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StoopidEngineer

Best System for New User w/ a lot of Spinning Plates

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Good Afternoon Everyone, 

I've been using Evernote for quite a while, but never well, and often sporadically. I'm an Automation Engineer by day, and have a handful of side hustles (small businesses - a machine shop/tool company, real estate investments/land-lording) and family obligations (three kids with special needs/medical issues and a 4th soon to be adopted) that keep me extremely busy. So I'm pretty much busy like everyone else :-)

I like the idea of the 'Getting Things Done' philosophy, but haven't really seen a clean implementation of it with Evernote yet. I've done a fair amount of research, watched a bunch of videos, read some whitepages, and altogether probably spent more time than I should have on this, including reading here on the forum. Maybe I'm just bad at this, or maybe I've got research fatigue, but I'm not finding what I think I need. 

What I'm looking for is a step-by-step implementation of Evernote for someone like me with a lot of tasks, and a life with a ton of moving parts. I understand the basics, I can use the software, and I even know some of the tricks to it - I just can't watch another video or read another recap of one versus the other, or 'this is just like this, except for this' 40 minute long video. 

It doesn't need to be perfect, I just want something I can get in place and use. 

Thanks for the help everyone, even if it's just pointing me to a resource I haven't yet found. 

P.S. I don't mind paying for a .pdf or video or whatever, as long as it's reasonable, and not a monthly subscription to something. 

Thanks!

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Be aware that Evernote is a generic filing app.
You'll get more dedicated features in a dedicated task management app

I use Evernote for my task management process; I like having everything in one place
If you identify what you need from the process; we can advise you on how Evernote can be used
I need a Current Task list, Active Project List, Project Task Lists, ...

There's a web site devoted to GTD and Evernote called TSW: The Secret Weapon
I don't like their approach which relies on adjusting tags and notebooks for priority, and was never updated to make use of the Reminder feature

My system is date based.  
I use the Reminder feature to store a due date.  It also stores the completion date/status
I use saved searches for my task lists; for example my current task list is a saved search
          remidnerTime:* -tag:!Archive -reminderTime:day+1 -reminderDoneTime:*

To assist in project reviews, I assign unique tags to each project.  
By filtering on a tag, I see all the notes and tasks for a project

 

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I use EN for task management, as @DTLow I like things in one place.  I have two types of tasks, dated and not dated.

  1. For dated tasks I use the reminder functionality and saved searches.  I use EN with the left panel closed in side list view so I can click on the magnifying glass icon and the reminder searches are there since they are all preceded by an !.  Image below.  So two clicks for a list of reminders.  I also use the saved view options for these searches.
  2. For not dated tasks I use a modified version of the TSW tags and review those on a periodic basis.  Also, since they are prefixed with an ! they appear first in the tag search box.
  3. For recurring tasks I use a recurring tag (!Recur for dated tasks or !Weekly, !Monthly, !Quarterly for review items.)

This is an abbreviated explanation, any questions feel free to PM me.

 

Scre222enClip.png.23701779c6b97205fc6cb21aee23fb4c.png      ScreenClip.png.39c4ffa9e3d01f4c68f9e441673af965.png

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Thanks for the replies! I'll have to take a bit of time to digest these approaches and make sure I'm understanding them, but I really appreciate you taking the time to share them with me!

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15 hours ago, StoopidEngineer said:

Thanks for the replies! I'll have to take a bit of time to digest these approaches and make sure I'm understanding them, but I really appreciate you taking the time to share them with me!

You are welcome.

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I have tried using Evernote as the sole application for my GTD system however it was not working the way I wanted to as far as task management went. So I supplemented it with Todoist for my "Next Actions" lists. 

Evernote is still the HQ of everything and I cross reference the next actions in a note, thanks to shareable links of Todoist tasks. I also reference Evernote notelink in Todoist tasks (not all the time). I found it easy to be able to look at one line next actions on one screen then all my actionable notes in Evernote. It is a preference thing obviously.

The way I structured the notebooks;

I have a default notebook called 0 - Collection Bucket, everything goes in here especially on the go. Then I process this "inbox" and tag and moves accordingly. It is actionable, I have an Actionable notebook (one in Personal one in Business stacks). As I decide it is actionable, I decide the next action and create that in Todoist. Basically, my actionable notebook acts like a "project list" as David Allen puts it.

I have reference and someday-maybe notebooks as well, one each in personal and work stacks.

Over the years what I found out is that you create what works for you and you constantly tweak it as you realize things or learn new methods etc. Keep on improving it and don't be stagnant with it. It will never be perfect especially from the start, but it will get better for sure. Good luck!

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40 minutes ago, TK0047 said:

So I supplemented it with Todoist for my "Next Actions" lists. 

Can you explain more in detail the features you're using in Todoist

The only time I think about Next Action is when I start a project or complete a task
I identify the Next Action, and that goes to the top of the project's activity list
I don't have a "Next Action" list; and a NA task in each project

>> I found it easy to be able to look at one line next actions on one screen then all my actionable notes 

Agreed, I want to see a concise list.
If fact, I don't even want to see Next Actions, unless they're "due"

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4 hours ago, DTLow said:

Can you explain more in detail the features you're using in Todoist

The only time I think about Next Action is when I start a project or complete a task
I identify the Next Action, and that goes to the top of the project's activity list
I don't have a "Next Action" list; and a NA task in each project

>> I found it easy to be able to look at one line next actions on one screen then all my actionable notes 

Agreed, I want to see a concise list.
If fact, I don't even want to see Next Actions, unless they're "due"

As far as the features of Todoist I use, I assume you are asking as oppose to what Evernote provides. Otherwise, I use the "labels", "projects", "Due dates" etc. features of Todoist. 

One feature I like in Todoist is the Karma points as you complete tasks on time and based on other things, you get karma points which leads to different levels/titles within Todoist, like "expert" etc. It may sound silly but I find it a nice touch and it makes it like a scoring. But more importantly, at certain levels, developers will give you 3 months free premium access which was so unexpected for me and it was a nice gesture for sure.

But overall, I like the clean and simple look of Todoist and having individual tasks. What I mean by that is, when I used to have one note in Evernote with next actions (checklists) per line in one note, I found that note to be very busy and not easy on my eye. Further, I couldn't filter or resort those actions. With Todoist, I can filter by project, label, priority etc.

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