Cal Newport advocates for a text file to “to augment your limited neuronal capacity with some digital help…”

Sounds familiar. Back in the day, productivity “experts” such as Patrick Rhone and myself were advocating the use of a personal log file (plain text, natch).

I’m enjoying Cal’s site (hat tip to Shawn Blanc). And while I’m not interested in returning to the ways of a navel gazing, card carrying GTDer, I appreciate Cal’s writing because he’s very focused on the deep work. Whereas GTD is all about setting up a system and processing items, from what I’ve seen, Cal’s blog focuses on clearing your head and getting to the important.

This post is a nice example. His text file is more than just a dumping ground, but a bit of a triage. As he processes his inboxes, he jots things down as they come to him. I know the feeling of being overwhelmed while you process, so I understand his intention here. Myself, I use Day One in a similar way. It’s become primarily a work log for me (see Shawn’s usage in this manner).