The purpose of the collect phase is to get everything outside your head.  During this process you will collect everything that is incomplete and/or needs to be different - The purpose is to create a total and leak proof system for all potential relevant input so you can take the next step of organizing it.  This collection process has three components:

  1. Understanding all the places information flows in to you (your "In Boxes).
  2. Clearing your head of all the things on your plate and putting them down on paper (doing a Mind Sweep).
  3. Developing a collection strategy moving forward so you can continue to capture everything in your system.



  1. Understanding where all your "Inboxes" are.  Inboxes are every place you receive input - these include your:


     2. Doing a Mind Sweep


The “Mind Sweep” is the fundamental tool we use to start the collection process and the basic idea behind it is to get absolutely everything out of your head and onto paper so that you can gain a holistic view of everything that is both on your plate and much of which is stored in your head.  Once out of our head we can organize it into tasks and projects (two or more tasks). 


     3.  Developing a strategy for how you will collect from here on out.


The process of collection does not stop with your initial assessment and Mind Sweep.  You must also develop a strategy to ensure you maintain a collection process that captures all in puts in a way you can process and organize.  This involves the following: 


                   Traveling Inbox or Notes

You must carry something with you at all times to capture new requests, tasks, projects and ideas that come to you as you are out and about.  This can be as simple as having a small notebook or some type of notes software you can have on your PDA.


Keeping on Top of Your Other In Boxes

You need to have a strategy to clear all of your in boxes at least once per week - if not every day.


If you have done everything above - you are now ready to move on to organizing.