My Tools

Capture

Everything starts with capturing your thoughts.

I use a variety of tools to capture my thoughts and ideas in different contexts. What works for you will depend on the kinds of thoughts you want to capture, how you want to store or transfer them, and what contexts you find yourself in.

Google Keep logo: Yellow square with a white outline of a lightbulb. The bottom left corner appears folded up like a piece of paper.

Google Keep

For day-to-day capturing, especially when I’m on the go or away from my desk, I use Google Keep to capture my thoughts and ideas. As an android user, I’ve found it to be the most convenient for capturing and transferring my thoughts to my “second brain”. Not only can it capture text, it can also capture audio files, photos, and drawings. And, because it syncs to the cloud, I can access it from my desktop to refer to or copy from. You can also choose to either delete or archive notes when you’re done with them, giving you the option of an additional archive to search if needed.

Bullet Journal / Notebook

For lengthier things, story ideas, drafts, strategies, planning, etc. that I have to do on the go, I use my Baron Fig Confidant notebook. It is by far my favorite notebook to use as a bullet journal because it’s high-quality, affordable, and comes in several cool colors. Although I don’t use my bullet journal much these days (since I spend 90% of my time at home within reach of my computer), I still like to use it when I go out.

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Second Brain / Note Taking

So, we’ve captured a bunch of ideas, now what?

Well, there’s three main choices here.

  1. Use it to create something
  2. Store it for later use
  3. Throw it away

Even if you’re going to use it right away, I would still recommend recording the idea somewhere so you can look back at it fondly, or find it weeks later after forgetting about the project entirely. If you’re not already keeping some kind of Daily Notes, I highly recommend you start the practice.

Obsidian

My second brain / note taking app of choice is Obsidian. The app boasts a growing list of features as well as third-party plugins, but at it’s core it is a decentralized note-taking app that builds connections via links and backlinks. Obsidian works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files, which means that even if support for their app does end in the far off future, your files will still be easily accessible to you. Although the app still in open beta, the development team is incredible and updates at a mind-blowing rate with tons of significant improvements each time.

In the future, I’ll provide a peek into how I personally use Obsidian to collect inspiration, organize information, and write just about everything.

Task Management

Amazing Marvin

Amazing Marvin is… honestly so amazing I’m not sure where to even begin.

I spent years bouncing from one productivity app to another, and never spending more than a month or two on each before rushing to find something else. But I can now proudly say I’ve been using Amazing Marvin for over two years.

Amazing Marvin has it all. It’s a modular task management app; which means it has a plethora of features that you can switch on or off to design the perfect task management system for you. And, if you get bored of it, you can just change it.

The developers for this app are a couple fully dedicated to Marvin because they also use it in their day to day life. Their last update of 2020 included a fully integrated goals feature and I cannot recommend it enough. Please, take a look for yourself.