Normally I am not a hard-ass when it comes to keeping track or enforcing it. I will within reason say things like..”Well, I will let you carry.. X and Y, but you will be a little bogged down.”
I also am upfront to my players, telling them I am very laid back and will always make sure fun ensues over a rule, and will make judgement calls on the fly to keep the action going.
With that said, when it comes to encumbrance, I tell my players there is a reasonable amount and I will let them know if its too much, which they are fine with. I also tell them, if this is not acceptable then we need to find a new method or please jot down how much weight things are, keeping track of everything so it remains true to the rules. I haven’t had one player want to do that.
Face it we are in the game to have a good time and if people don’t enjoy sitting around being the accounts the game wants, its always fun to have a DM just kind of waive a hand.
Now with that said, there are some people that love to play with numbers, keeping track and playing it as real as possible, which is cool too. To each their own I say.
What method do you fall towards and how do you handle it in your games?