Capture Crayons in the Shower

Here on GTDReviews we are in the process of indexing and reviewing all the various applications made for GTDers. A lot of that is in the works, but in the meantime I’ve been reflecting a lot on capturing non-digitally. As I said in my last post, I’m in between phones and just moved to a new computer, so capturing thoughts has been somewhat haphazard lately.

Now before I go on, I realize that thoughts happen all the time (whether you know it or not, you’re mind is always working), and you can capture those thoughts with anything from a napkin to an email to yourself – but my point is that I found myself relying on a capture system for my thoughts with very particular tools, and once I lost that system I felt a little more chaos had entered my life.

But what happens when you’re in a place where a little notebook and pen won’t do you any good? Or you don’t have any digital device capable of recording, sending or saving any thoughts?

That place is the shower of course. My mind races while I’m standing there, starting to wake up, for the first five to ten minutes. I also find myself going in at least 1,000 directions within minutes as I distract myself from actually getting done with my shower, and on with my day. (Although, part of it may very well be the fact that the hot water keeps me from wanting to get out some days too) What’s really annoying is when I have a thought I need to process later, but have no way of capturing it.

I’ve tried lots of things to capture the shower thoughts: writing in the steam on the glass doors, repeating the thought to myself so I wouldn’t forget, etc. etc. But nothing really seemed to work consistently – until I found shower crayons. That’s right, crayons. The Crayola bathtub crayons to be exact. These are great for writing down thoughts on the walls of showers before they escape you. They’re also fun to doodle with.

The only downside is they don’t work too well on wet surfaces of the shower, so I find that one area of the shower wall that stays relatively dry throughout the shower to make my notes on. Another tip, if there’s something you’re trying to work on – perhaps some daily affirmations or goals – use these crayons to write them out when the shower is dry and they’ll stay on any surface fairly well regardless of how wet it gets.

Do you find yourself in that situation where you are in the shower (or bath) and unable to capture a thought? Let’s put our experiences together in the feedback below GTDers, and see what other solutions there are.

  • http://hikkikomori.tumblr.com/ Foolness

    Just a warning for those who might not be very productive, this works best when you've developed the art of jotting down every thoughts you have.

    It's not just in the sense of now you can fully maximize this trick because let's face it, you're still going to write what you want to write.

    It's not that. The issue is guilt. GTDers may not have as much of a problem with this but this is one of those tricks that non-GTDers who stumble upon this article may think of trying out but the problem comes when some of us don't capture tasks but ideas in showers.

    It can make you feel guilty if you're not as well versed in jotting down almost every thought. No different from any GTD mass thought capture system.

    In this particular trick, the problem often comes from laziness with wiping out what you have written or even going beyond one word to symbolize the gamut of your ideas. It's no guarantee that you will remember it that way and there's also the case of not feeling like the idea looks that good to add to your tasks even as a someday/maybe.

  • evanheckert

    Foolness, thanks for that insight! I think you've nailed a core practice when implementing GTD that is probably the most underrated of all the various steps. I've found it very easy to pre-judge thoughts or ideas before jotting them down, rather than the practice, or “art” as you eloquently called it, of jotting down every single thought you've got. Definitely something for GTDers to keep in mind!

    Thanks for being a pioneer in the GTDReviews comments! Let's see who else is as brave!

  • evanheckert

    Foolness, thanks for that insight! I think you've nailed a core practice when implementing GTD that is probably the most underrated of all the various steps. I've found it very easy to pre-judge thoughts or ideas before jotting them down, rather than the practice, or “art” as you eloquently called it, of jotting down every single thought you've got. Definitely something for GTDers to keep in mind!

    Thanks for being a pioneer in the GTDReviews comments! Let's see who else is as brave!

  • http://twitter.com/contextlines Context Computing

    I use AquaNotes (http://www.myaquanotes.com). They work pretty well. _Chad