susanneroonie

mac (Archived) Your ideas for using Evernote for a task manager

25 posts in this topic

Because Evernote conveniently syncs between my Mac, IPad and phone, I'm interested in using it as a task manager. I'd love to have your insights.

If you use it for your To Do lists, what practices have you developed to make it user friendly and efficient for this purpose? How do you format it? And how do you use it with your various devices if you can sync them?

Share this post


Link to post

Evernote does not like to think of itself as a Task Manager.

I ignore their opinion and use it regularly to manage my tasks, appointments, and reminders.

I over-ride the create date and change it to a Due Date. And if it is an appointment, I will change the time as well.

Also the title is important. I structure it with a special format: YYYY MM DD State City Company Issue Person

Example

2012-10-15 MN Buffalo Wright County tax due.pdf

2012-11-06 MN Rogers High School General Election Vote JLB DLB

2012-11-09 MN Rogers 18 Theatre Bond is back! Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes Release Date

Share this post


Link to post

Hi. Welcome to the forums! There is a lot to say, and a lot that has been said (). Did you have something specific in mind?

Share this post


Link to post

JB, have you given up on getting the "Due Date" field?

Yes, I've given up hope on receiving any sort of answer from Evernote.

After 3 years of promise after promise, I have thrown in the towel.

And now, I think that my "Jump the Shark" post is getting closer to reality at Evernote.

Share this post


Link to post

Is there anyway to have checked items automatically deleted from a note?

There are really functional tasks managers but the only one I found that syncs is Things, and the combined package is about $80. You have to buy the app for imac, ipad, and iphone separately.

Share this post


Link to post

Is there anyway to have checked items automatically deleted from a note?

There are really functional tasks managers but the only one I found that syncs is Things, and the combined package is about $80. You have to buy the app for imac, ipad, and iphone separately.

Automatically? Like after 2 months, poof! It's gone?

No, Evernote cannot do that.

But you might want to reconsider the reason for removing a completed checked item.

Evernote is your 2nd brain.

It might seem inconsequential now, but could pay off in the long run.

Even the trivial stuff has come in handy for me. Helps me reconstruct what I was doing during a specific period of time. My mother-in-law was ill a couple years ago and we had to make a sudden trip to Maine. Evernote helped me log the travel time, costs, people seen, and discussions. That info was helpful when we made a return visit.

A more exotic application: I did not have Evernote at the time. For a couple years, I lived in England and had to pay taxes in the UK and the USA. For tax reasons, both countries wanted me to prove where I was each day of the year. England, USA, or other. I was using a similar program called GoldMine and it was great at pulling up my activity. Not just flight details, but scheduled corporate meetings, and other business related tasks.

Share this post


Link to post

@jbenson2

Hello,

I'm a bit confused:

.... I over-ride the create date and change it to a Due Date. And if it is an appointment, I will change the time as well.

What do mean resp. how do you manage to "override the create day" ?

I tried your idea with the date YYYY-MM-DD in the title, works fine. thanks.

-----------------------------------

3 hours later:

I found the trick: details of the note must be enabled... -> problem solved

Share this post


Link to post

Was there dates on those like this week (curious, haven't read a ton of forum history)?

http://elephantchann...im-notes-leweb/

Due dates: Q1 2013

Here are a few of the previous promises I've captured over the years.

Apr 5, 2010 - Phil Libin: "All notes will get a "due date" field in the next couple of versions."

Apr 9, 2010 - Dave Engberg: "We plan to add the ability to specify a due date for a note, to sort the note list by due dates, and to be able to search for notes within a range of due dates."

Sep 7, 2010 - Dave Engberg: "We are adding support for a 'Due Date' field on each note, which you could set to an appropriate date."

Jan 27, 2011 - Dave Engberg: "We're planning to replace the name of the "subject date" field (which was confusing for most new users) with "due date" instead."

Feb 15, 2011 - Phil Libin: Due Dates are "Definitely coming soon" via Twitter

Sep 29, 2011 - Phil Dean: Thanks for the reminder [Due Date]. I have made a note to bring this up as a gentle reminder to the team on Monday. No promises mind you

Nov 15, 2011 - Phil Constantinou: I promise good stuff is happening with Due dates and to dos. It has been too long but hopefully it'll be worth it.

There are more, but I've stopped recording their promises, commitments, sequence of words.

Fool me once, shame on Evernote; fool me a dozen times, shame on me.

Search Code 47ER92

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

Hello,

I did a video interview of Phil Libin the day after the workshop at Leweb (you read my notes already). During that interview I asked a question regarding due dates and he said again Q1 2013 so let's hope it's for good this times !

Pierre.

PS: I will publish the full video interview on my blog next week.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
There are more, but I've stopped recording their promises, commitments, sequence of words.Fool me once, shame on Evernote; fool me a dozen times, shame on me.Search Code 47ER92

Holly **** [edit] Gosh darn it and roast my bunions. (those sensor stars put worse options in ones head when reading them than I used. Mighty tough filters there).

don't know what y'all do there devs. Slow and unsteady doesn't win the race.

New definition entry for over promise under deliver (I guess it fails to displace Duke Nukem Forever though)

With the product engineers I work next to, items like that would be done by the time I got back to my desk if I refilled my coffee enroute. (database schema edited, db update SQL.cmd emailed to devs, code compiled, unit tested, committed to source control, and a note to the documentation team to include in the next client release).

Adding fields that make sense to a database and UI isn't the hard stuff. DOing magical things with the data you've captured it the hard part. But that's not something Evernote pretends to do.

BYOD (where D is for Doing) products shouldn't take this long to iterate.

Share this post


Link to post

Here are a few of the previous promises I've captured over the years.

Apr 5, 2010 - Phil Libin: "All notes will get a "due date" field in the next couple of versions."

Apr 9, 2010 - Dave Engberg: "We plan to add the ability to specify a due date for a note, to sort the note list by due dates, and to be able to search for notes within a range of due dates."

Sep 7, 2010 - Dave Engberg: "We are adding support for a 'Due Date' field on each note, which you could set to an appropriate date."

Jan 27, 2011 - Dave Engberg: "We're planning to replace the name of the "subject date" field (which was confusing for most new users) with "due date" instead."

Feb 15, 2011 - Phil Libin: Due Dates are "Definitely coming soon" via Twitter

Sep 29, 2011 - Phil Dean: Thanks for the reminder [Due Date]. I have made a note to bring this up as a gentle reminder to the team on Monday. No promises mind you

Nov 15, 2011 - Phil Constantinou: I promise good stuff is happening with Due dates and to dos. It has been too long but hopefully it'll be worth it.

There are more, but I've stopped recording their promises, commitments, sequence of words.

Fool me once, shame on Evernote; fool me a dozen times, shame on me.

Well, JB, I'm sure you were never really fooled.

It would seem to me that Evernote would be extremely embarresed by this, but maybe not.

Being the wise man that you are, I'm sure you are well aquainted with "don't count your chickens before the eggs hatch."

So we will all go about our business, making do with what we have, hoping that some Christmas morning we'll wake up and find "Due Date" under the tree. :D

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

I know many people use Evernote for EVERYTHING but I prefer to use the best tool for the job. Evernote is fantastic as my auxiliary brain storage, letting me get stuff out of my head and into notes. And it is excellent for organizing these notes. It is a fantastic research tool with Clipper and Skitch.

But two areas it does not excel at are scheduling and writing for publication.

Yes, I know many people do manage system for implementing GTD in Evernote, but in my humble opinion it is like using a Swiss army knife to skin a deer instead of an actual skinning knife. Yes, it can kind of do the job, but it is much harder than it needs to be.

So I let Evernote do what it does best and I use task management systems like GQueues for managing my projects and Scrivener for pulling my Evernotes into a publication format. These systems are much better at task management and publishing and I don't spend all my time with workarounds trying to get Evernote to do everything.

This doesn't diminish my love of what Evernote does. Rather, I can appreciate its power more because I am not "dulling the blade" by using it for what it isn't designed for.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

There are indeed.

As background through. If you walk a mile in the shoes of an ADD guy/gal, GTD is one of the few things that brings order and productivity to chaos.

Even just remembering where you put what can be maddening.

It's the single reason I chucked all the 98% (but not quite perfect) best in class tools for each thing, and singled on Evernote. While its less proficient, it can in a fashion do everything.

If it's not in there, I don't know it, or won't be doing it.

I still can't get away from the pain though, as I try to coach others through A, B or C "ok now we need your such and such info, where do you store that?" [blank stare - I've lost my keys again moment].

When you can't keep your organizational tools organized and actually usable for organizing, it's time to simplify, even if its to - doer of most, master of less.

I guess the other is the low barrier of meaningful capture. I have way better tools than Evernote that didn't get used because they're WAY harder to, in the moment, capture that thing/info/task with whatever was at hand. The better thing isn't better if it has no data, or isn't tagged and sorted because that requires 2 moments longer, a pocket protector, and some tape on your glasses.

Oh, and for the gazzillionth time, registering a vote that it sucks that Evernote bought, didn't update, and killed Egretlist.

A pox on your Ever-house and what-not.

</soapbox>

Share this post


Link to post
Oh, and for the gazzillionth time, registering a vote that it sucks that Evernote bought, didn't update, and killed Egretlist.

Why do you say "killed"? Do you have a link to something I can read about this?

Thanks.

-- roschler

Share this post


Link to post

Why do you say "killed"? Do you have a link to something I can read about this?

It's the absence of links that's the problem.

404 on the website (which lingered after the buyout)

404 on the former page in Evernote Trunk

No longer in the Canadian and US iTunes app store

Share this post


Link to post

It's the absence of links that's the problem.

404 on the website (which lingered after the buyout)

404 on the former page in Evernote Trunk

No longer in the Canadian and US iTunes app store

Ok, thanks.

-- roschler

Share this post


Link to post

i would love to be able to right click/select a line of text and have a drop down option that allows me to mark it as a task (with three levels of optional priority, lowest on eby default). That workflow would export the text into an aggregated task manager within a note or notebook. Tagging effectively is just too many steps. The mall checkbox symbol is not so helpful as I don't want to have to seach all of notes to see what my ToDo's are - they need to be easily aggregated.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

While I like the fact that EN is (largely) platform independent and that a "note" can be anything, from text to PDF to audio recording to photo, I think EN is too fiddly and unwieldy to make a good task manager. For me, a task manager has to be quick and easy to use, even on the go, e.g. on my phone, and needs to have alerts that remind me that I have to do something, even if my phone, iPad or laptop are not connected to the internet. EN isn't ideal for any of that. For a while I used Awesome Note, which does have those features and syncs with EN, but eventually I moved on to a dedicated task manager.

@susanneronie I assume since you mentioned Things you're on a Mac? There are other task managers that sync across desktop and mobile, e.g. Omnifocus, The Hit List and, slightly less pricey, 2Do. There are also many mobile and some desktop clients that sync with Toodledo, a powerful web based task manager.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

I have implemented a simple 'task manager' in my Evernote that works very well for me.

I have a Diary - 2013 Notebook and every day a new Note is added. So today's Note is 130130.

As 'things to do' or 'tasks' arrive during the day, they are typed or copied into the 'days' Note. Each 'thing to do' then gets a 'tick box' and line. So a day can have as many 'tasks' as have arrived.

Each 'task' is worked on and typed text is added in red, emails from customers in green and suppliers in purple. Once the 'task' is completed the 'tick box' is ticked.

Once all the days 'tasks' have been completed the days Note is moved to the Diary - 2013 - Completed Notebook.

It then becomes very simple to see if there are 'tasks' that have not been completed or need additional work carried out.

I don't change the 'created date' but when the time comes for a 'due date' it will help a lot!

Best regards

Chris

Share this post


Link to post

While I like the fact that EN is (largely) platform independent and that a "note" can be anything, from text to PDF to audio recording to photo, I think EN is too fiddly and unwieldy to make a good task manager. For me, a task manager has to be quick and easy to use, even on the go, e.g. on my phone, and needs to have alerts that remind me that I have to do something, even if my phone, iPad or laptop are not connected to the internet. EN isn't ideal for any of that. For a while I used Awesome Note, which does have those features and syncs with EN, but eventually I moved on to a dedicated task manager.

@susanneronie I assume since you mentioned Things you're on a Mac? There are other task managers that sync across desktop and mobile, e.g. Omnifocus, The Hit List and, slightly less pricey, 2Do. There are also many mobile and some desktop clients that sync with Toodledo, a powerful web based task manager.

I'm an Evernote addict. I probably use it one way or another every waking hour, or at least on average. But I agree that EN is not a good tool for task/list management. I *do* keep a few lists in EN. But they are lists that I don't consult on a daily basis. For to do/grocery lists, I use Toodledo web client on my PC & use the 2do app on my iPhone & iPad. Much better & faster than trying to use EN, IME.

Share this post


Link to post

For to do/grocery lists, I use Toodledo web client on my PC & use the 2do app on my iPhone & iPad. Much better & faster than trying to use EN, IME.

Oh, I was very happy with Toodledo + 2Do until I got a Mac and moved on to Omnifocus. I still miss the "Defer" button. :)

Share this post


Link to post

To Charlie Garves and Ninoshka:

 

Do the solutions that you suggest integrate with Evernote? If not, what do your comments have to do with this forum topic? There are countless task managers out there - many of them good - but this thread is here to share ideas around how to provoke that fucntionality within EN.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.