Home

Stephen Hackett's weblog about Apple, Apple history, technology, journalism and design.

The Capture Form

As I’ve discussed before, I’m a pretty heavy-duty user of OmniFocus.

Recently, however, I’ve noticed some gaps in my system of managing tasks. Mainly, I struggle getting tasks from “real-life” things into OmniFocus. Tasks that start on my Mac (from Mail, Safari, etc.) are easy to send to the Inbox.

Sadly, most of the time, these “real-life” events are meetings. Say what you will about them, but the reality is that in my day job, meetings are a necessary evil.

I don’t like taking my MacBook Pro to meetings to take notes or capture tasks. I find it distracting, and it can create a barrier between me and other meeting participants.

About a month ago, I started taking my current Field Notes notebook into meetings with me, but I found that I need more space to take notes, and often, tasks get lost among the notes and other things that live in there.

So, I’ve made a form. (Well, I swiped Shawn’s design and re-worked it a bit.)

The single sheet — which I’ve dubbed the “Capture Form” — includes space for four things:

  • Reference Information: Info I need to know to put the meeting in context.
  • Meeting Notes
  • Action Items for Others
  • Action Items for Me

I can take the form with me to a meeting, take notes, capture action items, and file them away later in OmniFocus. I have a binder on my desk of past forms, which will (over time) create a nice archive of past meetings and events.

You can download the Capture Form as a PDF.

Update: I’ve created an alternative version with an expanded Notes section and no Reference Information section.

Update #2: If you want a TextExpander version of the form, check out this post.