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(Archived) Making a To-Do-List that can accept items instantly

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How do I create To-Do Lists instantly that will allow me to track daily items that need attention?

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Typing a list into an Evernote note is about as simple as it gets.

You can do some rudimentary formatting (bullet points)

You can add a checkbox if you want.

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How do I create To-Do Lists instantly that will allow me to track daily items that need attention?

I don't think they've got that ESP plugin perfected yet. And since EN does not publish their road map/ETAs, there's no way to know when it may be rolled out.

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How do I create To-Do Lists instantly that will allow me to track daily items that need attention?

As Jefito mentioned, you can use the Evernote built-in unfinished to-do check boxes

Here is an example that I created instantly and can be updated throughout the day.

http://www.evernote....e3a2d1f722a8221

To see all unfinished to-do items, use the following search

todo:false

An additional tip - Make a single list of all unfinished items.

In the Left Panel

>Attributes >Contains >Unfinished to-do items

In the Note List Panel, select the notes

Right Click and select "Copy Note Links"

Paste the Note Links into a new note

Additional enhancements to improve the appearance

Add bullets and print the list

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It would be SO helpful if I could not only create a To-Do in a note, but also have all my To-Dos -- across all my notes -- show up in a single list/note. (The ability to search for notes with To-Dos in them is not really helpful when they're in dozens of notes.) If a simple script "copied" any line where a To-Do box is inserted to my To-Do note/list I'd have an up-to-date To-Do list that would always be near the top of my notes. Even better would be an option to choose whether my "checked" To-Dos displayed in the note or not. Very best of all would be if I had the option to assign a date to certain To-Dos.

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Searching for Todos:

todo:[true|false|*] - if the argument is "true", this will match notes that have ToDo checkboxes that are currently checked. If the argument is "false", this will match notes that have ToDo checkboxes that are not currently checked. If the argument is "*", this will match notes that have a ToDo checkbox of any type.
  • -todo:false todo:true
    • Matches notes that have completed ToDo items, but no uncompleted items.

From the Evernote documentation on the search grammar: http://dev.evernote.com/documentation/local/chapters/search_grammar.php

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I know how to search for notes that have To Do items in them. What I want is a list of *just* the items within my various notes that are To Do items. I'd like this list to be present at all times when Evernote is open (so I don't have to execute a search every time I want to see my To Do items, and I don't have to comb through long notes to find the one or two embedded To Do items in each note). Seems like it should be VERY easy for Evernote folks to implement this, and would be robust "To Do" / "Reminders" application for 90% of their users.

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Seems like it should be VERY easy for Evernote folks to implement this

Really?

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Not sure how interested Evernote would be in providing this type of facility. It's not trivial, as it's new UI, and that'd have to be added across the 20 or so Evernote clients. Sounds like a good candidate for a third-party tool, though.

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+1 for the original request. When you're taking notes in meetings and other settings, it would be very helpful to be able to drop a todo checkbox in front of a paragraph of text and later be able to build a todo list from those paragraphs (with links back to the original locations), rather than having to jump out to another note of todo items and then find your way back for additional note-taking. Plus, the surrounding notes are often important in accomplishing the task. The problem with doing this now is that you generally have to open the note to see the todo item, and it's awkward to determine whether a note has more than one todo if there is any volume of text. As the original poster notes, a facility to pull out and list paragraphs that contain a checkbox (and to jump to the original items) would be very welcome.

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can't this be done for now with "tag"? then once you've checked off the to-dos...just remove the tag.

that way you can create a tag called "to do" and everytime you open the tag all your to-dos across all notes and notebooks will come up.

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Tags are applied only at the whole note level, AFAIK. If you use check boxes for todos, you can pull up all notes that contain check boxes (or even unchecked checkboxes) without tagging by searching for todo or todo:false. If these todo phrases are embedded in meeting notes, for example, they may not all be visible when the note is displayed and there's no way to tell how many of them a lengthy note contains. Yet the contextual information in which they're embedded may be very valuable when you're completing the todo. The goal is to allow todo management in the context of note-taking and note review, so that you avoid the double data entry of taking notes and then moving some of them and their contextual information onto a todo list. To support this, it would be nice if there was a way to visualize and interact with paragraphs that contain unchecked check boxes, across multiple notes, even if it's just to provide an index of checkboxes that allows you to jump to the location of a checkbox in a note.

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If Evernote were designed to be a To-do application, this would probably have higher priority, or have been done already. But that's not its main focus, so that's probably why these types of features haven't been added. So, nice to haves, for some people, without question. Apparently not enough to make Evernote jump on it.

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Seems like it should be VERY easy for Evernote folks to implement this

Really?

Sure. They bought Egretlist, which essentially parses out all the todo's and aggregates them into one long continuous scrolling view (optionally segmented into views by notebook, groups of tags, or saved searches.) It's fantastic. What they haven't done yet (one hopes they're still working internally) is expanded that out to other platforms.

The seemed to say it was something they were working on at the beginning of 2012.

http://www.dangoldesq.com/2012/01/egret-and-elephant-evernotes-next.html#.UMJX6-Rcp8F

http://www.macstories.net/news/evernote-working-on-todo-list-app-following-egretlist-acquisition/

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I know how to search for notes that have To Do items in them. What I want is a list of *just* the items within my various notes that are To Do items. I'd like this list to be present at all times when Evernote is open (so I don't have to execute a search every time I want to see my To Do items, and I don't have to comb through long notes to find the one or two embedded To Do items in each note). Seems like it should be VERY easy for Evernote folks to implement this, and would be robust "To Do" / "Reminders" application for 90% of their users.

For now you're going to have to look to 3rd party integration for that.

Look in the forums and online for GTD integration with Evernote. That's were you'll find the List-ies. There will be new options in the next little while by at least a couple GTD oriented sites.

Do try saving some searches to keep lists accessible. And if you're on a mac, you can create one click links to favorite notes.

I agree with you there's a gap on the aggregating and presentation of Todo and stuff like that. I won't say much more because I'm writing something to fill that gap.

For me I fill the narrow niche of Todo's with 3rd party tools on iPhone and iPad.

There are TONS of list and todo apps which sync to Evernote. The problem with most of them is that it's one note, one list. That might be enough if you're needing just checklists and stuff.

It's frustrating to see dev time on hit and miss UI items rather than in search features where real power can be developed.

I also store some info in an open source wiki, and with only a one line include search I can create a page which collects all the To Do items from a group of other pages, and other include searches can gather any content from other pages.

<developer rat-hole>

So now you've trivially built a summary report page that updates itself every time you view it.

All your checkboxes are in one view and you can check them off on the summary page instead of going to each originating page.

When you can powerfully query and dynamically present inline those results, and add a structured form collection ability, you've effectively built a framework on your datastore that enables data driven applications to be built right in your free form data notes.

And I have to say, if it weren't for the ubiquitous capture and display of the evernote ecosystem, that's where all my data would be because of that.

Capturing data is one half of the sphere. Making it do things for you and present meaning beyond the individual notes is where the powerful value lays, and I'm surprised Evenote leaves all that money on the table. That's IMO where you turn free users into premium ones who can never go back.

</developer rat-hole>

I use apps like EverLog and AwesomeNote (lets you automate recurring lists into evernote) to quickly create Evernote items from templates.

So I have a workflow for example that uses Launch+ that every hour while I'm working it pops up a worklog item on the notification screen.

I tap it and it launches a specific template in EverLog.

That starts an Evernote (if it's the first of the day, otherwise it appends to an existing note for the day) that's pre-filled in with a certain title structure and date, week of the year structure.

Then I can just list off what I've been working on for the last hour, and insert pre-filled text chunks, or add in a bunch of stuff just by selecting items, radio boxes, drop down fields, etc which fills out the rest of the note and maybe creates follow-up action items, clickable phone or email fields.

The point is that it adds pre-formed structure and tagging to the evernote with zero effort.

I just create templates for different uses, and each template can be called with a special URL that can be called from many places on the phone/tablet.

Then in Evernote I can use a set of saved searches to parse out work items I need to do, or completed work items to include in a weekly meeting.

But when actually DOing them, I'm using Egretlist to just show me the - in GTD like fashion, all the things for me to do accross all my notes, in specific contexts. Work if I'm at work, etc.

There's still a gap there that needs to be filled on the desktop side, and some other areas.

Also I'm frequently torn between those todo's and using Siri/Reminders on the phone, plus OmniFocus. I'm not so GTD that I have itches for all the OmniFocus scratchings. But I am fond of being able to dictate an item into Reminders, say "buy coffee", and OmniFocus ingests the item into itself into a location aware search context.

Reminders itself can remind me to buy coffee when I arrive near a specific pre-determined place.

But OmniFocus can allow you to set a geographical search as the geo-fence.

So I'm reminded to buy coffee whenever I'm near somewhere I can buy coffee, or at any location of a particular place I like to buy coffee.

Edited by cwb

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http://www.evernotify.me/

Tag notes that you want indexed with "evernotify" and magical todo lists are collated.

Huzzah.

Maybe. Yet another web site that doesn't tell me specifically what they do before I have to create an account. No thanks.

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http://www.evernotify.me/

Tag notes that you want indexed with "evernotify" and magical todo lists are collated.

Huzzah.

Maybe. Yet another web site that doesn't tell me specifically what they do before I have to create an account. No thanks.

Yes! Pet peeve.

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How do I create To-Do Lists instantly that will allow me to track daily items that need attention?

As Jefito mentioned, you can use the Evernote built-in unfinished to-do check boxes

Here is an example that I created instantly and can be updated throughout the day.

http://www.evernote....e3a2d1f722a8221

To see all unfinished to-do items, use the following search

todo:false

An additional tip - Make a single list of all unfinished items.

In the Left Panel

>Attributes >Contains >Unfinished to-do items

In the Note List Panel, select the notes

Right Click and select "Copy Note Links"

Paste the Note Links into a new note

Additional enhancements to improve the appearance

Add bullets and print the list

I tried creating checkboxes with Ctrl Shift C but that doesn't work on my Mac. Is there a

way to do it on a Mac?

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