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Need Productivity Systems Advice

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My Current Systems:

  • Evernote - currently store long term documents but don’t have a great system to actively add things to add. I feel like once or twice a year I have to think through all the things that I need to add to it. Also moved back to free plan when they increased cost; although I could upgrade


  • Apple Note - probably my go to…to add thoughts, daily to do list things (usually pulled from NirvanaHQ) that I’m going to action immediately. Began to organize longer term things in the cloud and creating folders and sub-folders but probably need to decided between this and Evernote.


  • NirvanaHQ - this is my go to “to do” app easy to add thing to sub-folders and high-light which ones I want to focus on during the course of a day.


  • Work Emails - I tend to operate on in-box zero in the sense that if it’s something I still need to action or a to-do I keep in my inbox and do not create separate to do for them in NirvanaHQ.


My objectives are:

- Need better reminders for things I need to save; I do a lot of email searching for documents. How do I simplify my approach to ensure I’m saving the important things to Apple Notes or Evernote?

- I work at a company that has applications locked down so my calendar doesn’t easily integrated with other tools. I tend to have daily to-do list separate from my work calendar, sometimes I block time on calendar to get items done (but not always since my to-do’s are often personal and don’t want to add to visible work calendar)

- Would like a tool like a bullet journal where I could intentionally plan out my day; but will lack of calendar integration it feels like I would have to pull from work calendar, home calendar (not too many things on there), and nirvana and I don’t like my handwriting and do doing all of this electronic feels like a whole another system I’m adding…


Any advice / thoughts?

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If you're on a free plan you are limited to 50 notes,  one notebook and two devices.  Not really sufficient to 'actively' add new items.  Also Evernote does not have sub-folders.  I tend to save everything to Evernote unless there's a good reason not to do that.  Then if I see a query I can search for whatever I know or have been told about that issue.  If you want to do the same,  you need to subscribe.

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My advice is very general: simplify your life.  Settle on one tool and adapt your workflows to use that tool. This is the Evernote Forum, so I'm going to suggest that Evernote is more than capable of being that one organization tool.  Lots of folks here have complicated workflows and use Evernote to manage them. 

If your company will not allow you to have the Evernote client installed on a work computer, will they allow you to access the Evernote web client?  If the answer is "yes," you can use Evernote web at work.  If you can't use Evernote at work at all, then Evernote might not be the right tool.

I think it is very sensible to be concerned about using workplace tools to manage personal items.  If you don't want to do that, I think you will need to run two parallel systems, one for work and one for personal use.  Doing that adds complications to your workflow.  All the more reason, in my opinion, to limit yourself to one or two tools and not add additional complications of multiple software tools and trying to get them to all work well together.

I myself follow the approach that @gazumped suggests.  I forward any email that needs follow-up into Evernote, and I use the Evernote task manager, home screen, non-dated reminders, search, and Evernote's other tools to be sure that I don't lose anything.  Like he says, for that approach, you need to subscribe to Evernote.  There are lots of videos about how to use Evernote to do these things on YouTube.

Good luck.





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