In the Collect stage you gather everything that enters your world that might represent something you have to do. The idea is to keep all the open loops that appear in your life out of your head. Instead, they will be systematically collected into your Inbox, where they will reside until you process them.

The collecting habit has a double motivation:

  • Keeping your head empty will let you focus in doing things without stress. Having uncompleted, fuzzy stuff in your head when trying to get something done it is not only unpleasant, it is counterproductive.

  • Keeping all your incomplete stuff in a single place helps to let yourself relax. You will experience a feeling of control, since all the things that require your attention are neither lost nor dispersed.

There are 2 key factors to succeed in your collecting strategy:

  • It has to be quick and systematic. Things have to be collected as soon as they enter your world.
  • You should empty your Inbox periodically. This is what the Process stage is about.

In zendone:

  • You have a single GTD inbox where all your collected stuff is located.
  • You can collect stuff using 2 mechanisms:
    • A simple built-in collecting tool.
    • Evernote, which is the preferred way for collecting.

Your GTD inbox

You can see your inbox in the Process section. Your inbox items are shown in the order they were collected with older items at top. The top item is not shown in the list, but in the processing panel, as the current item you have to process next.

In case of Evernote notes, you can also check their contents in the right side.

Your GTD inbox in zendone

Notice that you can't select which item you want to process next. This is deliberate.

Built in collecting tool

You can collect stuff in zendone by pressing the quick collect button.

Quick collect

You will see a sticky note for introducing the text you want to collect.

Evernote as the collection tool

The preferred way for collecting stuff in zendone is using Evernote. Evernote is an amazingly powerful collecting tool. It lets you collect stuff using any mechanism you can think of.

Evernote offers a complete suite of tools for capturing things. Such as:

And there are hundreds of products that offer integration with Evernote. Many of them enable capturing stuff in different ways. For example:

  • Scanners and scanning software
  • Feed readers
  • Read it later-like software
  • There are even products that enhance Evernote itself. For example:
    • FastEver and FastEver Snap let you quickly take simple notes or photos with your iPhone.
    • SoundEver let you quickly create voice notes with your iPhone.

In order to start using Evernote as a collecting tool in zendone you must enable its integration in the preferences panel. Once you do it you can start using all these mechanisms for collecting stuff into your Inbox.

Connection between your Inbox and your default Evernote notebook

In zendone, your GTD Inbox is connected to your default Evernote notebook. In Evernote, every user has a default Evernote notebook. That is the notebook where things are captured by default. For example, when you send an email to your Evernote email address.

Being connected means that your Inbox in zendone will contain an item per Evernote note in your default notebook. And both Inbox and default notebook will stay synchronized in every moment.

You can read more about the Evernote notes lifecycle.