Quick capture

This experiment started on 6 Sep 2021 and concluded on 8 December 2021.

This was an experiment to simulate the "quick capture" and "revisit" experience I had been imagining for the app by stringing existing tools together into a workflow that felt somewhat cogent.

The goals here being to learn:

  1. What did I notice myself doing/needing after having a reasonable "stock" of cards?

  2. What – if anything – might I need develop a habit of making cards?

  3. What would I write cards about and what form(s) would cards take?

Impact & Conclusions



The DailyNotes experiment led me to see improving my memory and recall as core to helping me evolve past reflexes that were no longer useful to me.

Drawing inspiration from flash cards, spaced repetition, and lateral thinking techniques (namely Oblique Strategies) I sought to come up with a flow that would enable me to quickly create and revisit digital cards.

The intention I had here was to:

  1. Keep the things I was working on and towards present in my mind throughout the day and

  2. Make it easy for me to "reach" for a stock of strategies (read: quotes I found inspirational, things I thought to be true, etc.) I could use in moments where I felt faced with a choice that would could bring me in or out of alignment with how I was trying to be and what I was trying to do.


I used two iOS apps for this experiment:

  1. Paper Plane for quickly getting down resonant thoughts so that I could explore and refine them at a later time using the Spark Mail app. [i]

  2. Spark Mail for receiving the emails I sent to myself using Paper Plane.[ii]


i. I considered using Drafts instead of Paper Plane because of the edit history and metadata Drafts exposes about each draft you create. Although, I decided against using it because the actual input didn't feel quite like how I imagine the cards input to feel: fast, simple, and detached from the future.

ii. I set up a new, dedicated email account for receiving the thoughts I was jotting down with Paper Plane so as not to muddle this experience with the existing email workflows and habits I'd established.

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