I am still using Evernote as my primary task manager and I am not looking back! That is not to say I have not had some problems over the past two weeks, but I can say that Evernote has improved how I manage my time. As I wrote here and here, my progression started with a combination of Apple Reminders and Microsoft Outlook 2010. Evernote is vastly better and just as integrated!
What have I learned from Daniel’s eBook that I did not know already? Well, a lot actually. I knew very little of the power of Evernote to integrate information in a simple and logical way. In fact, I always tried to set up Evernote like a paper filing system would be setup, just more complicated. I used to have notebooks for many, many topics as well as many tags to give piece of mind in finding stuff. The reality is this duplication is overkill and unnecessary given the power of Evernote searching whether from your iPhone, iPad or computer. To that end, here is a simple list of stuff I picked up by reading Daniel’s Evernote eBook. Yes, many of these things could be found by hanging around the Evernote Knowledge base, but what Daniel does is provide real context around the functionality below; specifically context wrapped around the Getting Things Done System.
Things I learned from Daniel
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- Note links, how to prepare for a meeting by linking to different notes; love this feature. Check here for details on the Evernote Blog.
- New spin on using EN with Outlook to process email (and Gmail for that matter)
- Sharing notes and notebooks; already knew that this was possible, but never really tried it
- Discovered the Evernote Knowledge Base
- The case for hiding un-used tags for a specific notebook, must try this
- Linking notes to calendar entries; saves time
- Consolidating task lists using one note and check boxes
- Master Project Note, Master Contact Note and Master Meeting Note; all templates included with Daniel’s book
- Starting to like the idea of the Master Next Action and Master Project Note
- Leaning towards using one note for TODAY and NEXT with Master Project Notes for each project; keep track of overall tasks by project in the project note and then copy to TODAY/NEXT daily as needed according to context
- Heavy usage of note linking, as copy a task to TODAY, link back to the Master Tracking note; check-off each check-box
- Checkboxes may not be totally necessary, but they are a quick way of showing completion since adding/removing tags got kind of clunky
- Overall the process of reorganizing my productivity with Evernote has allowed me to dig deep into each of my projects thereby creating a focus that I did not have. Daniel’s elegantly simply templates are an excellent way of doing this. Yes, they are based on GTD, but that is what makes them elegant
There you have it. For me, Evernote is working. I can now easily move between all of my projects and tasks very quickly on any of my devices and I now have the flexibility to change my setup and process however I need to. You can’t do this with any of the out of the box apps.
The main issues I have found in the experiment have been around crashes on my iOS devices as well as an annoying lack of indent feature on the MAC version of Evernote. None of these issues have been show stoppers, just small annoyances along the way.