Jump to content

Welcome! You're currently a Guest.

If you'd like to join in the Discussion, or access additional features in our forums, please sign in with your Evernote Account here. Have an Evernote Account but forgot your password? Reset it! Don't have an account yet? Create One! You'll need to set your Display Name before your first post.

Photo

The key to using Evernote as a to-do list


  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#1 Extropy

Extropy

  • PipPipPip
  • Title: Bushwhacker
  • Group: Members
  • 103 posts

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:16 AM

I just read this article: http://lifehacker.co...s-is-how-i-work and I have to take exception to Phil's own comment:

 

 
What's your favorite to-do list manager?

You know, I don't actually have one. I use Evernote, which isn't particularly great for to-dos yet.Yet.

 

I finally put my finger on why Evernote is such a phenomenal to-do list manager, at least the way I use it:

 

Instead of a list of things to do with no context, Evernote gives you all the information you need to complete the task right there, if you use it right.

 

Based on some concepts of GTD, and experience, here is how I keep myself organised in Evernote:

  1. All e-mails that need me to think about them for longer than 30s go into my default Evernote "Incoming" notebook (via redirect to evernote address - redirect puts less junk in the headers).
  2. If I have to remember something not associated with email, I add a short note (in Incoming) with the item in the title right there and then, usually on my iPhone. For example: "document grand unified field theory breakthrough". That's it - then forget about it.
  3. Religiously check the saved search "Incoming", which shows everything I haven't filed yet.
  4. File everything as one or more of the following tags: Now, Next, Later, Pending, Fixed Date, or if it is not something I need to do, put it in the "Notes" notebook.
  5. Retitle notes tagged "Fixed Date" to start with yyyy.mm.dd
  6. Keep two windows open on my Mac desktop all the time:
    1. Card View, sorted by last updated, descending, showing Now, Next, Pending or search results (shortcut keys cmd-1 through cmd-9 are great for navigating 9 shortcuts)
    2. List view showing "Fixed Date", sorted by title (puts the dates in the right order)
  7. Work through "Now", and move things up from "Next".
  8. Check "Later" when I'm bored being productive.
  9. Check "Pending" often. "Pending" is usually also tagged with someone's name and is often also a "Fixed Date". Move to "Now" or "Next" when I can do something on it.

The real beauty of this is that most of the information for each action is right there in the note, because they mostly come from emails. In other cases, I expand the note manually while I'm working on it, sometimes with checkboxes, links to other notes, external materials, etc. 

 

When I'm done, tag the note "Completed". If I ever want a log of when I did something, "Completed" sorted by date does the trick. I've noticed that notes tend to move roughly like this:


Incoming -> Next -> Now -> Completed

or Incoming -> Pending -> Completed

or Incoming -> Fixed Date & Pending -> Now -> Completed

 

The two key ideas that make this work are:

 

Don't think about things I have to do while I am doing one of those things.

Keep the information (or a link to it) I need to do each thing right there in the note.

 

There are many improvements that could be made to Evernote, but for managing to-do lists as above, there are only a couple of features that I would say I really need:

 

Shortcut keys for sorting (title, created, updated, ascending, descending)

Moving around the UI with the TAB key

Email links (mail://... to link back to a message in my email client when it is time to answer)

 



#2 gazumped

gazumped

  • Title: Operative
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 5,687 posts

Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

Persn'ly I'm with Phil.  I'm quite a long way down the road to achieving my ambition to be the World's Laziest Person,  and just reading the process above used up most of my attention span for this week..  My to-do process is:  dump everything into Astrid/ Wunderlist (I'm kind've between apps at the moment) and let it nag me when the next item(s) come up. 

 

I can do recurring tasks,  long term reminders and wish lists,  and I can complete jobs that will automatically re rescheduled for a set period after the completion date,  not the due date.  Someone else has engineered all these functions so the app will push jobs at me without my having to look for them.  I can monitor projects and people,  assign and share tasks and keep all that up to date from any platform I happen to be near.

 

I'm a firm believer in spending the minimum time on administration and the maximum time on doing - with suitably generous allowances for sleeping and eating thinking and planning time.

 

It is definitely possible to adapt Evernote processes to do (pun intended) all of that,  but the potential fails I see are all in my specialist area - I would have to remember to check notebooks and items,  transfer things around and assign tags - and find the time to do it,  even if I'm traveling around.

 

El Elefante Grande is,  I feel,  of similar mind and wants a to-do app that will 'do' more,  hence the comments.

 

As with most things connected with Evernote however,  the abiding principle is 'whatever works'.  So if you're currently running a to-do or GTD regime that could translate to Extropy's system,  good luck to you;  you have my respect and admiration.

 

I'll stick this post in my app and check back in a year to see how the discussion plays out.  OK - done.  See you then?  :P


I use Evernote constantly but don't speak for them.  Opinions here are my own based (more or less) on age,  experience,  and common business sense.  

Evernote read what's posted here,  and take it into consideration setting priorities;  they don't normally comment on individual cases,  or offer any forecasts or promises on whether or when a new feature might be released.  

 

Premium Windows & Android user in Wales, UK

EN Mobile 5.8 Beta 2 | Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 | Chrome - EN Desktop 5.2.0.2503 (270503) Prerelease | Dell Inspiron W8.0 | Chrome + Clipper & Clearly | MS Office 2013 (also Vista and W7)
Support and information: Mac | Windows | iOS | AndroidGetting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Status Page | The App CenterSupport Requests & Feedback 

(Support only work weekdays,  US Pacific Time)  |  If you need to change your account name,  email address or check usage,  do it here 

Use your spare processor capacity for science research - find out more about BOINC here.  


#3 Martin Packer

Martin Packer

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Title: Browncoat
  • Group: Members
  • 562 posts

Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

I still think they (Evernote) should be in the market for To Do - whether in the base or as an integration with some other code. I'd have them buy Remember The Milk (which I also use).



#4 CaptainTime

CaptainTime

  • PipPipPipPip
  • Title: Shepherd
  • Group: Members
  • 158 posts

Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:55 AM

I'm with gazumped. Yes, you can make Evernote work for to do lists with a lot of working around, but it still won't be a seamless as a tool designed from the beginning for that task. I use and love Evernote as my resource library, checklist and template holder, and to capture ideas, but I use other to do list systems (GQueues right now) to manage my to do lists and projects.

 

I use my software tools for what they excel at rather than trying to make one tool do everything.


Garland Coulson, "Captain Time"
------------------------------------------
Time Management Trainer
 


#5 flexiblefine

flexiblefine

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 19 posts

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:27 PM

I use Evernote as my to-do and "stuff" manager. I don't think my system for managing to-dos has as many parts as Extropy's, but it seems to work.

 

Evernote isn't a calendar or appointment book, and I don't think I want it to be. It's a tool for storing and organizing information -- and we can use it to manage our to-do lists how we want, rather than being locked into a particular method.

 

The only feature that comes to mind that would help me with to-do management would be the ability to do my date tagging with a calendar-picker interface. I could tag an item for next Thursday without having to look at another calendar to see that date.



#6 C6REW

C6REW

  • Title: I need a Cup Of Tea
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 1,608 posts

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:56 PM

I don't have a 'to do' software and in some ways I don't want one. 

 

For me the idea of running most of what I do in one place seems a far easier and simpler way of operating. I like Extropy's idea of making Evernote work for him. It is what I try to do with every bit of software I use, including Evernote.

 

Fortunately (or unfortunately if you are of gazumped's thinking!) I am probably dealing with over 200 things at any one time. This means as I tackle a task I don't need to spend any time on placing information in any other location than were it started. If that doesn't make sense, what I am trying to say, I only want one place to deal with my tasks. In some ways I do use Evernote as my to do, but not by applying a specific title to the task. The task starts in my diary Note, gets worked on and then once completed I can tick it off and it will then end up being archived.

 

My system, which I have mentioned before, is not necessarily perfect, but it seems to work. I am keen, as always to find simpler ways of making it work for me. With this in mind my Evernote experience evolves on a day to day basis. I read what others are doing and take a bit of info from here and an idea from there. 

 

If and hopefully when, Evernote introduce a to do function, it will be a great feature that I will warmly welcome. I have, you see had a quick look at a lot of the software that will add a to do function to my day, but it all seems like extra work. In that, I am with gazumped all the way. It needs to be easy!

 

Best regards

 

Chris


EVERNOTE: Getting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Support Requests
If someone helped you, or you like or agree with someone's post, let them (and us) know by clicking their post's "Like" button.


#7 Martin Packer

Martin Packer

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Title: Browncoat
  • Group: Members
  • 562 posts

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:47 AM

If Evernote were to rev the ENEX format to support both calendaring and todo's that would be a good thing: Third parties (and maybe Evernote) can then build apps that use it.

 

Maybe it's already usable that way but my guess is semantics like structured dates in the body of a note are currently missing.



#8 jefito

jefito

  • Title: Evangelist / Moderator
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 10,785 posts

Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

There actually is a somewhat hidden date field used in ENML: subject date. It's generally not available to Evernote UI users, though the Windows client knows about it (you can sort on it) and the search grammar supports it in the same way it supports created and updated dates (e.g. subjectdate:day-30). It's actually a note attribute, like latitude, longitude, source URL, etc. and it's available through the API, and it comes out in a .ENEX file, if there is a subject date attribute. Truth be told, I don't know how a note gets a subject date at all, but some of mine (a small percentage) do.


~Jeff
EVERNOTE: Getting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Support Requests | Best Practices for submitting a support request
If someone helped you, or you like or agree with someone's post, let them (and us) know by clicking their post's "Like" button.

#9 cwb

cwb

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Title: Browncoat
  • Group: Members
  • 760 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

I still think they (Evernote) should be in the market for To Do - whether in the base or as an integration with some other code. I'd have them buy Remember The Milk (which I also use).

Oh careful now, they might EgretList one more useful app.


User #42,902 - imagine a world where Evernote has JQuery support.  Oh the possibilities...

#10 Martin Packer

Martin Packer

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Title: Browncoat
  • Group: Members
  • 562 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

@cwb Acquisitions are tricky, right? :-)



#11 tromano1975

tromano1975

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:25 PM

All, I have tied the AnyToDo app with Evernote.  AnyToDo is a good to-do list tracker and you can add items from Evernote to the to-do list app by tagging them with AnyToDo.  Only downside I see is that you still have to add the reminders from the AnyToDo app screen on your "i" device.



#12 CRJones

CRJones

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:12 PM

In Evernote I have each task as a note.   Then I share the note with @followupthen.  At the time I specify an email shows up reminding me.  If I code the share as a task it will send reminders until the task is marked complete.



#13 C6REW

C6REW

  • Title: I need a Cup Of Tea
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 1,608 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:10 AM

Hi CRJones,

That looks a useful app!

Regards

Chris

EVERNOTE: Getting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Support Requests
If someone helped you, or you like or agree with someone's post, let them (and us) know by clicking their post's "Like" button.


#14 gazumped

gazumped

  • Title: Operative
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 5,687 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:32 AM

That's a similar service to followup.cc,  although I do like the 'share as a task' option..  Only drawback I can see for both of these is there's no way to add lists for urgent / soon / sometime tasks. 

 

I subscribe to the "get it out of your head and onto a list" style of task management,  and if you have too many tasks scheduled for specific dates,  your management process rapidly devolves into re-scheduling things you don't have time for any more.  Better to schedule a few and divide the rest into priorities so you can pick your next task for scheduling when you have free time.


I use Evernote constantly but don't speak for them.  Opinions here are my own based (more or less) on age,  experience,  and common business sense.  

Evernote read what's posted here,  and take it into consideration setting priorities;  they don't normally comment on individual cases,  or offer any forecasts or promises on whether or when a new feature might be released.  

 

Premium Windows & Android user in Wales, UK

EN Mobile 5.8 Beta 2 | Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 | Chrome - EN Desktop 5.2.0.2503 (270503) Prerelease | Dell Inspiron W8.0 | Chrome + Clipper & Clearly | MS Office 2013 (also Vista and W7)
Support and information: Mac | Windows | iOS | AndroidGetting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Status Page | The App CenterSupport Requests & Feedback 

(Support only work weekdays,  US Pacific Time)  |  If you need to change your account name,  email address or check usage,  do it here 

Use your spare processor capacity for science research - find out more about BOINC here.  


#15 Kyith

Kyith

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 9 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:20 PM

actually why dont they do that? evernote is already a repositary so why cant they add such functionality. in short i feel they can extend their api with the following functionality:

 

  1. Task Description, Notes, Due Date, Status
  2. Repeating or Recurring Tasks
  3. Sub-tasking or parent child concept (preferably unlimited)
  4. Tagging
  5. Extensible API


#16 gazumped

gazumped

  • Title: Operative
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 5,687 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:42 PM

<massive understatement alert>

It's been mentioned a couple of times before...

<end alert>

 

Actually Evernote (or more specifically,  Evernote's CEO Phil Libin) said that they'd be launching something in that area in the first half of this year. 

 

Only three months to go now...


I use Evernote constantly but don't speak for them.  Opinions here are my own based (more or less) on age,  experience,  and common business sense.  

Evernote read what's posted here,  and take it into consideration setting priorities;  they don't normally comment on individual cases,  or offer any forecasts or promises on whether or when a new feature might be released.  

 

Premium Windows & Android user in Wales, UK

EN Mobile 5.8 Beta 2 | Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 | Chrome - EN Desktop 5.2.0.2503 (270503) Prerelease | Dell Inspiron W8.0 | Chrome + Clipper & Clearly | MS Office 2013 (also Vista and W7)
Support and information: Mac | Windows | iOS | AndroidGetting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Status Page | The App CenterSupport Requests & Feedback 

(Support only work weekdays,  US Pacific Time)  |  If you need to change your account name,  email address or check usage,  do it here 

Use your spare processor capacity for science research - find out more about BOINC here.  


#17 Kyith

Kyith

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 9 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:47 PM

oh is it? i thought they have said that 2 years ago?



#18 gazumped

gazumped

  • Title: Operative
  • Group: Evernote Evangelist
  • 5,687 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:05 PM

Sorry - should have added "in December of last year..."


I use Evernote constantly but don't speak for them.  Opinions here are my own based (more or less) on age,  experience,  and common business sense.  

Evernote read what's posted here,  and take it into consideration setting priorities;  they don't normally comment on individual cases,  or offer any forecasts or promises on whether or when a new feature might be released.  

 

Premium Windows & Android user in Wales, UK

EN Mobile 5.8 Beta 2 | Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 | Chrome - EN Desktop 5.2.0.2503 (270503) Prerelease | Dell Inspiron W8.0 | Chrome + Clipper & Clearly | MS Office 2013 (also Vista and W7)
Support and information: Mac | Windows | iOS | AndroidGetting Started | Support Page | Knowledge Base | Status Page | The App CenterSupport Requests & Feedback 

(Support only work weekdays,  US Pacific Time)  |  If you need to change your account name,  email address or check usage,  do it here 

Use your spare processor capacity for science research - find out more about BOINC here.  


#19 Spyderbro

Spyderbro

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:51 PM

I use Cloud Outliner on the Mac and iPhone to generate to-do lists, and then sync it with Evernote.  Cloud Outliner gets its own notebook in Evernote, with all the lists that I've chosen to sync added into the notebook.  I like the redundancy that this allows, as CO and EN become backups for each other.


I write, therefore I am.


#20 primmybdh

primmybdh

  • Pip
  • Title: Member
  • Group: Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:06 AM

Extropy, could you please explain in very simple terms (!) how you keep two windows open in Evernote with different views. And what is that about cmd1-9? I really like the idea of sending in the emails, but you've lost me. Thank you.






2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users

Clip to Evernote