A discourse on the selection of tools for capturing and analysing mm design activity is presented. Issues including design activity as data and the validity of self-reportage/analysis are discussed. Candidate data collection tools are compared, with participant observation, action research and diaries as preferred choices. The empirical development of a diary to Capture industrial design practice is presented. The diary, is found to be effective in eliciting specific elements of own design activity amenable to verbal articulation (e.g. materials and manufacturing) and its suitability to practice-led research is demonstrated.