Are you looking for a solution to configure Evernote notifications? -
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Are you looking for a solution to configure Evernote notifications?

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Are you using Evernote to track your tasks? I am a few months into using Evernote to track all of my tasks. Prior to Evernote I was an Outlook/Apple Reminders user. This simple setup allowed me to drive my productivity from Outlook which worked great because Reminders works on both my iPad and my iPhone. Evernote accomplishes the same ubiquitousness AND by allowing me to connect my primary filing system with my task system; an extremely powerful combination. But what about those times when you need/want to schedule a task for a certain day? What if you want to see today’s tasks today without having to move tasks around the day before or that morning? If you are using Evernote to track your tasks you know that Evernote does not have notification functionality. I finally ran across a potential solution in a free service called Evernotify. Given that improving productivity is a process, this is my first post in the process of adding Evernotify into my system. It may not work, but it just may be the next step in my productivity journey.

GTD has been the primary driver for my productivity for a few years. I am not a strict follower but I do consistently utilize the concept of 1NOW for tasks due today, 2NEXT for tasks due this week, 4LATER for upcoming tasks, 5SOMEDAY for stuff that is percolating and 6WAITING for things that others are responsible for. This setup was further adapted for Evernote care of Daniel E. Gold’s Evernote eBook; an excellent resource on how to utilize Evernote for tracking tasks. No, these are not necessarily GTD pure, but rather adapted from many years of tweaking. The idea is that the 1NOW tasks get done today and the NEXT tasks get done this week. The ideal workflow would be to review my lists either Sunday night or Monday morning to setup the two lists pulling from the LATER, SOMEDAY and WAITING lists to keep up with my backlog. But, guess what; I don’t always follow this process; in fact I am terrible at following it. What happens is that tasks get stuck in NOW, I leave tasks in NEXT and then I rarely review stuff in LATER. Not good given that there are often tasks in LATER that have due dates. And this is where the concept of Evernotify potentially fits. The idea is that when I get tasks that have a due date in the future I tag the task to appear in my inbox on that date. This eliminates the risk of forgetting a task due to sloppy GTD habits.

This is a great idea in concept but it requires the extra step of checking my inbox and then moving the task to my NOW list in Evernote. Since I try to avoid my inbox as much as possible the thought of using my inbox to drive my tasks is not appealing. But what if I could setup Evernotify to send to my Evernote email with the appropriate NOW tag appended to the subject line in the email. This in theory would drop the task in my appropriate list in Evernote without the additional step of moving tasks from my email to my NOW list in Evernote.

Does this work? Unfortunately not; Evernotify does not have the ability to configure the notification email address nor does it allow for the configuration of the message itself, i.e. the information in the subject line. What does Evernotify do? In summary it reviews your notes, categorizes them into static buckets and then emails you a summary of the lists everyday. Here are the categories:

  • Todos
  • Loans
  • Borrows
  • Read
  • Watch
  • Buy

To test this, I created a few simple tasks in Evernote, tagged with “evernotify” and then sync’ed up with the service. I would love it if Evernotify was smart enough to figure out when to notify me, but again it just summarizes and categorizes.

Too bad as I think this concept of configurable notifications could have legs if someone could get around to coding it. Fortunately a company called Done appears to be working on just this idea, but without the product to show for it. I am on their email list so I will know when the product is launched…unless Done would like to sport me a beta account. Hint, hint!

In the meantime, I will keep playing with Evernotify. Judging from the state of the service it appears that they are deep in the iterative phase of getting an early version live for people to test and use. Hopefully they are actively working on new functionality that includes flexibility AND the ability to set notifications on certain days!

Have you ever wanted to set reminders in your Evernote Tasks? Have you found a solution that solves this problem?

About the author

    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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