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torgerson

Breaking down how I use Evernote for Task management (in detail)

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I have seen many others post in the forums before on how they are using tasks, or why they don't use Evernote tasks.  I have gone back and forth on this for quite some time.  I think I have finally settled that my process in a work in progress, but one that works for me.  I thought I'd share.   Rather than re-post the whole article.. check out the post. 

 

http://www.torgersons.com/detailed-routine-using-evernote-for-tasks-and-tracking/

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Thanks for sharing.  I'm sure your blog will be helpful to many people.

But for me, Evernote falls so far short of what I need, and what I am used to, for Task Management that I can not use it as my primary Task Manager.

Evernote works very well in support of task management, allowing me to quickly and easily capture my daily work, progress, interviews with clients/users, research, etc. 

But Evernote does NOT provide the automatic linking of subtasks and projects that I need.  Yes it can be done manually, but that is just extra work, and often us humans fail to make all the links.

So my best practice is to use a dedicated Project/Task Manager, and use Evernote to support it.  If the Project/Task manager is an online system, I can easily insert links to the main Task, or maybe just a Task#.

Finally, although Evernote Marketing keeps on calling Evernote a "collaboration" tool, it is not such a tool, or at the very best it is on the very low end of collaboration tools.

To use Evernote as a Task Manager, IMO, requires a lot of discipline and manual effort. which if you are a busy person doesn't work out very well.

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Thanks for sharing.  I'm sure your blog will be helpful to many people.

 

But for me, Evernote falls so far short of what I need, and what I am used to, for Task Management that I can not use it as my primary Task Manager.

Evernote works very well in support of task management, allowing me to quickly and easily capture my daily work, progress, interviews with clients/users, research, etc. 

 

But Evernote does NOT provide the automatic linking of subtasks and projects that I need.  Yes it can be done manually, but that is just extra work, and often us humans fail to make all the links.

 

So my best practice is to use a dedicated Project/Task Manager, and use Evernote to support it.  If the Project/Task manager is an online system, I can easily insert links to the main Task, or maybe just a Task#.

 

Finally, although Evernote Marketing keeps on calling Evernote a "collaboration" tool, it is not such a tool, or at the very best it is on the very low end of collaboration tools.

 

To use Evernote as a Task Manager, IMO, requires a lot of discipline and manual effort. which if you are a busy person doesn't work out very well.

I agree that subtasks are missing, also recurring, etc.  Some things I do in Wunderlist for simple tracking. 

I just found linking Evernote notes to my task program was just the same effort as COPY NOTE LINK and putting it in Evernote.  

 

curious what you use for tasks?  

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There is a bit too much overhead in your system for me.  I opted to force my task management (outside of grocery lists and the like) into EN.  I got tired of going to multiple places to keep track of things.

 

To do this I use the reminder functionality in EN since that is where the information exists.  Some notes have dates and some are just reminders with TSW type tags.  Since dynamic date searches don't work as advertised in EN, I use phaseexpress to create hot key searches for for things like today's reminders, dated reminders up to today, dated reminders for the next seven days, etc.  I also have an open undated reminders search which I sort by tag (these tags are !1-Now, !2-Next, etc,) so I can manage the less date sensitive items.  Net of it all, <Win><Alt>T and I have a nice to do list for today in Snippet view.  No extra overhead and my notes become the basis of my task management.  Pretty rudimentary I know, but it works for me.  FWIW.

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@torgerson, try this one out for size: 

 

http://www.productivitymashup.com/blog/2014/10/7/kanban-calendar-evernote-series-1-of-5 (or the post thereafter)

 

BAM! Frank.  I was so thrilled with my "settled on" solution.  Now I am going to spend a bunch of time refining tonight.  I can't wait to see the next couple posts.  

 

By using the Reminders (even without dates) but dragging between folders, it makes it really easy to move things around and gets rid of some of the duplicity in my process.  (which I agree was a bit heavy handed, but working)

 

Thanks for sharing. 

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Concerning task management Todoist is unbeatable! :-)

 

Do you manually link to your Evernote notes from there?  or do you try to cross-link the two?  Because I work so much inside of Evernote, I just felt it was a burden to do the linking. (although I was just probably being lazy)

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Well, to be quite honest I use Todoist as a real task management system - partly in conjunction with Gmail (there is a Chrome extension for that). Evernote is my external brain where I store all notes but no tasks...I still wonder why people are using EN for tasks. Of course you can - somehow - but a real task management system will be WAY better.

 

Todoist is just the best out there and I'm more than glad to be a premium user for them.

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I have found that trying to do full task mgt in Evernote requires a lot of linking, tagging, etc to achieve what is done automatically by dedicated Task Managers.  

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I have found that trying to do full task mgt in Evernote requires a lot of linking, tagging, etc to achieve what is done automatically by dedicated Task Managers.

I thought so too... But I did find some pretty decent ways to implement a fully integrated system in Evernote. Once set up it doesn't require much maintenance at all. But then again, it's an unusual system. Personally, I couldn't deal with tagging and untagging... That's why I didn't think laterally in that respect.

BTW, I don't use the system I set up an Evernote... It was just for tinkering, and incidentally, that system can be set up in almost any task management app.

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Well, to be quite honest I use Todoist as a real task management system - partly in conjunction with Gmail (there is a Chrome extension for that). Evernote is my external brain where I store all notes but no tasks...I still wonder why people are using EN for tasks. Of course you can - somehow - but a real task management system will be WAY better.

 

Todoist is just the best out there and I'm more than glad to be a premium user for them.

 

I have to agree with Matze.  You guys should really take a look at the Todoist web site:

As best as I can tell, Evernote provides only 2 or 3 of the below features.

The other big thing for me is how tasks are displayed/organized.  Evernote provides almost no control over how "tasks" and related notes are displayed.

 

 

 

Todoist offers more useful features than any other to-do list. So you can do more to customize the experience, organize your tasks and projects, and optimize your productivity.
  • Sub tasks

    Achieve more by breaking big tasks into smaller sub-tasks (multi-level).

  •  
  • Sub projects

    Manage complexity by breaking big projects into smaller sub-projects (multi-level).

  •  
  • Share and collaborate

    Share projects, delegate tasks and discuss details - on any device and platform!

  • Notifications

    Get notified when important changes happen via emails or push notifications.

  •  
  • Human due dates

    Quickly write due dates using normal language, such as “monday at 2pm”.

  •  
  • Powerful recurring dates

    Quickly write due dates using normal language, such as “every day at 2pm”.

  • Real-time data synchronization

    Never think about syncing, we do it for you in real time across any device and platform.

  •  
  • Multiple priorities

    Focus on the important stuff using Todoist’s colored priorities.

  •  
  • Visualize your productivity

    With Todoist Karma you can track your productivity and visualize your productivity trends over time.

  • Reminderspremium

    Get reminded via email, push notification or SMS. Also receive location-based alerts when on‑the‑go.

  •  
  • Notespremium

    Add as many details as you want using task notes. Or attach PDFs, spreadsheets or photos.

  •  
  • Labels and filterspremium

    Put tasks into contexts via labels, a great way to become even more organized. Create custom filters that fit your workflow.

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For others who might read this at some point, if EN doesn't do it for you and you don't mind using two products, a task product to consider might be Zendone,  https://www.zendone.com/.  It incorporates GTD and is integrated to EN.  

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Has anyone looked at Intellinote?

 

Looks like it has all the note-taking features of Evernote, combined with strong Project/Task management, and real collaboration.

 

It appears Intellinote is much more team oriented than Evernote.  It's free for up to 5 users.

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Interesting... They say, "We'll remember everything. So you don't have to". And their tagline is: "The One Workspace to Accomplish Everything." 

 

This Workspace thing is really coming onto the scene, isn't it?

 

I would be curious as to how much of "everything" they can remember for you. From the brief video, it seems like Work Chat pretty much does what they do... Would have to tinker more. I wonder how much of their inspiration came from Evernote...what with the name Intellinote and the almost identical layout to Evernote's desktop client. I think at the very least, it may be a fascinating comparison.

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I couldn't quite tell but it looks like web and IOS/Android platforms only.  Don't think it is designed for a personal user, team focused for sure.  Not for my use case.

 

In my 10 minutes on their site I found the below.  An interesting snippet from their questions asked section.  Marketing in 100% full swing, not exactly an indirect reference, could even be viewed as a shot across the bow!

 

Ok...So You're Just Like Evernote

 

No.

 

Evernote does one thing well. We know. We ourselves have used it in the past.

 

But we don’t think a note taking app is how professionals and  teams can get work done.

 

Getting work done in the real world means being able to capture everything, and then search and retrieve what you need, when you need to. From any device, at any time.

 

And being able to add tasks. And discussions. And projects. And files. And share things with colleagues, customers, vendors. So that everyone can accomplish more every day. And work smarter. And live better.

 

So, no, we’re not like Evernote.

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They might have to rephrase that answer, given Evernote's new vision. Surprise, surprise! Do all road's not lead to Rome?  :P

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Interesting... They say, "We'll remember everything. So you don't have to". And their tagline is: "The One Workspace to Accomplish Everything." 

 

This Workspace thing is really coming onto the scene, isn't it?

 

I would be curious as to how much of "everything" they can remember for you. From the brief video, it seems like Work Chat pretty much does what they do... Would have to tinker more. I wonder how much of their inspiration came from Evernote...what with the name Intellinote and the almost identical layout to Evernote's desktop client. I think at the very least, it may be a fascinating comparison.

 

Frank, I don't think that is a fair review of Intellinote.  I don't know where you got the tag line from -- I don't see it anywhere.

In fact, IntelliNote has multiple workspaces, so it doesn't make sense.

 

Evernote claims it offers collaboration, but it's not the collaboration that I, and I think many others, expect and are used to in other apps.

 

IntelliNote has the notion of "draft" vs "published" notes and tasks.  Draft items are private to you.  Published makes the item visible to your team.  I think this is huge.  One of the big issues I have with Evernote Context is that it can pull from your notes, that may be still in draft form, and share with your workmates.  

 

I've only use IntelliNotes briefly, but my first impressions are very good.

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I couldn't quite tell but it looks like web and IOS/Android platforms only.  Don't think it is designed for a personal user, team focused for sure.  Not for my use case.
 
In my 10 minutes on their site I found the below.  An interesting snippet from their questions asked section.  Marketing in 100% full swing, not exactly an indirect reference, could even be viewed as a shot across the bow!
 
Ok...So You're Just Like Evernote
 
No.
 
Evernote does one thing well. We know. We ourselves have used it in the past.
 
But we don’t think a note taking app is how professionals and  teams can get work done.
 
Getting work done in the real world means being able to capture everything, and then search and retrieve what you need, when you need to. From any device, at any time.
 
And being able to add tasks. And discussions. And projects. And files. And share things with colleagues, customers, vendors. So that everyone can accomplish more every day. And work smarter. And live better.
 
So, no, we’re not like Evernote.

 

 

The big difference is:

 

And being able to add tasks. And discussions. And projects. And files. And share things with colleagues, customers, vendors. So that everyone can accomplish more every day. And work smarter. And live better.

 

Evernote has ONLY Notes.  In addition to Notes, IntelliNote has real tasks, discussions, and projects.

You can use this as an individual, or with teams.  IMO, the collaboration and team support is far superior to Evernote.

 

Since this thread is about Task management, that seems very important to me.

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Interesting... They say, "We'll remember everything. So you don't have to". And their tagline is: "The One Workspace to Accomplish Everything." 

 

This Workspace thing is really coming onto the scene, isn't it?

 

I would be curious as to how much of "everything" they can remember for you. From the brief video, it seems like Work Chat pretty much does what they do... Would have to tinker more. I wonder how much of their inspiration came from Evernote...what with the name Intellinote and the almost identical layout to Evernote's desktop client. I think at the very least, it may be a fascinating comparison.

 

Frank, I don't think that is a fair review of Intellinote.  I don't know where you got the tag line from -- I don't see it anywhere.

In fact, IntelliNote has multiple workspaces, so it doesn't make sense.

 

Evernote claims it offers collaboration, but it's not the collaboration that I, and I think many others, expect and are used to in other apps.

 

IntelliNote has the notion of "draft" vs "published" notes and tasks.  Draft items are private to you.  Published makes the item visible to your team.  I think this is huge.  One of the big issues I have with Evernote Context is that it can pull from your notes, that may be still in draft form, and share with your workmates.  

 

I've only use IntelliNotes briefly, but my first impressions are very good.

 

 

Hey JMichael,

 

Not trying to be overly critical or give a review. Mine was a superficial overview, based on the video. I thought it almost identical to Evernote's evolving vision. The comments were simply for interest's sake...

 

 

Intellinote2.PNG?dl=0

 

 

Intellinote.PNG?dl=0

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Evernote claims it offers collaboration, but it's not the collaboration that I, and I think many others, expect and are used to in other apps.

 

 

 

I totally agree.

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Hey JMichael,

 

Not trying to be overly critical or give a review. Mine was a superficial overview, based on the video. I thought it almost identical to Evernote's evolving vision. The comments were simply for interest's sake...

 

 

I think you are assigning too much importance to that one statement.  It's clearly using workspace in a different manner.

 

I've reviewed much of their web site, and I don't see anything that is similar to Evernote's new vision.

They have nothing like EN Context, which is Evernote's centerpiece.  Evernote seems to want you to do ALL your work in Evernote.  That's why CEO Phil Libin is attacking Microsoft and the traditional use of documents.  I don't see anything like that in Evernote Intellinote.  They have tight integration with Google Docs, and support attaching files of all types.

 

I've not come to any conclusions about IntelliNote.  That's why I'm posting here, hoping to find someone who's actually used it for a while.

 

EDIT:  Correction made.  See above strikeout.  I meant "Intellinote", but initially typed "Evernote".

Edited by JMichael
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You're right... there is an exaggerated focus on a couple of statements. I know the way they flesh out tasks, projects and collaboration sets them apart sufficiently (from what I see in a brief video). I'm not really trying to come to any conclusion or slate them. It seems at the very least, in a weird sort of reciprocity (half joking here), that Evernote wants to be a little like Intellinote... and Intellinote saw is necessary to be at least a little like Evernote. Whether coincidence or not, I simply find it interesting that there are some core focuses (in vision at least, if not in layout) that overlap. 

 

If there ever were anyone who would give them the benefit of the doubt, it's myself. You may or may not have seen my blog. I'm an obsessive app-tinkerer. I may review Intellinote at some point. I think it warrants a good look under the hood. I'm not trying to dissuade anyone here. My apologies if my initial comments thereon leaned way to the critical end. I just found the tagline (and a few other points) to be of interest. Simply that. 

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Frank, no problem.  I'd love to see your more detailed review of Intellinote.

 

I think IntelliNote's point is they do Notes just like Evernote.  But they add to that tasks, discussions, and projects.

 

Of great interest to many, Intellinote Tasks have a real DUE DATE, which has been long requested in Evernote.

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I'm really not trying to promote or beat the IntelliNote drum, but it does appear it offers some interesting features.

Of course, these are advertised features, which in the real world may not hold up to the marketing hype.

 

Having said that, here's some clarity about IntelliNote Workspaces:

It sounds very interesting, if reality matches marketing, or at least come close.  ;)

 

 

Workspaces in Intellinote can fulfill more than one function: They give you the space to do it all. Here are some examples:

1. One-Time Project
You can create workspaces for projects or cases that stand alone and have definite start and end dates. Add these dates to the description of your workspace in the Dashboard. Once you or your team have completed work here, you can create an “Archive” workspace group and place your work there.

2. Ongoing Collaborative Space
Such workspaces are not necessarily limited to one-time projects with specified start and end dates. They are long-term and provide team members with virtual rooms to share information and collaborate. The Discussions feature can be particularly helpful to start conversations. Use tags to separate various subjects within the Workspace.

3. Knowledge Library
You can build out workspaces as repositories of information. Gather your case studies, collections of Frequently Asked Questions, product price lists, or competitive intelligence libraries in these workspaces. You can turn members into workspace admins to allow them to modify and update content if needed.

4. Personal Project
You can also set up workspaces for personal purposes to keep track of workflows. You do not have to invite anyone else into the workspace, unless you want to, but you can still share some posts and files with others with Intellinote’s Sharing feature.

5. Virtual Conversation
These are similar to ongoing collaborative spaces; however, these workspaces are for short-term or one-time discussions, much like dialogues on Skype. Invite both Intellinote members and external users to the conversation to collaborate.

 

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Evernote has ONLY Notes. In addition to Notes, IntelliNote has real tasks, discussions, and projects.

You can use this as an individual, or with teams. IMO, the collaboration and team support is far superior to Evernote.

Since this thread is about Task management, that seems very important to me.

Yeah, definitely looks like it is geared to projects and teams. Would be interesting to get an actual reference from someone who has used it in "anger".

Side note., try editing one of these responses on an iPad! Geez, we'll see how it looks.

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I have long since given up on using the iPad as a serious content creation/editing tool.  I know it works well for some, but not for me.

EN iPad has far too many limitations for it to be useful to me other an as a viewing/reading device.  It's OK for checking checkboxes, and quick entry of a simple note on the run, but I'd never sit down and compose a complex note.  And, of course, we've not had a web clipper (which is almost 50% of my notes) on iOS until very recently.  

 

Because of this, I moved to the MacBook Air years ago.  The iPad just couldn't cut it.  It is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

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I have long sense given up on using the iPad as a serious content creation/editing tool.  I know it works well for some, but not for me.

EN iPad has far too many limitations for it to be useful to me other an as a viewing/reading device.  It's OK for checking checkboxes, and quick entry of a simple note on the run, but I'd never sit down and compose a complex note.  And, of course, we've not had a web clipper (which is almost 50% of my notes) on iOS until very recently.  

 

Because of this, I moved to the MacBook Air years ago.  The iPad just couldn't cut it.  It is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Agree. I do most "active" things on my PC. Just happened to use it to check mail and decided to respond using it. Typing not so bad, but deciphering the formatting is no joy. End of off topic.

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Frank, no problem.  I'd love to see your more detailed review of Intellinote.

 

I think IntelliNote's point is they do Notes just like Evernote.  But they add to that tasks, discussions, and projects.

 

Of great interest to many, Intellinote Tasks have a real DUE DATE, which has been long requested in Evernote.

 

Evernote Users
 
We just released an Evernote Importer: https://www.intellinote.net/blog/introducing-evernote-importer/and we are looking for a few power Evernote users who are able to take our Importer out for a spin...and possibly provide feedback :) 
 
Any feedback (good/bad/ugly) will be greatly appreciated. 
 
Sincerely,
Mohan Kompella @IntellinoteInc 

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On 11/12/2014 at 6:10 PM, torgerson said:

I have seen many others post in the forums before on how they are using tasks, or why they don't use Evernote tasks.  I have gone back and forth on this for quite some time.  I think I have finally settled that my process in a work in progress, but one that works for me.  I thought I'd share.   Rather than re-post the whole article.. check out the post. 

 

http://www.torgersons.com/detailed-routine-using-evernote-for-tasks-and-tracking/

Thank you for taking the time to describe your organisation system in such rich detail.

Although, this only piques my curiosity to wonder how your system has evolved over the last couple of years :)

I'd love to a see a sequel to this post to see how you have managed to leverage the new features that were implemented since the last time you blogged about it.

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So.. 

On 11/24/2016 at 8:29 PM, VivekKrishnaPrasad said:

Thank you for taking the time to describe your organisation system in such rich detail.

Although, this only piques my curiosity to wonder how your system has evolved over the last couple of years :)

I'd love to a see a sequel to this post to see how you have managed to leverage the new features that were implemented since the last time you blogged about it.

Things have definitely evolved over the past couple years.   I have taken on the hobby of trying to improve/tweak/waste time on my productivity systems. Quick summary is this:

1. I am sticking with Evernote for Notes, Capturing content, going paperless for MOST things, Journaling my work, etc.   I just posted about it here;  http://www.torgersons.com/why-i-am-sticking-with-evernote-for-now/

2. I have moved to a real task manager like many of you suggested.   I was on Omnifocus for a long time.  I've tried todoist, Wunderlist, Things.   I am now using 2do, primarily because the way I think works with 2do.   Start dates means I should be working on something.   Due dates is a deadline.   Omnifocus hid too many things from my brain.  2do seems to be doing this quite nicely for me. 

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On 11/13/2014 at 8:15 AM, Matze B. said:

Concerning task management Todoist is unbeatable! :-)

I totally disagree that it is unbeatable.

It is one of the top used and ifttt has a lot of snippets for it

IQTell used to be the best as it was the most customizable task manager out there - its too bad they did not know how to market this product

There are so many different apps out there as there are uses who will disagree with your statement

It's unbeatable to you and others but not everyone out there - it all depends on what you need and how you use your task manager

There is Ticktick which has an interesting UI and calendar

Tooledo

Cloze

Facile things

To name a few and they all have their flaws like todoist some are too expensive and some do not integrate well with evernote etc

Glad you like todoist and to restate your statement "Concerning task management Todoist is unbeatable, for me! :-)

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On 7/30/2017 at 6:25 PM, kshivner said:

I totally disagree that it is unbeatable.

It is one of the top used and ifttt has a lot of snippets for it

IQTell used to be the best as it was the most customizable task manager out there - its too bad they did not know how to market this product

There are so many different apps out there as there are uses who will disagree with your statement

It's unbeatable to you and others but not everyone out there - it all depends on what you need and how you use your task manager

There is Ticktick which has an interesting UI and calendar

Tooledo

Cloze

Facile things

To name a few and they all have their flaws like todoist some are too expensive and some do not integrate well with evernote etc

Glad you like todoist and to restate your statement "Concerning task management Todoist is unbeatable, for me! :-)

Totally agree. Todoist, the soon-to-be-defunct Wunderlist, Any.do and many other similar services are just one step above the basic capabilities offered by Google Tasks and Apple Reminders. 

None of these services  support Start date, or advanced filtering. If you have multiple overlapping tasks which take more than a few hours (and sometimes days) to complete and have independent deadlines that can't be changed, then you really need Start dates to make sure a task doesn't just "creep up" on you and there's not enough time to finish it.  Nothing like realizing on Thursday morning that a major deliverable is due by next Tuesday, and with all the other things that must be done this week, you won't be able to complete it on time unless you work over the weekend. On the other hand, you don't want dozens of future tasks taking up screen space and fighting for your attention with couple dozen tasks that are more urgent.  Both Toodledo and Ticktick that you've mentioned offer that one extra level of control over task display and notification, that is missing from Todoist. Which makes Toodledo unbeatable to me - but perhaps not to someone who doesn't need that level of complexity. 

(TickTick is a very slick offering indeed, but with it being headquartered in China, I am hesitant to use it for work-related tasks. US may be notorious for NSA spying, but it doesn't even hold a candle to China and Russia when it comes to industrial espionage).

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On 11/12/2014 at 3:28 AM, JMichaelTX said:

Thanks for sharing.  I'm sure your blog will be helpful to many people.

 

But for me, Evernote falls so far short of what I need, and what I am used to, for Task Management that I can not use it as my primary Task Manager.

Evernote works very well in support of task management, allowing me to quickly and easily capture my daily work, progress, interviews with clients/users, research, etc. 

 

But Evernote does NOT provide the automatic linking of subtasks and projects that I need.  Yes it can be done manually, but that is just extra work, and often us humans fail to make all the links.

 

So my best practice is to use a dedicated Project/Task Manager, and use Evernote to support it.  If the Project/Task manager is an online system, I can easily insert links to the main Task, or maybe just a Task#.

 

Finally, although Evernote Marketing keeps on calling Evernote a "collaboration" tool, it is not such a tool, or at the very best it is on the very low end of collaboration tools.

 

To use Evernote as a Task Manager, IMO, requires a lot of discipline and manual effort. which if you are a busy person doesn't work out very well.

I agree that Evernote works very well in support of task management. Over the last 2 years I tried using Evernote as a task manager however it always felt like it was not working as it should. It took a lot of effort to create a smooth flowing system. In the end less than a year ago, I decided to use a dedicate task management software and gave Todoist a chance. 

I must say it works really nicely in conjunction with Evernote which is still the center of my workflow and the control center. But I find it so much easier (visually) at least to see your tasks as individual tasks not as notes. And the linking and cross-referencing works really nicely if you take the extra time to copy the links to the notes and tasks.

I am not sure if Evernote will try to tackle the "Task management" arena but at least if they provided better integration with task management apps, it would definitely help.

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