GTD audio product (8 CD set) this morning on the way to work and David uses the term “Ubiquitous Capture” extensively. In fact on CD 3 there is a track titled “The Ubiquitous Capture tool”. In this track David even describes a GTD product that they have named the “Ubiquitous Capture Tool”. Looking at their website this morning and listening to David’s description of the product I’m guessing that its now been renamed to the NoteTaker wallet.

Now the audio product was published on January 1st 2002, I’m not sure when the forums began so I don’t know where the term originated from. Maybe they realised the issue around the whole “ubiquitous” term and just dropped it altogether and renamed their product?

ick said...

Thus, the term "ubiquitous capture" must be an invention of the vast GTD blogging community.

The term relates back to his seminars as recorded back in the "Getting Things Done Fast" cd set. It is used fairly often in the seminars referring to his notetaker wallet a.k.a the 'evening module'

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