I’ve had a long history with Evernote. I’ve written and made tutorial videos about Evernote. I’ve never stopped using it fully, but definitely had times when I didn’t know what to do with it. It always felt useful, but always a bit unwieldy. I’m not the only one.
Smashcut to yesterday when I made Evernote my main task manager, to-do list or whatever productivity gurus are calling them these days.
The biggest reason I changed it was because I’ve always wanted my to-do list and the place that I do work to be one in the same. Many tasks involve writing, especially as a knowledge/office worker. And I never understood why one would want to separate the place where create from where you store the reminder about that thing you are creating.
With Evernote it’s pretty easy to use the title as the task name, groomsmen bios for instance, and the big ass text area to write those bios. With Evernote you can draft up content for whatever it is and then copy and paste later for an email, tweet, powerpoint, etc.
Big ass text field
You can also create to-do, bulleted, and numbered lists right in the notes field. This is useful for a task with multiple steps or even just a shopping list.
For now I’m organizing them in one notebook stack called *Tasks (the * is so that stack goes to the top of notebooks). I then have an Upcoming notebook for tasks I need to do this month and another called Later for things I want to do in the future.
I also tag notes:
- Deloitte. This is for work at my job.
- Creative. This is usually music-related, but maybe for a blog I want to write.
- Band It. This is marketing and business tasks related to a friend’s company I’m helping out with that provides services for recreational musicians in Seattle.
- Life. This applies to basically everything else and includes things like doing laundry, planning trips, changing health insurance plan, etc.
Tasks are then organized together by tag for easy scanning.
I like using the list view because it’s easier to view tasks quickly. But I like the snippet view when working in the text field since it’s not as wide as the list view. You can switch back and forth easily with keyboard shortcuts.
Last thing. You can now add new notes to Evernote by swiping down from the top of your iPhone. This makes it really easy to create a new note, which is a big deal because the Evernote mobile app can be really slow. Scroll to the bottom of Today and hit edit, then you can add all sorts of apps.
This is my new system as of one day ago. I feel really good about it so far. But then again I’ve felt really good about the last two dozen tasks system I’ve had in a varied of tool. Asana and Wunderlist are the last two tools I’ve used recently. But I’m counting on that big ass notes field to keep me using Evernote hopefully for a while.