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Kyith

(Archived) How Evernote intends to shape their task management function

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The most pleasant news that i read sometime ago was that Phil Libin telling business insider that To Do which have been popular is coming.

Having said that I wonder how people envision their Do functionality will be shaped

Evernote, the popular note-taking app that wants to be "your external brain" has recently been adding more apps to its roster: it first bought the popular screenshot/sketching app Skitch, and yesterday released two new apps, Evernote Hello (a contacts manager) and Evernote Food which is, well, like Evernote for food.

What's coming next?

We asked Evernote CEO Phil Libin point-blank if to-do lists, which are a popular use for Evernote, are coming. "To-do lists are coming," he said after taking a deep breath.

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While Libin gave us the traditional line Silicon Valley startups always trot out about not wanting to "kill" anyone or "seeing the world in a zero-sum way", we're sure this will give cold sweats to the legions of to-do apps like Remember The Milk, Things, OmniFocus and others. So many people already use Evernote to organize their lives that, if it's as well thought-out as Evernote's other apps, it will get many people to use it.

Libin also took pains to stress that it wouldn't look and feel like traditional to-do list apps. "I don't want a to-do app, I want a DO app. I don't want a list," Libin said.

Perhaps it will look like OneTask, the productivity app we use whose utter simplicity has made this writer more productive. Here's how it work

To do have always been implemented differently but they can be generalize into the following funtionality

  1. A detailed task with a due date, possibly a start date with a note
  2. A status field
  3. Reminder functionality
  4. Repeating and scheduling of task
  5. Generic Tagging functionality
  6. Projects
  7. Subtasking to 2 or more levels
  8. Cloud syncing every where

I am thinking Evernote will have other ideas and it will probably touch on 1,2,3,4,8 thats all. what do you guys think

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A lot of people (including me) have been wandering around for a long while saying "Due Dates are coming" (eventually!!) "-but Evernote is not a organiser, it's a rememberer..."

If the quote is correct,

  1. Phil just made monkeys of us all (no pun intended, GM), and
  2. I don't plan on speculating what might be coming up - see (1) above.

PS Yaaaaaaay! :)

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I have to say I'm sorry to hear this. It seems to be moving Evernote away from it's original, brilliant functionality of saving information. I don't need or want another "to do" application. I will have to reserve judgement until I see how this is implemented. I hope it's like stacks, something I can ignore and continue to use Evernote the way I always have enjoyed doing.

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@gazumped

We're all monkeys throwing ***** at one another. "To Do" is just more ammunition. Speculate away!

I don't really have much interest in the ToDo functionality myself, but other people do, and I don't think it carries Evernote too far from its core mission. I guess now we remember stuff that hasn't happened yet :)

I want Evernote to succeed, and if this is what it takes (adding a popularly requested feature) then by all means, get to it! But, at some point I do hope EN will consider more minor tweaks to the product. Stuff like the ability to use real plain next to finally exorcise the ghosts in the machine, the ability to use Evernote on the OSX platform as we do on the iOS one without a locally saved library, etc. These would make real differences in my life!

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It's nice to hear about intended improvements, but until they appear, and we know what they are, I'm happy to stick with Evernote as I know it, and not engage in wishful thinking. When it changes, I'll deal with it them.

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I'd still like to see a sensible tie up between Evernote and Remember The Milk. I use the latter for tasks but want the notes around the task in Evernote.

Martin

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This is interesting, however I highly doubt it would replace Omnifocus. Doesn't sound like it'd be GTD friendly at all.

All apps which combine reference material/personal information database management with task management functionality don't really excel at the task management part.

Sure, it'd be useful for some people, but not for serious GTDers.

I think it won't hurt Evernote but it also wouldn't be useful for any serious task management. Especially with comments from Phil Libin like "I don't want a list"...

A quote from David Allen

"Interestingly, one of the biggest problems with most people’s personal management systems is that they blend a few actionable things with a large amount of data and material that has value but no action attached."

I think Phil Libin doesn't do GTD :)

Bottom line - at best I would use this additional functionaliy as a tickler file, at worst I'll just ignore it.

I don't expect it to change anything in my workflow. But that's just me

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my take is that it will not be what we wish for. or majority of the GTD folks expect. lets just say that they have always done things differently and we do expect the same.

but why do they think we need a dedicated to do list app? for one thing, notes and tasks goes hand in hand and Evernote is ubiquitous and if they can make ur task list ultra portable then its a very good thing.

as a planner, i want various list of milestones that i can view them in different ways. i can see a very similar implementatin like remember the milk.

but my wish is really unlimited subtasking that can be tagged and repeating.

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@May: Keeping actionable and nonactionable information in the same app does not necessarily equal intermingling them. I for one use tags to separate them.

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The addition of a Due Date will open the flood gates for 3rd party developers who are currently hamstrung due to the missing critical information.

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@May: Keeping actionable and nonactionable information in the same app does not necessarily equal intermingling them. I for one use tags to separate them.

I know this. I wrote about why I don't use Evernote for task management,

It's on page 4 of the pdf.

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The addition of a Due Date will open the flood gates for 3rd party developers who are currently hamstrung due to the missing critical information.

the thing is, one reason evernote,dropbox and toodledo can grow because they make themselves a platform. the developers make them indispensible. there is a large community that uses task management but there have always been one problem i feel.

a lack of standards. like the icalendar standards for todo. you create a structure for the task management. open up the api. you will see this grow.

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Still haven't read the op's linked cutting but I'm pulled two ways. I heartily agree that Evernote needs to maintain its speed and ease of use and not confuse everyone with complicated choices in multiple drop-downs. On the other hand various factions (+me) have been crying out for Due Dates for a considerable while. I'm sure there are quite a few Evernoters who like to make lists of things for a variety of reasons.

Adding the Due Date will open up the field (yep, pun intended) for more add-ins, and if there is more support for to-do's and lists, quite a few people who may not have been tempted to go paper-free as yet, may finally decide to give Evernote a try. Don't think the rest of the market needs to panic just yet, but if Evernote get this right, there are rather a lot of users who might be tempted to dump other software just because it is often much more convenient to stay in the same window for all operations.

Since Evernote tends to be completely close-trunked about developments until they happen, I'm content to wait and see what actually hits the streets before I break out the smelling salts or the champagne. If we don't think much of what comes along I'm sure someone will mention it around here somewhere...

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One of my problems with doing my "todo's" is figuring out what it means to do the "todo" IYSWIM. :-) Hence my desire to have a task in RTM and the notes about it in Evernote. That way I can creep up on the "todo" by writing in the related note about how to do what I have to do. I can do that in RTM but it's really not very good. The other problem is procrastination - perhaps evidenced by participation in bulletin boards. :-)

Martin

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One of my problems with doing my "todo's" is figuring out what it means to do the "todo" IYSWIM. :-) Hence my desire to have a task in RTM and the notes about it in Evernote. That way I can creep up on the "todo" by writing in the related note about how to do what I have to do. I can do that in RTM but it's really not very good. The other problem is procrastination - perhaps evidenced by participation in bulletin boards. :-)

Martin

the best case scenario is for Evernote to create a sepearte standalone for this and then link it like their other app to Evernote. This is so that the original folks can choose not to use it.

But for the advance to do guys they have this powerful use-case link their task to a detail notes on milestones, or important reference.

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Since Evernote tends to be completely close-trunked about developments until they happen

Love the imagery. Got a mental hiccup about 10 words later as I was reading that. What did he say??

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@Owyn - thanks; did you mean I made you lose track of my comment, or you wondered where I got the underlying impressions from? If the latter, I'm just going from various remarks by various herd-members (still at it) about not publishing road maps or delivery dates. And Herdmaster* Phil's minor bombshell of which no-one had any prior suspicions.

*See Footfall by Larry Niven. If @gbarry is allowed Firefly stuff, we are too...

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I figured it out pretty quickly but I am a speed reader and usually get ahead in my reading before the something significant interrupt triggers in my meat brain. In this case it was my spit-take interrupt that triggered.

Question.

What is jjjjjjjjkv?

Answer.

My usual mode of burning through feeds in Google Reader.

Details.

j = next item in feed

k = previous item in feed

v = view item in new tab

PS: Love Niven's work in general. Have a special fondness for his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle.

PPS: This thread could go seriously off-topic.

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OK - briefly and totally off-topic: I read quite fast too. Don't tend to actually buy many books (don't ask) - they don't last long enough; but Niven and Pournelle separately and together are two authors for whom I have read all and possess most print books. The exceptions are mainly because I got involved in long car journeys so opted for a few audiobooks, which somehow don't count. The print books are one part of my library that will not be scanned!

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Yeah. I have some dog eared volumes on my shelf. Some things, e.g. poetry, need to be read for use of language and no faster than I could speak it. The tactile quality of reading from a real book just add to the experience.

I frequently find that I know that I have seen something but darned if I can remember where. That is where I find that Evernote really helps me. I clip every article I read in full. A quick search on relevant keywords in Evernote can usually surface the details.

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@Owyn - thanks; did you mean I made you lose track of my comment, or you wondered where I got the underlying impressions from? If the latter, I'm just going from various remarks by various herd-members (still at it) about not publishing road maps or delivery dates. And Herdmaster* Phil's minor bombshell of which no-one had any prior suspicions.

*See Footfall by Larry Niven. If @gbarry is allowed Firefly stuff, we are too...

Phil, ("leader of our tribe" for you 2000 year old man fans) did a similar thing with sub-notebooks (subsequently later deemed 'stacks'). IDK, but I'm sort of thinking there were some intense convos between Phil & Dave E after Phil dropped that bombshell what, about a year ago or so?

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Interesting (to me) :-) discovery:

(On Mac at least) if you copy the Evernote note URL into the URL field in Remember The Milk (RTM) you can later click on it and the Evernote client shows the note. Neato! (Doesn't work on my Linux Thinkpad where the Evernote client isn't already started under WINE as the protocol handler for evernote: URLs isn't present.

There doesn't appear to be a RTM note URL I can paste into the Evernote note. So this is one way only. Please tell me I'm wrong, someone. :-)

I'm increasingly warming to doing Evernote and RTM deskbound work on the Mac and not on the Thinkpad.

Martin

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I frequently find that I know that I have seen something but darned if I can remember where. That is where I find that Evernote really helps me. I clip every article I read in full. A quick search on relevant keywords in Evernote can usually surface the details.

Ditto. On vacation last week, I read my first printed book in many months and was jarred by the experience of not being able to clip passages that struck me.

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Interesting (to me) :-) discovery:

(On Mac at least) if you copy the Evernote note URL into the URL field in Remember The Milk (RTM) you can later click on it and the Evernote client shows the note. Neato! (Doesn't work on my Linux Thinkpad where the Evernote client isn't already started under WINE as the protocol handler for evernote: URLs isn't present.

This also works on Windows (as you implied by the Wine reference) and from the RTM iOS client. (Ummm. retesting...)

An alternative, less functional approach, is to paste the share link for the note into the RTM Task URL. This opens in the browser as read only.

There doesn't appear to be a RTM note URL I can paste into the Evernote note. So this is one way only. Please tell me I'm wrong, someone.

I could sort of get this to work by coming to the RTM Web client from the RTM GMail widget and then copying the link from the browser address bar.

Does not appear to be a task permalink but rather a current list+task link.

I'm increasingly warming to doing Evernote and RTM deskbound work on the Mac and not on the Thinkpad.

Yeah.

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The challenge will be coming up with a task management system that works for everyone.

I love Evernote and I'd like to have an integrated task management system as well, but I tend to find people fall into two camps:

  • Simple as possible and lightweight - Examples I guess would be Remember the Milk etc...
  • Structured and detailed - Things, NirvanaHQ etc.

I'm a Things user and fall into the later camp, but my view would be that it's going to be one of those bits of work that's not going to make everyone happy. :)

Good luck is all I can say!

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