Phase Three of the Intelligence Cycle

Think of intelligence like a puzzle and our collected information as puzzle pieces. By now we have our Intelligence Requirements and we’ve started collecting information.

Phase Three is Analysis & Processing, and it’s where we start to put together the puzzle.

I get asked a lot about how to compile all this data we’re gathering and there are a few good options. If you want the most basic form, just start copy and pasting information into NotePad (Windows) or TextEdit (OSX) or your text editor of choice on Linux. I really like a tool called Evernote ( where I can have different “notebooks” where I can store information. For instance, I have a different notebook for each of the area gangs. If you’re concerned about not having access to this information digitally, then I recommend periodically printing out these notebooks and keeping them in your Area Study binder.

NEXT STEPS: Once you’ve collected some information to satisfy one of your Intelligence Requirements and stored it (via Evernote, a text pad, or using pen and paper) let’s move on to Phase Four of the Intelligence Cycle.

Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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