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Titus

What system do you use to relentlessly track tasks that you forgot/don't want to do?

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After the reminder time, I may sometimes choose to procrastinate because I feel it's not the right time, too difficult, too complicated, needs to be done in conjunction with other tasks or as a sequence. Evernote does not allow us to set recurring reminders or even customise them. As a result, my list sometimes grows longer over time without me knowing.

How do you best work within Evernote's constraints and still use it as a task tracker/to-do list successfully?

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My actionable notes are flagged with tag !Actionable
This ensures a task is never forgotten

I also include a project id tag if appropriate;  useful for reviewing tasks at the project level.

>>choose to procrastinate

I don't flag the note as completed (list gets longer)
   or 
I assign a future date to the note's reminder date/time. 

It's not always procrastination.  
Sometimes there's just too many tasks in the list.  It has to be reviewed and adjusted.

>>Tasks I "don't want to do"

I have tasks on the backburner; no schedule, someday list; not next-action,, ...

 They are retrieved during reviews when required
There is no reminder set, so they don't appear on my Current Task List.

>>How do you best work within Evernote's constraints and still use it as a task tracker/to-do list successfully?

My Current Task List is generated by search reminderOrder:* -reminderTime:day+1 -reminderDoneTime:*
(all reminders, exclude future dated, exclude completed)

This screenshot is a section from my daily journal note.507858919_ScreenShot2019-01-06at20_44_12.png.f6230e0f0969de7e59a200b3a53666b0.png
Each morning, I prepare the days Activity List by reviewing the
- Current Task List
- Calendars/Reminders
The template includes checkboxes for daily tasks.

I also do periodic review of tasks by project.

 

.

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You are allowed to change reminder time. If your initial estimate of a task's completion time was incorrect, then you should adjust accordingly.

 

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14 hours ago, Titus said:

How do you best work within Evernote's constraints and still use it as a task tracker/to-do list successfully?

Saved searches, and per @jefito change the reminder time if need be.  I precede all of my saved reminder searches with ! so they are at the top of the list and keep the left panel closed, so all searches are two clicks away.  FWIW.

ScreenClip.png.f5435133d7657733f1f1fbcb1af0643a.png

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As everyone else,  but I cheat - I use TickTick to maintain a to-do list and link to my Evernote notes which carry the detail.  If I procrastinate my list gets longer (and redder).

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Aside from these, there are also....

Methodologies...

Many Methodologies....

GTD

Bullet Journal

Eisenhower matrix

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

Some of these have been adapted to Evernote --> try web searches for "evernote GTD", "evernote bullet journal", "evernote eisenhower matrix"

I use a simpler system, mainly a weekly note (based on a template of course; it's all one big table), where I have separate list important, immediate tasks, tasks waiting on input from someone else, and "future" tasks that I need to think about before I actually do anything on them, plus a day calendar for journalling  on what I've worked on that week plus appointments and meetings (few, thankfully), plus of course a list of tasks accomplished (mainly as prep for a weekly meeting). I can tie tasks from our bug database in directly (they're just web links) or for more complicated items, I can make a separate note for capturing debug results, code, screen caps, kinks to research etc, and use note links to tie those into the weekly note. And then these get tied into a master yearly calendar note. It's pretty simple, and I like it that way.

Every Monday morning, first thing: duplicate the old week's note, change the dates (including reminder due date) on the new note, clear out the daily entries and any old unreported completed tasks, mark last week's note as complete, and store it into a "Journal" notebook. 10 minutes? 15, tops?

 

 

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I like Evernote because it allows me to build the workflows I need - I hate learning (and using) pre-prepared systems that don't -quite- fit my use case.  If you're looking for something a little more structured,  but still mostly Evernote,  there's also Filterize (which I'm surrently looking at with some interest...)  No experience yet,  and no recommendations,  but worth a look.

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On 1/7/2019 at 3:17 PM, gazumped said:

I use TickTick to maintain a to-do list and link to my Evernote notes which carry the detail.

And I'm using Apple Calendar/Reminders

Dedicated apps will always provide more features; Were there any specific features that drive you to use a different service?
For myself, it was these features

  1. Recurring events/reminders
  2. I like the grid view of events in a calendar
    Other's have asked for notes/tasks in a grid view but I'd find that cluttered.
  3. Many of my events are added externally from Evernote (amd myself)
  4. Better notification, for example alarms and snooze

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38 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Were there any specific features that drive you to use a different service?

Yup - pretty much all the ones you quoted.  It annoys me that 'to-do' items come in three flavours - the ones with dates and a finish line,  others with a "I'll do that when I can",  and the third dropped-live-grenade category that you have to do NOW whatever you had planned...

I have stuff I need to do periodically,  and adjusting a reminder date to 'one month later' sometimes isn't practical,  because I only just got to it a week or two after I should have...

I'm still retro enough to have a clipboard and a paper calendar where most of my personal stuff gets added first - so I need to print from something that has my list in calendar layout

My non-dated items get brought forward automatically - if I thought I should get some reading done by the end of the month,  a listing will show a low-priority task going overdue

And the totally undervalued,  underappreciated 'snooze'...  I need the reminder,  but I know - I'm doing itI'm doing it!  😡

- And there's a thing about lists: I always want to type lots of detail,  which gums up the basic idea of lists...  linking to an Evernote note though,  allows me to witter on to my heart's content.

😊

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On ‎2019‎-‎01‎-‎07 at 5:17 PM, gazumped said:

As everyone else,  but I cheat - I use TickTick to maintain a to-do list and link to my Evernote notes which carry the detail.  If I procrastinate my list gets longer (and redder).

Similar with Nozbe. In general key is to have a routine. You MUST review the list on scheduled basis. Reminder can help you not miss a critical due date, but it's context in most software is not to be a constant reminder,  it's a one time milestone.  What you can have is a repeating task to review the list, which is the primary purpose of Nozbe for me, repeating tasks for any reason.   Others can likely do this as well, but it was first one I came across with direct integration to EN.  Reminders in EN become tasks in Nozbe. Changing dates/completing updates both ways. Putting off undesirables is something I struggle with as well, eventually you just need to suck it up or matters typically just worsen.

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Evernote/ Onenote and any other type of information manages are great for high level project planning and task generation (and for me, a mindmap type app is even better),  but to actively manage tasks without missing important deadlines, you really need to use a dedicated task manager. There are gazillion of them out there.

My approach to not letting tasks to end up in a forgotten pile is to assign a Due date to every task, then re-access that task on that date. I may start working on that task, postpone it to another date, or even delete it if no longer relevant; but this system will not allow me to just forget about it.  Every morning I go through the list of tasks with today’s date and re-assign new dates (using my best judgment) until the only tasks left are the ones I will work on. It takes me a whopping five minutes

And for project tasks that have actual real deadlines which need to be tracked, I add them to the title using “YY MM DD” format, so I can arrange them alphabetically if needed.

 

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5 hours ago, Wanderling Reborn said:

And for project tasks that have actual real deadlines which need to be tracked, I add them to the title using “YY MM DD” format, so I can arrange them alphabetically if needed.

Actual deadlines are also addressed using the reminder date.

In addition to the date, I also use a title prefix to control the sequence of notes in project reviews
For example:
       -Project Master Note
       ++Task (next action)
       +Task
       +Task
       +ΩTask (completed)
       +ΩTask (completed)
       Miscellaneous note
       Miscellaneous note

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3 hours ago, DTLow said:

Actual deadlines are also addressed using the reminder date.

I also use a title prefix to control the sequence of notes in project reviews
For example:
       -Project Master Note
       ++Task (next action)
       +Task
       +Task
       +ΩTask (completed)
       +ΩTask (completed)
       Miscellaneous note
       Miscellaneous note

That’s  a great way, too. I mainly tried to come up with a universal method that works on most systems and apps, got tired of having to change my workflow habits every time an app or service I’ve come to rely on changes, gets sold, or goes out of business. Due dates and plaintext tags work on any task manager, and alphabetical sort is common (if not universal). Everything else is icing on the cake...

I had to jump through the proverbial hoops a couple years ago when Informant got sold and the new owners jacked up the price and introduced a bug infested new version. Now that the same thing started happening with Toodledo, I decided that enough was enough, and that the only way forward was to come up with  a task managing workflow that could work with the lowest common denominator, rather than constantly trying to find a rare service that supported the extended set of features that I relied on (like Start dates). Basically, the challenge is to achieve same complex results using the simplest tools and methods possible. And the solution is usually very simple but it requires breaking old habits and adapting new concepts - easier said than done after doing this for twenty years...

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