My workflow is a mess. On Friday, I shoved an unorganized stack of folders, Post-It notes, loose papers, and journals into my briefcase (not to mention over one hundred and twenty e-mail messages in my inbox) and headed out the door, pretending that somehow I would spend the necessary time this weekend to get it all organized. Yeah, right.
During my work days, information seems to come at me in all directions, and I currently do a pretty miserable job of collecting, and managing, the bits and pieces.
Phone calls, meeting notes, tweets, paperwork, student referrals, conversations, ideas I have, and, of course, e-mail, all become a cluttered mess in my briefcase, and in my mind. Something has to change.
That is why, for the remainder of our second quarter, I have decided to go “all-in” with Evernote. I already use Evernote on a daily basis, but for the next month and a half, I am going to collect everything in this space, and process items from my Evernote notebooks. In order to do this, I am going to rely on a specific notebook organization, as well as some third-party apps. Here is my plan.
I will keep things simple, with a relatively limited number of notebooks. A while back I read about how Christopher Mayo uses an Evernote system with a single notebook, and saved searches to stay organized. I like the simplicity of this, but think I will need a few notebooks to keep my daily life sorted out. However, Christopher’s method of naming notes drastically reduces the need for tags.
My work notebooks will include:
- Inbox (a default notebook to be reviewed weekly)
- Email (I am able to save directly from Outlook to Evernote)
- Things to Do (next actions)
- Work Stuff
- Home Stuff
- Other Stuff
- Active Projects (notebook stack with all current projects)
- Calendar (notebook stack, by month, with daily journals)
- Archive (completed, or reference items, will be filed here using Christopher’s system)
In addition to the web, desktop, and mobile versions of Evernote, I will also be using several apps to add functionality to this system.
If This Then That (IFTTT) – an AWESOME application that allows for the creation of algorithms that automate many actions (such as saving Tweets, articles, photos, etc. to Evernote).
Drafts – a very light, and simple note taking application. This is a fantastic iOS app for making quick notes and dropping them into Evernote (or other applications). It can be connected with Evernote, Twitter, Dropbox, E-mail, Google+, and more.
Gneo – an iOS task app with Evernote integration. Tasks created in Gneo are synced with a notebook in Evernote. Awesome.
Of course I will also be using Evernote Web Clipper, and Clearly to save things of interest from Chrome. In addition, I am experimenting with a new iOS app called Lightly, to do the same from my iPhone.
So here I go…thirty five days of Evernote. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I’d love to hear from others (including school administrators) about how you use Evernote (or related applications, like IFTTT) to manage your workflow.
Wishing you all a productive week!