How I Only Use 3 Apps to Have the Best and Simplest Capture System of My Life

3 min read

Simplicity equals high performance.

That is my conclusion after 30 years dedicated to productivity.

My PKM has 4 systems:

  1. Capture. I use it to capture the data.
  2. Process. I use it to decide if I need an action or thinking.
  3. Action. I use it to manage my actions.
  4. Think. I use it to think.

As you can see, the capture system is the beginning of everything.

It’s critical because any project in life, even the biggest, always starts with a “simple” idea captured by someone somewhere.

That someone is you.

That somewhere is your Capture System.

My Capture System’s Evolution

I’ve never stopped improving my PKM for 30 years. And I never will.

My Capture System is no exception.

If I look backward, 2 years ago, my current system has nothing to do with the old one.

My journey’s taught me 2 things:

  1. Good apps keep shining, no matter how long it has been.
  2. New apps usually bring improvements.

The Essential Feature of a Capture System

Any Capture System has to support one critical feature: mobility.

You don’t know when something will need to be captured.

Ideas pop up in your mind, no matter where you are and when.

The problem is they disappear in a matter of milliseconds.

You cannot lose them!

My Capture System is based on 3 apps:

  1. Drafts
  2. Mem
  3. Readwise Read Later

1. Drafts

I fell in love with this app a long time ago.

It has resisted all types of “attacks” from other apps because I’m constantly testing new things, polishing my workflows, and ready to change.

Yet, Drafts is still with me.

Why is that?

Because I haven’t found a better app to capture my ideas “on the go”, no matter if I’m using my iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

It’s fast, clean, minimalistic, and operative.

This last feature is not a joke. Please, keep reading.

When you launch Drafts, you have a blank screen to start typing. And yes, you can use markdown!

Nothing can be faster, cleaner, or more minimal than that.

You start typing, and you don’t need to save or store it somewhere. You just type. 0 friction.

Sync is amazing in Drafts. You just open it on any other device, and you immediately have everything perfectly synchronized.

Operations are essential in Drafts. It’s the cherry on top. By operations, I mean actions you can do with your “draft”.

Just press a button, and you have done something with the text you’ve just written down.

Below, I’ll explain a simple, real, and pragmatic use case.

2. Mem

This app is simply amazing, talking about capturing things.

It has Mem Spotlight. Here you get the idea.

Like everything brilliant, it’s simple.

Just with a hotkey, a pop-up window appears, and you can write down anything you want.

It goes further because if you select any content and press the hotkey, it’s automatically copied into your Mem system.

The point is the GUI/UX experience on mobile is not very good on Mem.

Here’s where Drafts comes to save you.

You can write things on Drafts and create an action that directly sends your content to your Mem’s inbox just by pressing a button.

Here you got the link to easily install that action in Drafts.

To finish this section, I’d say that you can also capture any email just by forwarding it to a Mem’s email address.

The whole email will be waiting for you in your Mem’s inbox to be processed.

A great way to create a task based on that email 😉

3. Readwise Read Later

Last but not least, this is my favorite app to save articles and enjoy a fantastic read-later experience.

It’s still in beta, but I haven’t seen a stronger beta development in my life.

After using it for months, I haven’t experienced a crash.

On top of that, these great developers never stop launching new releases all the time.

They have made an awesome interpretation of what digital reading is. Read their manifesto to get the idea.

The experience of reading saved articles and any other kind of content is priceless.

You can have a pleasant experience inside the perfect atmosphere and generate highlights or notes effortlessly.

Every article I capture goes to Readwise Read Later app to be processed lately.

Last Thoughts

It takes me seconds or even less to capture any content on the Internet.

It doesn’t matter where I am or what device is next to me.

Everything follows the same workflow.

Everything works smoothly, effortlessly, without any friction at all.

I feel safe and sound because I cannot lose any thought.

It’s literally impossible.


  • Just with a simple workflow and only 3 apps, I’ve achieved all my goals related to my Capture System.
  • Speed, simplicity, minimalism, frictionless, mobility, multi-device…
  • The simpler your PKM, the better your life.


Photo by Ruben Zavala on Unsplash.