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This is a way in which the ipad is disappointing. A better choice for what you want to do is something like the MacBook Air. It costs virtually the same as a fully deluxe ipad plus bluetooth keyboard. If you already own the ipad, then it costs twice as much...
I had the same problem, and I tried, tried, tried to make Goodreader, EN, and I collaborate, but in the end it was too onerous for me. I have the Air now, and I am now much happier.
Apple's idea that you should not have to concern yourself with files is mostly a good idea, but the entire point to pdfs is to share them across multiple apps/software, so why make it so hard?
I use jbenson2's approach, but I also use a tag, so that I can quickly see all the items that will require attention in the future. Some people may just sort by create date, and not feel a need for a tag. Since I sort by different identifiers, I find it faster to select a tag than sort in a different order.
Evernote is quite unique in its domain, and I have searched a lot. There is nothing this good out there. Of course, we all want it to be even better, and I for one am rooting for Evernote to get there.
But the fact that there really is no competition is reflective of the complexity of the task that EN has set for itself, which is to preserve YOUR individual content, intact, regardless of source document, across more than a dozen different platforms.
When you put it in that context, what they have accomplished already, while not by any means what it could be, is already pretty admirable.