One stage of Getting Things Done is collecting, to quote from the GTD book;

Basically, everything is already being collected, in the larger sense. If it’s not being directly managed in a trusted external system of yours, then it’s resident somewhere in your psyche. The fact that you haven’t put an item in your in-basket doesn’t mean you haven’t got it. But we’re talking here about making sure that everything you need is collected somewhere other than in your head.

So collecting is all about getting something out of your head and into a trusted system.

For me that system is Omnifocus, I have been using it for over a year now and would have a hard time if it suddenly went away.

There are several things I do when performing a collection;

  • Look through my email inboxes
  • Look at my notebooks for notes and action points I have scribbled down
  • Go through my desk and work areas, collecting up notes and taking a note of anything that needs fixed / moved / changed.
  • Looking through my Github issues to see what coding work is assigned to me

There are more, the point of this article is to suggest that if, like me, you use Slack for communication in at least one team then it might be worth considering using Slack as another collection point.

It is easy to scan down a list of rooms you have starred, and people for that matter, to work out if there is anything outstanding relating to that room/person.

If you aren’t sure you can always go into the room and scroll back into the history a bit and see if there were any links you were meant to follow and read or if there was anything you needed to prepare or share.

This isn’t just time for you to see what you have forgotten to do, it can also be used to remember what other people said they would do and maybe haven’t yet. In Omnifocus I would capture that and give it a context of “Waiting” to indicate it isn’t me who has to perform the action.

As well as being a place were conversation is had Slack also has several integrations feeding into it, which means you might be able to avoid checking a second place altogether if you know that information is coming into Slack.

If you follow GTD and use Slack, I hope you will consider adding it to your collection phase.