Evernote is running my life on my iPad!

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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

  1. Note links, how to prepare for a meeting by linking to different notes; love this feature. Check here for details on the Evernote Blog.
  2. New spin on using EN with Outlook to process email (and Gmail for that matter)
  3. Sharing notes and notebooks; already knew that this was possible, but never really tried it
  4. Discovered the Evernote Knowledge Base
  5. The case for hiding un-used tags for a specific notebook, must try this
  6. Linking notes to calendar entries; saves time
  7. Consolidating task lists using one note and check boxes
  8. Master Project Note, Master Contact Note and Master Meeting Note; all templates included with Daniel’s book
So, what’s my current status now that I am two weeks into using Evernote and finally finished with Daniel’s book?
  1. Starting to like the idea of the Master Next Action and Master Project Note
  2. 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
  3. Heavy usage of note linking, as copy a task to TODAY, link back to the Master Tracking note; check-off each check-box
  4. Checkboxes may not be totally necessary, but they are a quick way of showing completion since adding/removing tags got kind of clunky
  5. 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.

That’s it for now. Next up, tweaking here and there and maybe a review of QuickOffice Pro HD. I may even dig into thesecretweapon…another interesting way to use Evernote to manage your day.

Stay tuned!

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Chris Lee

About Chris Lee

I am a healthcare administrator interested in being productive. I believe that the combination of a tablet (iPad Air 32GB) and a smartphone (iPhone 5 in my case) can drastically improve how we do work without adding too much complexity. The “how” of accomplishing this productivity is the focus of this blog. Here are just a few of the topics I hope to cover.Even though I use iOS devices currently I am in no way totally tied to Apple. I have used a Surface 2 for an extended time and am currently considering replacing my HP laptop with a Surface at some point, so keep reading to find out when this happens. Heck, I may even write a post some day on getting efficient with a Kindle Fire HD given that my daughter just got one for her birthday awhile back.
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  1. Thanks for the update. I’m about 4 months in to using EN for my GTD and really like it.

    I agree with your point that you do not need to use checkboxes but I do for 3 reasons:

    1. An instinctive visual clue that there is a next action here
    2. A useful parameter on which to search (EN has some great power searching – https://support.evernote.com/link/portal/16051/16058/Article/535/Using-Evernote-s-advanced-search-operators )
    3. I use Egretlist on the iPhone as a stripped down task interface to EN, and this uses checkboxes http://www.mindsmomentum.com/egretlist/

  2. This is really wonderful. Wow! Thanks so much for the incredible post!! I’m so flattered and delighted this has made some impact in your productivity workflow!

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  6.  I really like to use Evernote during such a long time but I found an app even more complete. It’s a new one called Beesy. I’m using it in my everyday life, getting things done. Very useful also during my meetings to send my minutes by mail at the end. I just wanted to share it, my discovery.

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