While I work from home on a daily basis, I’m also out and about on a daily basis. All work and no play make Creighton grumpy and unfit. While I work, I’m near-welded to a number of (lovely) shiny screens. However, dragging my desktop computer with me while I walk the dog is somewhat impractical. Even taking my MacBook with me seems mad while I’m enjoying a walk in the woods.
That all said, I’ve discovered that inspiration inevitably punches me in the face while I’m out walking or running. (I’m also a keen runner.) Inspiration is a terrible thing to waste, so I’ve developed a couple of handy tactics to make sure I can capture thoughts and suchlike while out and about.
This is a no-brainer, and I mention it here only for completeness’ sake. If I have my phone with me, it’s a matter of moments to jot an idea down. This should not be a revelation.
However, I don’t always bother to take my phone with me as it is big, heavy and distracting. This has led me to develop several other strategies to capture the random thoughts and inspiration that muscle their way into my brain when I’m out and about.
My Apple Watch
When I’m running, I don’t take my phone with me. I have a cellular watch, and I love running unencumbered by a big phone bouncing about in a running belt. While my watch has an on-screen keyboard, it’s not easy to type on.
Luckily, the watch lets me dictate into many of my apps. I’ve used Tot for this, but I’m now trying Drafts again. Lots of people swear by Drafts, but I’ve previously struggled to get on with it. However, it is undeniably excellent at dictation and automation; its interface on the Apple Watch is fantastic for quickly capturing a thought.
Once I’m home, the note appears in my inbox, and I can file it in the appropriate place.
(As a side note, I can definitely get more out of Drafts if I bend my mind to it; I must investigate further).
My Trusty Pocket Notebook
I’ve said previously that I run a three-notebook system.
That’s both true and untrue. I love my three-notebook system, and it is definitely making me more productive (particularly my white time-blocking book). However, in truth, it is a three-and-a-half notebook system.
Sometimes, I head out with a pocket notebook and a Space Pen. I love writing with a pencil, but a Space Pen is smaller, more durable and doesn’t require sharpening. You can write at an angle, upside down or in the rain with a space pen; they are awesome.
Jotting something down in a notebook is normally faster than typing it into a phone.
A notebook is an excellent place to note a thought while on the go. Notebooks lend themselves to random, creative scribbling in ways phones and other shiny devices do not. They don’t need a battery, wi-fi or a cellular signal. They contain fewer distractions than a phone. It’s hard to check email, surf the web or see what’s happening on your social network(s) of choice on a notebook. Notebooks rock.
What Have I Missed?
How are you productive when out and about? Have I missed something? Please let me know in the comments below so I can be more productive.