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Productivity is all about capturing your ideas in an effective way that clears your mind. Most people have a preferred way to save their ideas, projects, and to-dos – and while some are arguably better than others. “Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” ― Leo Babauta The easiest way to achieve this level of mental clarity necessary to identify the most important tasks is by simplifying your mind: via note-taking (or data capture).

Digital note-taking

5i-solutions-delray-iconSaving your smart ideas on a digital format can give you many different options, depending on the format you choose. Digital notes can be incredibly organized, efficient, and well-recorded, even making notes available on your smartphone, tablet, and work computer.Not all digital formats do this – so you must be savvy when purchasing a filing system. M-Files is a great data organization tool that comes with exceptional categorization, security and storage capabilities. You can file your notes with metadata and file subcategories so that all your long-term ideas on different projects can compile all your important data in a secure environment.

The Modern Analog

5i-fort-lauderdale-cloud-softwareThe most traditional, and flexible method of capturing your notes is going by the wayside. However, there is a mental and psychological benefit to having a physical copy of your notes. If you work better with something tangible, you have many tools available to you.The best choice for capturing your ideas and clearing your mind comes with all the benefits of digital. Formidable’s Mobile Data Capture tool is a physical pen that backs up your information in a compatible digital format. This impressive pen made 5i’s Top Tools of 2015 for its ease of use and merging of the physical and digital format to simplify your life.

Auditory Transcription

5i-legal-software-servicesThe go-to format of journalists and on-the-go types began with a cassette, technology that came out in the 1930s. Luckily, nowadays you can download a free app on your smartphone to have your voice captured and a subsequent transcription available to you, saving you from hiring a secretary to record your notes a la the 1960s. Evernote is by far the most popular note-taking app available. If you’re not a fan of the mainstream, check out Audio Notes recorder. It’s designed to look just like a handheld recorder from the 80s, and even has a spy mode. To learn more about voice-capture apps, check out Tech Republic

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