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The Qodesmith

The Secret Weapon VS GTD & Evernote for Windows (David Allen)

175 posts in this topic

20 hours ago, dave78981 said:

Also, under ".When," I have another nested tag family for ".Due" that consists of "this week" and "next week." If a task has a .when of 1-Now or 2-Later, it gets .due of this week or next week and automatically gets a reminder for the due date. Any other .when tag gets only that tag and when it percolates up to 1 or 2, then a due date is assigned to it.

I could be interpreting this incorrectly, but it seems there are a couple of layers of redundancy here. Anything due this week gets a "this week" tag, a "1-Now" tag, and a reminder date? Seems like overkill, but again, I could be misunderstanding. 

I use the TSW When tags and reminder dates, but a task gets one or the other, not both. I.e., a task I want to complete now but that doesn't have a firm deadline gets a "1-Now" tag, while a task that has a firm deadline gets a reminder date. Given EN's search limitations (no full boolean search), I am forced to use two saved searches to filter down to tasks I need to work on today.

I only recently began using EN for task mgmt so I'm curious as to why you went with your setup as it relates to When and Due tagging and reminder dates.

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17 hours ago, tavor said:

I am forced to use two saved searches to filter down to tasks I need to work on today.

I ran into this limitation also - needing two searches

This was one of the reasons I abandoned the "Now" tag and only use date criteria
If a task is currently being worked on, I assign the current date to the due date (reminder)

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3 hours ago, DTLow said:

I ran into this limitation also - needing two searches

Different view of the world, but I don't see it as a limitation.  One list of date specific tasks and another list of tasks that aren't date specific.  Clear the dated tasks and then attack the TSW tasks.  When a TSW task becomes critical it gets a date.  Dated trumps not dated.  Cuts down on date maintenance for me.  FWIW.

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3 hours ago, csihilling said:

Different view of the world, but I don't see it as a limitation.  One list of date specific tasks and another list of tasks that aren't date specific.  Clear the dated tasks and then attack the TSW tasks.  When a TSW task becomes critical it gets a date.  Dated trumps not dated.  Cuts down on date maintenance for me.  FWIW.

Yeah, date maintenance is why I'm using TSW tags and reminders - only deadlines get reminders. Otherwise there's too much changing of dates as tasks roll from one day to the next.

Here's a (minor) issue I'm running into that maybe you or someone else here has already resolved. For many tasks, there are sub-tasks that are too trivial to bother breaking out into its own task. But some of those sub-tasks require that something else happen outside of my control (e.g., a response from someone). So if I advance the TSW 1-Now tagged task to the point where I need to wait until tomorrow or wait until I get a response, how do I get that task off my 1-Now list for the remainder of today, but have it reappear on my 1-Now list tomorrow?

I could add a 2-Next tag and remove the 1-Now tag, and then be sure to check the 2-Next tag list tomorrow and reverse the tagging but that seems like a lot of tag maintenance.

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13 minutes ago, tavor said:

there's too much changing of dates as tasks roll from one day to the next.

I don't actually change the due date.  They stay on my Current list until closed
The shortcut search is:    reminderOrder:* -reminderTime:day+1 -reminderDoneTime:*

>>to the point where I need to wait until tomorrow or wait until I get a response, how do I get that task off my 1-Now list

Possible revise your 1-Now search; exclude notes with a "waiting for" tag

For me, I simply update the due date to when I expect a response
- this causes the note to drop from my Current list and reappear when due

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30 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I don't actually change the due date.  They stay on my Current list until closed

That's a good idea. I was changing due dates because my tidy-up filter was picking up anything overdue, so to clear the tidy-up filter list, I had to change reminder dates to today or a future date.

I just modified it from remindertime:day to remindertime:day-7, so now a task will only show up in the tidy-up filter if it's 7 days overdue, at which point I can assess why it's so overdue and act accordingly.

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37 minutes ago, tavor said:

I could add a 2-Next tag and remove the 1-Now tag, and then be sure to check the 2-Next tag list tomorrow and reverse the tagging but that seems like a lot of tag maintenance.

I add a !6-Waiting tag to the note.  Since I don't have that many !1-Now items at any given time it is easy to see the follow ups in the list.  If I go OCD on myself, I can always sort by tag and the follow ups drop to the bottom of the now list.  Also, I can see all follow up items by selecting the !6-Waiting tag, whether they be a TSW or dated note.  I try to save dates for things that are actually deadline specific.  FWIW. 

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An annoyance of using due dates for task mgmt for Android users are the device notifications. Evernote provides very little control over notifications on Android. 

Made a feature request regarding this:

I ended up blocking notifications from the app using Android's application manager. Not ideal, but better for my use case than notifications I have no control over. 

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On 3/23/2017 at 4:10 PM, tavor said:

Yeah, date maintenance is why I'm using TSW tags and reminders - only deadlines get reminders. Otherwise there's too much changing of dates as tasks roll from one day to the next.

Here's a (minor) issue I'm running into that maybe you or someone else here has already resolved. For many tasks, there are sub-tasks that are too trivial to bother breaking out into its own task. But some of those sub-tasks require that something else happen outside of my control (e.g., a response from someone). So if I advance the TSW 1-Now tagged task to the point where I need to wait until tomorrow or wait until I get a response, how do I get that task off my 1-Now list for the remainder of today, but have it reappear on my 1-Now list tomorrow?

I could add a 2-Next tag and remove the 1-Now tag, and then be sure to check the 2-Next tag list tomorrow and reverse the tagging but that seems like a lot of tag maintenance.

That's one of several reasons I abandoned tags for maintenance of my tasks. I use Notebooks. Since each task can be in one and only one date category (today, this week, next week, etc) it makes it very easy to drag and drop tasks from one folder to another. 

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7 minutes ago, mruseless said:

That's one of several reasons I abandoned tags for maintenance of my tasks. I use Notebooks. Since each task can be in one and only one date category (today, this week, next week, etc) it makes it very easy to drag and drop tasks from one folder to another. 

How do you handle multiple categories for tasks?
For example: A task has a date category of this week, a project category of Project-xxxx .....
On top of that, some task notes are shared with a project team, requiring a shared notebook

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1 minute ago, DTLow said:

How do you handle multiple categories for tasks?
For example: A task has a date category of this week, a project category of Project-xxxx .....
On top of that, some task notes are shared with a project team, requiring a shared notebook

I still use a few tags, but mostly for the "who" category -- client names, people names, dog names :)

Once in a while I use project related tags, but most often I keep everything for a single project in a single note. If I must use multiple notes, I use EN's note link feature to put a link into the "master" note and file the other notes.

I also use reminder dates for some notes, and have a simple search set up to pull up all reminders.

In general I've worked to keep my task system as simple as I can. I used to spend more time fiddling around with things like dates and tags than actually working. So I trimmed it down as much as I could. For tasks, I really only use 3 basic Notebooks: 00-Inbox, 10-Today, and 20-Next. I do have a Someday notebook but I don't look through it as regularly as I should. I have some other notebooks but they are more for special categories like Expenses.

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On 2017-03-23 at 11:28 AM, csihilling said:

Dated trumps not dated

Not necessarily, but it does open up the issue of identifying priority

My Task Lists could have over a dozen items and I feel the need to add some order
- both in my Current Task List and Project Lists
I currently sort by Title and use a + prefix for task notes; ++ for next actions

Each day I prepare a daily journal with an activities section.  I populate this section with links from my Current Task List.  At this point, I can add order to the tasks

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53 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Not necessarily, but it does open up the issue of identifying priority

Should have been more specific in that dated trumps not dated for me, as always, a use case kind of thing....   ;)

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Posted (edited)

*Edit: Reworking this as all this didn't work for me. Will try to post if I get a good solution. 

 

Wow there are a ton of methods here! Thanks for sharing everyone. I ran into many of the same problems posted in the previous 7 pages. The closest thing I have identified with as a solution is HeyMalcs "Timology" method. Ultimately, I am trying to just start at least and do something that works for me. I'm new to Evernote in general and have a MAC so still learning the functionality. I am a single user who isn't collaborating with anyone else and just wants my life organized. Read GTD and loved it, want what he describes and have had a lot of trouble implementing it. I tend to overthink things, be a very linear thinker, and need hard rules and do something the same way every time, which made me really consider which method to use. Ultimately, I don't want to waste more time working on the method vs getting things done, but my old way just hasn't worked effectively enough. FWIW Here is my system and I realize it may be incomplete/duplicating efforts in places but its the best thing I can understand at this time:

Some of the struggles I had (all listed above at some point):

1) Not wanting to use Evernote reminders-I use Fantastical because I love the calendar layout and predictive/analyzing formatting to put events in and it doesn't sync well with evernote so I try to avoid Evernote reminders. I don't understand them too well and don't want a ton of things going off, being dismissed, etc. Might change with time.

2) Struggle to define and structure projects-Ultimately decided more than one task equals a project, each project gets a project tag, and each project begins with me brainstorming the next step (and any subsequent steps) into a Table of Contents (TOC) tagged with the project title. One task per project in my "actions" NB unless they are not sequential (EX building a garden has 3 steps: 1)Research plants I want to grow 2) Buy Plants 3) Plant the plants.... if 1 is in progress, 2 and 3 will be on TOC but not as an individual note. This way i'm not trying to look at tasks for the next week/month.

3) Duplicity of having an inbox vs running saved searches with a TUF (Tidy Up Filter) for untagged tasks- It makes no sense to have the inbox, but it makes me feel good to get it to 0 and I'm not great at saved searches yet. Maybe will change with time. I also decided to manually remove tags when switching numbered priorities for same reason. More work but for now, it will see me through.

4) Waiting for tasks also being under ".When"-numbered tags- For similar reasons to #3, if a task is waiting for someone else, it is not a number ".When" task. I will hopefully review my @waiting list in my daily/weekly reviews as often as needed. 

5) To use a tickler file or not (for epic 10+ comment debate see earlier posts :) You both cracked me up with that and both had great points): I want to be able to use one, but am struggling with how to set it up and how that integrates with the numbered ".When" tags. Also re-read his book on the tickler file section and not sure exactly how to use it in my case. It kinda seems like something I would use to potentially put stuff off/abuse. I may try to implement it later on but for now, going to try to use my .when tags to cover it.

6) Context/where tags kinda seem like wasted effort- I have a feeling I'll be good about tagging this in accordance with my rules below, but that I won't actually be SEARCHING for tasks according to context when I am at that place, etc. 

7) For "when" tags are they rolling tags based on day or calendar-based- Ultimately decided 1-today is always only this day and same for 2-tomorrow. 3-this week and 4-this month is generally stuff I want to get done in next 30 days. 5-Later is stuff I DEFINITELY want to do but not yet identified when and 6-Someday/Maybe is my catch all for ***** I might want to do/consider etc. Before bed going to do my daily review for the next morning and adjust my tags. 

 

Rules (some pulls straight from GTD book, some made by me)

  1. Everything gets a when tag
  2. Calendar is only for things with a time attached, not for things only day specific.
  3. Always sort through inbox in order and never put something back in
  4. When delegated, add timestamp for when it was passed
  5. Respond/finish task if less than 3 min- TIME YOURSELF
  6. Greater than 1 task is a project, no exceptions
  7. Every active project has an action step or is waiting for someone else
  8. Never put other .When tags for 7Waiting For
  9. Only one .When tag at a time
  10. Context is ONLY where something MUST be done, not where it can be done
  11. Be OKAY with what you aren’t doing if you have reviewed your lists

Shoutout to csihillingDTLowtavor, and HeyMalc for all your helpful questions and answers!

Edited by DealHaggler18
Adding that this didn't work

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53 minutes ago, DealHaggler18 said:

1) Not wanting to use Evernote reminders

I make use of the Reminder feature.  It provides start and completion dates

>> if 1 is in progress, 2 and 3 will be on TOC but not as an individual note. This way i'm not trying to look at tasks for the next week/month.

I create a separate note for each task

I only look at tasks that are current; no need to look a future dated tasks until they're due.  Exclude them from your task list

>>7) For "when" tags are they rolling tags based on day or calendar-based

I don't have When tags, just a Start (Reminder) Date.  The shortcut search controls the days in the list

 

 

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

I make use of the Reminder feature.  It provides start and completion dates

>> if 1 is in progress, 2 and 3 will be on TOC but not as an individual note. This way i'm not trying to look at tasks for the next week/month.

I create a separate note for each task

I only look at tasks that are current; no need to look a future dated tasks until they're due.  Exclude them from your task list

>>7) For "when" tags are they rolling tags based on day or calendar-based

I don't have When tags, just a Start (Reminder) Date.  The shortcut search controls the days in the list

 

 

@DTLow So you define each and every task with a due date and only one task per note? So a project would have 5 subtasks and you would put due dates on all of them? I think for me assigning a due date arbitrarily to each task for when I think it would/should be done would be hard to nail down and differentiate against tasks with an actual date deadline. Like I said, I tend to overthink things so not attacking anyone's method just trying to think through whether it would work for me.

 

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8 hours ago, DealHaggler18 said:

So a project would have 5 subtasks and you would put due dates on all of them? I think for me assigning a due date arbitrarily to each task

I would assign today's date if I started working on a task
Certainly if a task had a specific start date, I would assign the date

No date for other tasks, and I have many of them 

>>This way i'm not trying to look at tasks for the next week/month.

This is important because it's the core of GTD
Yes, get the tasks listed, but focus on the Next Action
When you completed a project task, ask yourself - What is the Next Action(s)

This works for me, but I also keep track of tasks from a date perspective
If a task has a firm date of today, I work on it today regardless of the next action status

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11 hours ago, DealHaggler18 said:

So you define each and every task with a due date and only one task per note? So a project would have 5 subtasks and you would put due dates on all of them? I think for me assigning a due date arbitrarily to each task for when I think it would/should be done would be hard to nail down and differentiate against tasks with an actual date deadline. Like I said, I tend to overthink things so not attacking anyone's method just trying to think through whether it would work for me.

For me, every task is related to its own note.  Tasks either get a dated reminder or an !actiontag (top of that stack is !1-Now, !2-Next, ...).  I have two action lists to review in EN, today's reminders (a saved search) and !1-Now.  Neither tends to be that long a list.  And for me dates out rank actiontags so I work dates first and then actions.  When an action becomes critical it will get a date.  Today needs to get done today, !1-Now may get done but doesn't necessarily have to.  I also have other saved reminder searches for Late, Tomorrow, Next 7 days and the like and tag searches to manage the flow.  FWIW.

In this example, depending upon how you manage projects, all of the sub tasks could use action tags.  Preferably not all of them would be of the !1-Now variety, unless they are all small efforts.  By the same token they could be dated if that is what made the most sense or there was a deadline implication to each.

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Cal,

 

When you get a chance can you pose the raw version of your searches, description, and when you use them (especially for the reminder ones)? Something like this:

 

1) PURPOSE- Find all notes overdue; CODE search: -tag...... ; FREQ: Daily review

2) PURPOSE- Find all notes due in next 2 weeks; CODE: ...........; FREQ: Weekly Review

2) PURPOSE- Find all notes due in next 2 weeks; CODE: ...........; FREQ: Monthly Review

 

Thanks in advance!

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34 minutes ago, DealHaggler18 said:

Find all notes overdue

Overdue tasks is a feature of dedicated project manager apps but it's a list I'm missing in my process

Its easy for one-day tasks, but not multi-day tasks;  I'm able to store start date using Reminder Date but have nowhere to store required end date

 

 

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17 minutes ago, DealHaggler18 said:

Cal,

 

When you get a chance can you pose the raw version of your searches, description, and when you use them (especially for the reminder ones)? Something like this:

 

1) PURPOSE- Find all notes overdue; CODE search: -tag...... ; FREQ: Daily review

2) PURPOSE- Find all notes due in next 2 weeks; CODE: ...........; FREQ: Weekly Review

2) PURPOSE- Find all notes due in next 2 weeks; CODE: ...........; FREQ: Monthly Review

 

Thanks in advance!

Here you go.  All in All Notes context.

  1. Late    remindertime:* -remindertime:day -reminderdonetime:*
  2. Next 14   remindertime:day -remindertime:day+15 -reminderdonetime:*
  3. Assuming Next 30   remindertime:day -remindertime:day+31 -reminderdonetime:*

FYI, this what the saved searches look like in the drop down on Windows.  I precede them with ! so that they are on the top of the stack.

ScreenClip.png.1fa514e20d4adc402aeee154f5197897.png

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Hello all, first time poster here and looking forward to being a fellow positive contributor to this forum.

Thanks to everybody for their helpful input on this thread as I just implemented The Secret Weapon.  So far, I'm pretty stoked about using this system as I've only been typing in random notes here and there since I committed to EN a few months back.

My first introduction to time management was David Allen's GTD and I always mention his book to anybody who is just beginning to try to get their "sh**" organized.

I used to use Omnifocus for this and even actual notebooks (still use those once in awhile as the original OG of efficiency, Leonardo Da Vinci, used to always have a notebook with him) since writing in notebooks vs typing on a phone inspire a different creative energy, for me at least.  But Omnifocus didn't feel as good as typing in EN for whatever reason.  I guess I like green elephants.  Who knew?

With that being said, my personal system has morphed into a blend of multiple systems and is going thru another change right now, thus my involvement with this thread.  Part of the reason for my change was that, at least for me, the original GTD system focused my attention too much on the tiny things in life.  Meaning that while I was more efficient in my processes, was what I was even working on really that important?  Granted this is something that would've been discovered in the weekly review but the chapter in Stephen Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Ppl helped give me more clarity as it focused moreso on "Roles" like Good father, Good son, Good Boss, etc and have all your tasks fall under those roles to help prioritize them.

I then tried Tony Robbin's RPM system (I think that's what it's called) and while the system didn't resonate with me, the macro question of "WHY" are we doing the things we're doing was a good takeaway.  For example, if the reason I'm using Evernote is because "I want to be more efficient", it isn't really that inspiring and actually boring for me.  But if the WHY is because I want to be more efficient to spend more time with my family, more time to do things I love, make more money, etc, then it changes the context completely vs I want to be able to process 100 emails instead of 50.

Anyways, thanks again for all contributors and if I happen to pick up any tips that I think are helpful from using Evernote, I'll share them here as well.

C

 

 

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Em 2017-2-13 at 18:33, tavor disse:

Like you, I use saved reminder and tag searches. Maybe someday Evernote will incorporate full Boolean search and we can use one saved search to filter down to today's tasks.

I use a lot this search:

reminderTime:day -reminderTime:day+1 tag:"!1 NOW"

reminderTime:day -reminderTime:day+1 tag:"!1 NEXT"

...

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On 2017-07-14 at 오후 2시 24분, Jacinto Silva Martins said:

I use a lot this search:

reminderTime:day -reminderTime:day+1 tag:"!1 NOW"

reminderTime:day -reminderTime:day+1 tag:"!1 NEXT"

Its partial Boolean search
You can use AND for your parameters; You can use OR (any:) for your parameter
But you can't use both AND & OR together; they have to be separate searches

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15 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Its partial Boolean search

Interesting concept...  ;)

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