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(Archived) Comments Solicited on My Task Structure

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I am using Evernote on Windows 7.


I've designed / developed an approach that I've started using in Evernote to manage my tasks. I described it below and would appreciate comments from forum members as to whether it "sounds good" or you see some inherent problems, either in general or in implementing it on Evernote. 


First, I created a new Notebook named "Tasks".


I then read the Note / Tag structure that is described at www.thesecretweapon.org. That approach makes each Note a specific, detailed task. A set of Tags were developed to be used to define "when" the task needed to be done. They were "1-Now", "2-Next", "3-Soon", etc. The point of the numbers is to be able to sort the Task / Notes into the order they needed to be done using the Evernote List view.


After watching the videos at The Secret Weapon and 2-4 videos at YouTube that use essentially the same type of Note / Tag structure for Tasks, I decided that it places too much emphasis on micro-managing details. There were two many times in my 30+ year business career that I found myself and other falling into the trap of losing sight of what the goal was. You've probably heard the old adage, "When you're surrounded by alligators, it's hard to remember the objective was to drain the swamp!"


To attempt to reduce the chance of this happening and to keep my eye on the ball, my approach is to:

  • Structure the title of each Note looks like this: SubjectMatter - DesiredEndResult, where SubjectMatter tends to be 1-3 words and DesiredEndResult tends to be a 2-10 word phrase, typically started with an action verb. The Tag for the Note applies the same "When" structure as The Secret Weapon's. (If needed or helpful, I may add a "Who" and/or "Where" Tags to some Notes.)
  • The body of each Note has two parts / sections: The first section is a list of detailed Tasks, sorted in the order in which they need to be done with check boxes to keep track of what has already been done and what the next step is. The second section includes whatever relevant information I've either created, received, or collected that helps get the job done.

The approach doesn't avoid micro-managing at the detail level, but it does help me keep sight on the "forest" and not always wallowing around the "trees".


You may agree with my observation after using this approach for a few days that a Note effectively becomes a "project".


The immediate downside of this approach is that after I sync my Notes to my iPhone, I can't sort the notes by the "When" Tags.


Can you envision any other downside(s) to this approach?


Thanks for any insight you may offer on this.






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  • Level 5*

I think the only comment is "whatever works for you" - I can't think of any obvious downsides,  but I would suggest that rather than commit all your workflows to this method you try it out with one or two projects for a few weeks in parallel with whatever other system you run now.  It's very much a downside to have to keep two systems running side by side,  but having a backup means you can change some of the details if it goes wrong..

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