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(Archived) I could use a hand maintaining a list of "to do's" - but not really a to do list.

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I'm pretty happy with how I have EN setup right now, but there's one thing I've struggled with for a while now. I have virtually no system for keeping tabs on things I'd like to check out later.

Here are a few examples of things I want to keep fresh in my mind:

Movies I'd like to see (I have been using the IMDB app for this lately)

Music I'd like to hear

Books I'd like to read

Projects to try around the house

Guitar tabs I'm "working on"

I find I've been filing all this stuff in either my "Quick Notes" notebook or using a third party app like IMDB to keep track of everything. Trouble is, I forget to check the IMDB app for a movie, or I can't recall where I filed the name of that book I want to read.

As I type this I'm getting an idea for just a single note that is divided into the sections mentioned above. I could add to it, modify it, and always know that that one single note in EN contains all the things I need to explore when time permits.

That's really what it is; an "explore when time permits" kind of thing.

That's my on-the-fly idea, but if I know the folks on this forum like I think I do - there are going to be far better suggestions rolling in.

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  • Level 5*

I'm substantially reliant on Evernote to prop up my aging, creaky grey cells, and have worked it into a lot of my routines; but task management -or my version thereof- is one thing I can't bend it around.

I very much subscribe to the idea that once you have an idea out of your head and down on digital paper somewhere, you can stop worrying about overlooking something important and just get on and do it. I also agree with setting a very limited number of priorities for any given day - I won't get beyond item 3 on any list even on a quiet day.

But (it seems to me) checkboxes and created/ updated dates need too much manipulation to pop the right things into the right days. After all there are repeating tasks like monthly and quarterly bills; immediate and urgent tasks (like those darn bills), things I have to do, and things I would like to do - someday, maybe. Managing all that via mobile and desktop (and I oversimplified the variables, but you'll know what I mean..) is just too much of an overhead in Evernote. That's time I could spend working, not organising.

Luckily there are a kazillion (take a googleplex* and square it..) different GTD and To Do apps out there which work rather well on a variety of platforms, and using their handy 'share' option, some of them can dump lists and notes into Evernote - which is rather useful when I actually start a project and want to keep records and files, which - despite my earlier comments - all do go into Evernote, which is also my go-to workspace.

I did use Wunderlist, which then disappeared, so I used Astrid; then Wunderlist came back (as Wunderlist 2, just in case there was confusion) and I'm in the process of switching back.

So for those complicated and selfish reasons I don't have a major Evernote use case here - I front the whole thing with standard bit of software, but since my abiding principle is never typing anything twice career laziness, it is at least software that starts off my Evernotes on time (usually) and in some style.

I'll be interested to see what others come up with though - one of my other principles is something to do with letting other people do the hard thinking wherever possible...


* Yup, I know it's not spelled that way, this is a pun, not maths! ..or, well.. it's a mathematical gen-x pun. Kind of.

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I do a similar thing with music I want to get. What I do is make a note in my "songs to buy" notebook. When I buy it, I add a tag "got it." I do this with some crafting supplies, too, such as embossing folders & Cricut cartridges. But back to the music... I often hear neat music when we're watching tv or movies & will use Soundhound on my iPhone. If it identifies the music, I'll screen cap the results & add the screen cap to my "songs to buy" notebook along with a note about where I heard the song. Kind of fun, a few years later, to be able to "remember" how I first heard of a song and/or band.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I *had* one notebook called "Archive" where I stored any information I may have needed to reference.  Another notebook named "Lists" where I things were tagged into lists.  All of my bills were tagged bills, homework homework, etc, but I found some things could be done whenever (like watching specific movies) and some things needed to be done on certain days.  Maybe I had homework due tomorrow, or a bill to pay, or my vehicle's registration expiring.  Wishlists for gifts were thrown in there.  It was cumbersome trying to find what needed to be done now with everything mixed up in different priority levels.


Today I renamed my "Archive" notebook into "Notes" and "Lists" into "Action" so that any note in Action must start with a date in format YYYY-MM-DD.  Just sorting by name automatically puts these notes in chronological order.  I now have all of my bills, homework, expiration dates, and anything with a deadline on it in one easy to see list.  It basically made my daily to do list.  Each note is one item.  You do the item, you delete the note.


A lot of what was in my Lists notebook got tagged with "To Do" if I need to do them eventually, no rush.  Movies to see, music to find, games to play, TV shows to check out.  They are each also tagged accordingly with "School" "Financial" "Music" "Movie" etc.  I have a saved search button for To Do next to a button for the Action notebook.  Much, much better this way.

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