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Akylax

organization Evernote, info, and "inbox zero"

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I have found an absolutely wonderful use of Evernote in conjunction with my e-mail. Granted, it may only apply to people who use (or used) e-mail the way I did....

I found that I was using e-mail for three different things:

  1. Sending and receiving messages (duh)
  2. Keeping a to-do list -- that's what my inbox did
  3. An information-storage system -- I saved messages that contained some information I wanted to keep for future reference (e.g., an account number, an address, etc.)

I found that #1 and #2 worked just fine for me; I'm good about keeping my inbox down to size. But I was also using my e-mail apps to store lots and lots of notes containing some small bit of info I might need sometime -- account or login info, people's contact data, various tidbits of information, even jokes.

Even with a decent folder structure, though, e-mail apps really aren't made for storing information you need to get at. That's not what e-mail does.

I could save each of those messages as a separate file ("Dad's_Dropbox_login.txt"), but that would get really messy.

Enter Evernote, which I had been using on and off since it first debuted -- the days when it saved things as just a single long stream of text.

I went through my entire folder structure -- everything from contacts to account info and receipts to... well, whatever. Unless I needed to save the message itself (in a CYA sorta way), I moved them into Evernote. Soon enough my Evernote folder structure approximated my (now defunct) e-mail folder structure.

Now my e-mail has a handful of small folders, and Evernote is loaded with all the stuff I might need. Even better, it's so much easier to add stuff -- Web clipping or uploading or whatever. No more e-mailing things to myself. And -- just in case Evernote isn't the 100-year company it wants to be -- I can archive all my notes as well.

My wife has a monster e-mail account, with literally thousands of messages she's saving for various reasons. So I get a kick whenever she sees my handful of folders with a few dozen messages. (Of course, my Evernote folders are bulging, but that's what it's for.)

Anyway, I wanted to share how I found EN to be a nice way to clear out my e-mail, make all those little snippets easy to find (and update), and give me something to show off to others: "Wow, you have a lot of messages in your inbox there. You ever think of maybe getting a note-taking app?"

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my Evernote folder structure approximated my (now defunct) e-mail folder structure

?? Evernote doesn't have "folders" are we talking 'tags' here?

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Whoops, sorry -- "notebooks." Which are, effectively, folders (at least for me).

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Akylax

I use Evernote in exactly the same way you cite. I have a set of notebooks/tags for my reference material. I also have a set of tags for my pseudo "GTD" system. My company uses Outlook for our email so every couple of days I select all the emails I have received and use the add-in to "Add to Evernote". I move those emails to an archive folder in Outlook so I still have access to them if I need them. Ta-dah !! my inbox is empty !! :) The work may not be done but at least I don't have 500 emails staring me in the face :o . All the emails I send to Evernote then get processed as "Next Actions." This works great because most of my "to do" items come from my emails. The psuedo "GTD" tag structure I use is based on the examples given on www.thesecretweapon.org which I have found as a good starting point. I have made some modifications as I continue to use evernote. I started at the begining of this year using Evernote this way and five months later I am very happy with it.

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I love the "Add to Evernote" button on Outlook, but I'm disappointed the company decided to stop supporting Thunderbird -- that makes my life a little more complex. (Yet another reason I like that I can export from EN. It makes it easy to switch to another similar tool.)

Interesting idea to file things as "next actions." I'll have to ponder that. And I'll check out thesecretweapon.org, too. Thanks!

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Akylax, I could re-post your entire post, with about five words changed, to describe what I did about half a year ago. It was—and continues to be—awesome.

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I use the same functionality of archiving mail messages in Evernote. For that purpose I have setup filters in Gmail and rules in Outlook to catch certain types of mail and send them automatically on to a specific Evernote notebook.

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Thanks for the post Akylax it is very interesting and give some sound advice on how to manage your workload whilst striving towards the mystical place that is Inbox Zero.

We at Unified Inbox are working towards overcoming the problem of communication overload and helping people to achieve inbox zero. We are striving to combine all forms of communication in one easily manageable place, including multiple email accounts, social media and most relevant here, Evernote. I feel the people reading this forum page are in the perfect place to help us as we are still a start up that have yet to officially launch, as such we would really appreciate users trialling our product and giving us feedback on how to improve.

Please take a look and let us know what you think - https://unifiedinbox.com/

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Thanks for the post Akylax it is very interesting and give some sound advice on how to manage your workload whilst striving towards the mystical place that is Inbox Zero.

We at Unified Inbox are working towards overcoming the problem of communication overload and helping people to achieve inbox zero. We are striving to combine all forms of communication in one easily manageable place, including multiple email accounts, social media and most relevant here, Evernote. I feel the people reading this forum page are in the perfect place to help us as we are still a start up that have yet to officially launch, as such we would really appreciate users trialling our product and giving us feedback on how to improve.

Please take a look and let us know what you think - https://unifiedinbox.com/

i am intrigued by everything except for the price. $1 per day? that is a lot (for me), and i cannot understand what service levels you offer. there seems to be the ability to upgrade and downgrade, but from what to what?

in the context of this forum, how do you envision this kind of an application integrating with evernote?

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Hi GrumpyMonkey, the pricing is not set yet, as mentioned in my post we have not launched and we are deliberating on our price plans. A few companies have launched and then later realised that they have had to restructure their price plans after launch, increasing the cost to users and this has obviously not gone down well. The figure of $1 per day is not what I envisage we will launch with, and in fact hope to be able to launch with a free (ad supported) option, as well as a variety of pricing plans depending on the number of users (for business accounts) and additional features used.

You are able to connect Evernote with Unified Inbox, along with multiple email accounts (business and personal), Twitter and Facebook. With these accounts in one place we hope to make users lives much easier by having everything in one easily manageable place which is accessible from anywhere, on any device (currently only web based, but we are close to releasing an iPad app and hope to progress from there). Essentially we are trying to utilise Evernote with other services so that users can improve in regards to organisation and efficiency.

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I'm still confused @ozchrob - how does unified inbox integrate with Evernote again?

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Thanks for the question. The first step of integrating with Evernote in Unified Inbox, which is active now, is being able to read your notes in Unified Inbox. For us personally, it means that a number of our company policies and procedures are stored there for easy access.

Next steps of the integration, depend on what users most want. The most requested feature at this stage is drag and drop emails into Evernote and direct clipping of content. One of the reasons I wanted to talk with this group was to find out what the dream, most amazing feature you could imagine if you had free rein over how your email and Evernote interacted.

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If you are interested in integrating your various productivity strands (email, calendars, contacts, Evernote) with a task management app you may want to check out my review of IQTELL. It's a browser-based app that is still in beta. It can import all of your Evernote notebooks and tags (as well as all your calendars, contacts and email accounts) and lets you link notes to actions and projects. Notes can be edited in either Evernote or IQTELL - the app supports two-way synchronisation (as does Zendone). You can also add a reminder to your notes. I have been using IQTELL as a beta tester for a month now and I'm finding it pretty impressive. Check out my review at http://purplezengoat.com/2012/07/14/iqtells-virtual-workspace-productivity-heaven/

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I received my approval for the IQTELL beta test today and i have to say it is very impressive in the way that Evernote integrates with Email, Calendar and any other information you happen to collect along the way. If you struggle with email and want to integrate it in one GTD solution inclusive of Evernote this might be the best solution for you.

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Just started using IQTELL this morning. I haven't got around to linking up calendar and mail (Google) due to two step verification, but I did hook up Evernote.

Seems very cool. I wonder if they'll have mobile apps for tablets and phones and/or a desktop app to eliminate the need for going online.

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I use the same functionality of archiving mail messages in Evernote. For that purpose I have setup filters in Gmail and rules in Outlook to catch certain types of mail and send them automatically on to a specific Evernote notebook.

How do you auto divert emails to evernote? Sorry I am new to evernote.

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@Sanjay65 - you should be aware that you have an Evernote email address to which you can send emails to be set up as new notes. You can include in the the subject line ..."@<notebook> #<tag>" if necessary. (Without the quotes, and the notebook and tag must already exist in Evernote!)

Your email client -whatever it is- will have filters that can process and forward emails as required. Connect the two and you can auto-forward emails. Beware that if you forward too much you may use up your upload allowance; and there's a fairly low limit on the number of inbound emails accepted by your account in a day. 50 for free accounts, 250 for premium.

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Hi,

I'm Karol, the CEO of OneMln, the developer of www.everdo.it

EverDo.it is an app that allows you to create tasks / events out of notes or part of them. It also allows you to put an event / task to your calendar. The iPad version will be available this month. So to sum it up - EverDo.it adds the GTD experience to Evernote :-)

You're all invited to comment on our GTD app for Evernote lovers

Would really appreciate your feedback!

Regards,

Karol

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