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SahilC

productivity EN Task Management - not sure how to make this work!

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Hey EN Community!

 

I'm a new user (just about a month), and I'm really loving Evernote for collecting and searching. 

I usually like to use program for everything, so I read about The Secret Weapon, GTD, and how to use evernote to manage tasks.

 

The quick note collection is amazing. It's super quick to dump all my thoughts, and process later. However, the processing/task management part is getting to be exceedingly difficult for me. 

 

I started with the TSW methodology of tagging for .What .When .Where & .Who.

 

This is my tagging structure:

 

  • .When
    • !Daily
    • 0-Ongoing
    • 1-Today
    • 2-Tomorrow
    • 3-This Week
    • 4-This Month
    • 5-Someday/Maybe
  • .What
    • :Project 1
    • :Errands
      • :Grocery
    • :General
    • :Meet
    • :Online
    • :College
  • .Where
    • @Place1
    • @City
    • @Home

 

 

So there's a few problems I have with this

 

  1. How do I prioritize actions? Right now there's just a dump of tasks sitting there when I click 1-Today. 
  2. Not sure how to use due dates here... (I don't want a reminder, just to be able to add due dates)
  3. And the biggest problem - using this on mobile. Android or iOS, it doesn't matter. It's difficult to switch between tags (you can't even sort by tags on the app), and just doesn't feel very efficient. 

 

Bottom line - the quick note taking part is AMAZING. But I seem to be spending a lot more time in administration that actually performing the tasks! (exaggeration, but you get my point)

 

 

I'd really appreciate your input, and sorry for the long post!

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One way of doing it:

 

-Create a Daily Task List Note

-Create a Note for each Task

-Link the Task to the Note associated to the Task.  ( A Note Link )

-In the Task Note you can have your Due Date, Persons, Places, Things associated to the Task and develop an ongoing History of what you have done thus far on the Task.

-At the end of the Task, you can notate that it is 'Complete' and the Date.  

-Move on to Next Task.

 

If a Task does not require a whole Note, then leave space between each Task in your Daily Task List Note to notate the required information for that Task.

 

What do you think?

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One way of doing it:

 

-Create a Daily Task List Note

-Create a Note for each Task

-Link the Task to the Note associated to the Task.  ( A Note Link )

-In the Task Note you can have your Due Date, Persons, Places, Things associated to the Task and develop an ongoing History of what you have done thus far on the Task.

-At the end of the Task, you can notate that it is 'Complete' and the Date.  

-Move on to Next Task.

 

If a Task does not require a whole Note, then leave space between each Task in your Daily Task List Note to notate the required information for that Task.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

So basically, all the tasks will be in a note?

Doesn't that seem a little hack-y? And again, it sounds like a lot of time spent on moving things around. Or is this just normal?

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Yes, I place my Tasks in a Note.

Once you have it set up, there is no moving around.  Just, archiving the Note, then adding and deleting text for re-use.

 

I am not sure where else you can put your Tasks.  Unless, in your original Post, you are talking about making Tags for each Task.  Which, I do not do because my Tasks vary too much.

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SahilC - You indicated in your initial post that your first problem was prioritizing tasks.

 

Many years ago, a boss taught me a simple scheme for prioritizing tasks. It goes like this:
 
Categorize every task on the basis of two factors: Importance and Urgency. Here is the sequence in which you then work on the tasks.
  1. First, work on those tasks which are Important and are Urgent.
  2. Then, work on those tasks which are Important, but not Urgent.
  3. Then, work on those which are not Important, but are Urgent.
  4. Never spend any time on tasks which are not Important and not Urgent.
One way to apply this scheme with Evernote is to create 4 Tags:
  • ImportantYes
  • ImportantNo
  • UrgentYes
  • UrgentNo

 

Then, have Evernote search for Notes which have a specific pair of  those Tags, per the sequence listed above.

 

I hope you feel this is helpful.

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Yes, I place my Tasks in a Note.

Once you have it set up, there is no moving around.  Just, archiving the Note, then adding and deleting text for re-use.

 

I am not sure where else you can put your Tasks.  Unless, in your original Post, you are talking about making Tags for each Task.  Which, I do not do because my Tasks vary too much.

 

Thanks! I'll try this out and see how it works.

 

SahilC - You indicated in your initial post that your first problem was prioritizing tasks.

 

Many years ago, a boss taught me a simple scheme for prioritizing tasks. It goes like this:
 
Categorize every task on the basis of two factors: Importance and Urgency. Here is the sequence in which you then work on the tasks.
  1. First, work on those tasks which are Important and are Urgent.
  2. Then, work on those tasks which are Important, but not Urgent.
  3. Then, work on those which are not Important, but are Urgent.
  4. Never spend any time on tasks which are not Important and not Urgent.
One way to apply this scheme with Evernote is to create 4 Tags:
  • ImportantYes
  • ImportantNo
  • UrgentYes
  • UrgentNo

 

Then, have Evernote search for Notes which have a specific pair of  those Tags, per the sequence listed above.

 

I hope you feel this is helpful.

 

Okay, so tagging for priority. This sounds like it'd work. I'll give it a shot as well. Thanks!

 

 

How do you guys manage due dates? Do you just set a reminder? Or let it be in whatever bucket it wants until it hits "1-Today"?

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Hi SahilC, I diarise it in my Google Calendar as either specific time event, or if it has to take place some time that day as an all day event. It is also great for recurring events that can be set up in the calendar. I then use a IFTTT recipe to send my Calendar events to Evernote as they occur. Works great as a reminder. I also set my reminder in Google Calendar to forward me an sms at a predetermined time prior to the event. It works like a charm!

 

Please keep on your quest for productivity, because I am also learning a lot!

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Hi SahilC, I diarise it in my Google Calendar as either specific time event, or if it has to take place some time that day as an all day event. It is also great for recurring events that can be set up in the calendar. I then use a IFTTT recipe to send my Calendar events to Evernote as they occur. Works great as a reminder. I also set my reminder in Google Calendar to forward me an sms at a predetermined time prior to the event. It works like a charm!

 

Please keep on your quest for productivity, because I am also learning a lot!

 

Sounds good! But doesn't that mean you're inputting stuff into your Calendar first?

 

 

By the way, Zapier is kind of like ifttt, but it's WAY more flexible. You can EN reminders --> Google Calendar!

The problem is, the free version only allows for 5 zaps per day, which may not be enough for you.

 

Right now, what I'm doing for priorities is this - tagging notes with !!!, !!, and !. 

Then I either filter by that tag, or I just sort notes by tag so that all the notes with !!! go at the top. 

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Haven't tried TSW, but the free version of our software allows you to aggregate tasks from Evernote in a single note, with links back to the note where the task came from.  The paid version allows up to 5 such notes so probably would work with GTD/TSW in Evernote.  You can also use the paid version to create notes from each item in a check list and do so with reminders, tags, notebooks set.  Maybe work a look as it will allow you to remain in Evernote - TaskClone.

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I am a tag lover.

I set up tags to: today, tomorrow, week, month

Secondary tags: urgent, important, whenever

I then place into the notebook i use for that particular note

Tag it and then it is available when i click the Today Tag (or whatever)

Not sure if this is the most effecient, but it works for me. Any ideas always welcome.

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I am a tag lover.

I set up tags to: today, tomorrow, week, month

Secondary tags: urgent, important, whenever

I then place into the notebook i use for that particular note

Tag it and then it is available when i click the Today Tag (or whatever)

Not sure if this is the most effecient, but it works for me. Any ideas always welcome.

 

That's exactly how I've started to use it!

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[i keep editing this as I have been refining in my own mind what my process really is]

 

There isn't any right way of doing this so we all come at it with what works for us. I think we all sort of adapt and change our MO over time a little. I am no different

 

Major Mega Dates, Due Dates go on my Google Calendar And Evernote. With less important deadlines and dates, I have been trusting Evernote alone to tell me. If I am out with friends or with a Client and I get a new Important date. I add it to my calendar first then either a very sketchy note/ email  evernote or voice memo that I need to set up a new note. Back at the office I can add tags assign priorities and make it look pretty with one of my templates.  I use the reminders on each note that are date sensitive. If push comes to shove and its a new important date entry  I ALWAYS add to my calendar first -- that way  I KNOW my calendar is right. Coordinating with everynote is just a good cross check later

 

I almost exclusively use tags over Notebooks with these exceptions

     1)   Notebooks - set up for sharing with others

     2)   Notebook called "CellPhone" -  set up for downloading to my phone for off line access

                 a)  Important and current projects

                 b )   Client contact pages and contact log. I get a call from someone important, I can bring up their contact note quickly, a quick few words about the call with date and time, a check box for an actionable thing I need to do and tag its priority. -- Done.

     3)    Notebooks - set up to segregated reminders into major groupings -- so for example in your case you might have a Notebook for "school" this would breakout any reminders that are only school related. In My case I have a notebooks called:

                 a)  Bookings (these are jobs that are pending)

                 b )  Sales Calls (these are prospects that I need to call hoping to get more jobs or Bookings)

                 c)  Bills -   so only bill due dates show up. I sort of discontinued doing Bills and just pay them when they come in. It proved to be a hassle keeping up when they are due, You miss one due date and all the savings you might have made in lost interest is gone in the late free.

     4)       Notebook - Private unsynced -- not shared in cloud of financial papers - privacy

 

 

======================================

How I organize and review my actionable notes

======================================

 

If a note is actionable (I need to do something -- there is a next step)  I give it an open check box inside that note with the actionable steps. I assign the note with its priorities -- I am really liking Analyst444 method and going to try that

 

Before I had set up a bunch of categories but I was only using "MIT" (Most important tasks) and then everything else was kind of a catch all. Analyst444's method makes more sense to me.

 


Categorize every task on the basis of two factors: Importance and Urgency. Here is the sequence in which you then work on the tasks.
  1. First, work on those tasks which are Important and are Urgent.
  2. Then, work on those tasks which are Important, but not Urgent.
  3. Then, work on those which are not Important, but are Urgent.
  4. Never spend any time on tasks which are not Important and not Urgent.
One way to apply this scheme with Evernote is to create 4 Tags:
  • ImportantYes
  • ImportantNo
  • UrgentYes
  • UrgentNo

 

 

 

Okay. My day starts. What am I going to do today?  

 

[ ] Review Calendar
[ ] Review EN Reminders Pending
[ ] Review Saved GTD searches
[ ] Make New Daily list

 

I do similar to what Sentinel does with his daily tasks but I add Links (table of content links) to the check boxes if these task have separate notes and are complex. The little things like [ ] "back up hard drive" are not going to need their own note Nor are quick shopping list to a hardware store for a couple things. 

 


 

If a Task does not require a whole Note, then leave space between each Task in your Daily Task List Note to notate the required information for that Task.

 

 

 

By copying the old  Daily List Note - unfinished tasks carry froward. If i haven't gotten a task done in a couple of days I need to break it down into more steps or get it off my Daily List -- Maybe its a project -- projects I am working on are linked to the Project Main Note and they go at the bottom of list. with the next action having its own check box further up

 

Yes, I place my Tasks in a Note.

Once you have it set up, there is no moving around.  Just, archiving the Note, then adding and deleting text for re-use.

 

 

 

=======================================

What do I put in my Daily Task lists with links

Saved Searches for Actionable Important Next Steps

=========================================

 

So I look at my saved searches to find what should be added to my day list

 

Saved Search Name - "@ Imprt-Y Urg-Y"   [The "@" sign is just getting it to the top of my Saved Search list on my phone]

tag:"Important-Yes" "Urgent-Yes" -tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe -tag:Template todo:false

 

This looks for notes that are tagged Important-Yes, Urgent-Yes, that are NOT a Project of mine and NOT a SomedayMaybe, and they are not tagged as one of my Templates, However they do have an open check box -- This task is not done yet "todo:false"

 

This was huge for me. once you check off the box it automatically removes it from the @ Imprt-Y Urg-Y search

The biggest thing about doing it this way is you don't have to archive done tasks, its archived for you when you check off the last open checkbox

 

@ Imprt-Y Urg-N

    -tag:Template tag:"Important-Yes" "Urgent-No" -tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe todo:false

 

@ Imprt-N Urg-Y

     -tag:Template tag:"Important-No" "Urgent-Yes" -tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe todo:false

 

@ Imprt-N Urg-N

     -tag:Template tag:"Important-No" "Urgent-No" -tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe todo:false    

 

@  Waiting For

          tag:"@ WaitFor" todo:false

 

@ All Next Steps

-tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe -tag:"@ WaitFor" todo:false -tag:Template

 

@Phone

todo:false -tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe tag:@Phone -tag:"@ WaitFor"

 

@ Car

todo:false -tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe -tag:"@ WaitFor" tag:"@ Car"

 

Here are some of my other searches I look at

 

 

Untagged Notes

-tag:*

all of us have forgotten to tag a note or 2 . . . or 20

If you find a note that needs tags, pop it out to its own page, if you don't the first tag you add will take it off the no tag list and it disappears, all my notes usually need more than one tag

 

__Someday

todo:false tag:@SomedayMaybe

 

@  Projects

tag:"@ Project" -tag:@SomedayMaybe todo:false

 

 

I pop out my Today List and if I see a note I need to add to it. I Shift key + click and drag into my Today List note can be easier than Ctrl-C then Ctrl-V maybe

 

=============

How I learned to set up searches was from here  http://ruudhein.com/evernote-gtd  It's a little old now on EN Version but I liked his general methodology

=============

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