In time management and in overall management of one's life, one must have a "Capture" system to capture what is needed to operate effectively.  See Capture It All.


You can use the Master Notebook (a simple spiral bound) for multiple functions.

You simply record the date at the bottom of a page you write on, plus you can add a function name, such as:

Notes (I don't add that as I know a page not labeled otherwise must be notes).
    Don't include more than one topic per page, so that you can pull out and organize
         the pages in, say, a file, for later handling (or to scan it into Evernote).
    Capture an idea, devise a plan, make a decision, etc., but label what it is, at the
        bottom of the page.
    Meeting notes is a major function, plus notes on a phone conversation

Journal (which can be referred back to by date, or the pages can be taken out and put into a journal notebook or file)

The recording of thoughts/problems, etc., is a sort of a "journal" function.  This is where you can record "the left side of the page" with your thoughts/beliefs/behaviors that you are engaging in that you might want to reexamine and reformulate, using the right side of the page to provide an enlightened, self-advising, objective, wise, compassionate addressing of the issues.  This is part of the Internal Conversations methods and the Beliefs Changing protocols.   Since this is always with you, recording such things is easy and convenient - doing this is a vital facilitator for a vital function.

To Dos and Reminders:  I put these at the back page and then go backwards, adding (and dating) a continuation of the reminder/todo list and/or a daily planning/todo list, so I can find what I need to transfer/buy, etc., easily by looking at the todo/reminder lists.

See the Rules, in the inserted textbox.


The Master Notebook is really the Master Capture System. 

The little notebook

The little pocket size notebooks are what I use when I must go somewhere where it is too awkward to have the big notebook, though I carry the master notebook wherever I can.

The instant recorder

I use my smartphone to conveniently dictate something when I am driving or otherwise can't enter it in the notebooks.
Date each page at bottom and subject (so can flip through)
In the back of the notebook and going backward in use of pages, list items you want to follow up on, with date of entry.  You can refer to relevant notes by using the date of the page of the notes.  Do all tickles as to when you'll follow up during your daily clearing of the to do list.  Clearing refers to transferring what you need to, for followup and/or reference. 


Clear all items daily

Your daily tickle list will have the clearing of the notebook on it.
It is best, though you could do it on a less frequent basis if you choose, to take from the notebook at least weekly, those items that you want to group into a folder or notebook, so that they are more usable and retrievable (by subject, etc., rather than being left in an distinguished blob in the notebook).

If you are not clearing them daily, then you are relegating them to the dust heap, never to be seen again and therefore useless.  Throw the pages away.  Also if you're not processing them, consider screening more up front "will I ever really use this?" (i.e. access it).

Overall Notebook Sytem

The LifeBook System For Enjoying And Running Your Life For The Best life Possible - From planning to memories to reference and reminders to... 


Capture It All

The system looks like this

See item of interest
Worth capturing?
(Will I actually use it?)
Write it in Master Notebook (or in task inbox)
Process note pages
Post tasks, follow ups
File for future reference (make it findable!)
(Probably Evernote ref.)
Find it as need it

No remaining notes left in Master Notebook, unless it is used to keep journal note pages.

The rules on its use

Write down all of your ideas, notes for action, etc.

Process it each day (week for sure) - Since each action we take must have an endpoint, everything ends up
1. Being tickled,
2. Put on a project list that will be looked at,
3. Put in a subject file where it will be looked at (and possibly put into a task management process)
4.  Put into a reference system (such as re-typed or a picture of the notes) like Evernote, but with a tickle.
5.  Kept as a chronogical record of happenings where needed.
6.  Could keep "journal types of writings" iin the Master Notebook (as a "journal"!) but all tickles must be made if there is followup.  Otherwise you would expect to review the page later for a purpose or there would be no use keeping them.

Throw away all the pages not needed for records after you have processed everything on each page.

If you will not follow up on something, throw it away - don't pile up useless pages. 

Other than as specified above to keep, all pages will be thrown away. 

It is to be cleared out just as one does a "zero" inbox for emails - it will be empty at the end of the day, with everything processed, tossed, or whatever is appropriate.

There will be no remaining notebook, unless you use it as a place to keep your journals.

The major tool for this, used by the great masters of productivity (including Da Vinci!), is the "Master Notebook", to capture everything that is not captured elsewhere. 

It is a convenient way to capture things but also masterfully effective, though simple.

The fact that everything gets captured not only is good for effectiveness but it also reduces anxiety, too!  See Being Organized.   

It is good to think "in writing", plus being able to review what you've written.  Writing has one engage in better thinking.   See Why Put It In Writing, which interestingly is in the Problem Solving section - it benefits one's life tremendously, yet some people don't see that and therefore do not live the level of lives that is possible from using "the methods" and "the practices" that I recommend on this site.  There is always a beneficial path to follow, so please don't miss out.