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Undentifiedz

About GTD + Evernote

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Hi! I'm sorry if this post will end up being a bit vague, but I hope someone can help me out here!

 

I'm an 18 year old student studying graphic design at the moment, (however this is more of a hobby... long story) What I do most of the time is Music Production (which I also want to do later in life)

 

Now I wanted to be more productive and started reading up on Getting Things Done and came across some things like GTD + Evernote, The Secret Weapon, but I've been searching around a bit too much that I've gotten a bit dizzy (Theres a lot of text everywhere and I'm quite "impatient" i have trouble trying to read long things on end or staying focused. Im trying to fix this by meditating more, but thats not the point)

 

I started getting intersted in combining GTD and Evernote, but I'm not sure if it would be useful for me?

 

Now what I mean is it will definitely be useful in general and to be able to write all my projects for school down and all that, however in the videos of TSW I feel like it's all focused to people who already have jobs and such, and how the tags are made (Now, then, soon, later, @work, @home, writing names down of your collegeaus, etc) and it all seems like a bit too "bussinessy" to be useful for me(?)

 

I want to be able to use GTD for being able to spend more time being able to produce music, pretty much. My 'to do list' I have right now (actually I dont even have one) is a mess, and I end up doing almost nothing productive and I end up doing nothing music producing related at all, which annoys me greatly.

 

So I kind of want to ask, will GTD + Evernote (I also started to use Todoist and i love it) help me? Is there maybe a better way I can implement it to be able to spend more time producing music and being more productive overall? Maybe any suggestions for what evernote would also be useful for?

 

Again, sorry if this is (really) vague. English isn't my first language and it's a bit hard trying to write down what I really mean in my head, if theres any questions or any suggestions to what I could do would be extremely appreciated! thank you!

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Hi.  I'm sorry to be a bit mystical about this,  but only you can decide how to set up the most useful system for your own specific purposes.  Everyone's daily tasks and goals are different,  their ability (and wish) to use technology to help them deal with activities is wildly variable,  and even the man who popularised GTD says "take from the system whatever you find useful and leave the rest".  Various people here use modified version of the GTD process,  and I think quite a few use The Secret Weapon (TSW).  But if you try to follow someone else's processes,  you first have to learn them until you can deal with the task automatically - and their tags,  categories,  and general timescales may not be useful to you as they set out.  So you have to modify their system extensively,  test it out,  and probably make more changes where you find further oddities or things don't work out.  And dealing with this large,  all-singing.  all dancing system will probably take up more of your time than actually working on things you need to do.

Far better in my view to start out from basic principles.  The only GTD process that I follow completely is 'always write things down'.  Get jobs,  ideas,  appointments - anything -  out of your head and into a system where you have a list of things waiting.  It's much more effective to concentrate on what you're actually doing than to have to worry about something you plan for next week.  Or that painting or story you'll get around to when you have time.  Write down your thoughts to be dealt with later.

When you've finished with your current task,  review your list and pick the next most important thing for you.  Looking at the list may give you more ideas - write them down;  or you may think of extra details for an existing entry.  Add them in.

If you get a lot of items in your list,  you'll need to apply some priorities - use very broad categories like NOW! / Soon / Someday.  Concentrate (obviously) on the NOW! and when you've cleared that list,  move things over from Soon.

You can do most of that in Evernote with three notes for your respective lists,  and use Reminders for anything that has a date attached to it.

I suggest you start with that simple system and get your life in order - and add 'Review GTD system' to your Soon list so you can take a step back and see whether you can think of any way to do better.

:)

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49 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Hi.  I'm sorry to be a bit mystical about this,  but only you can decide how to set up the most useful system for your own specific purposes.  Everyone's daily tasks and goals are different,  their ability (and wish) to use technology to help them deal with activities is wildly variable,  and even the man who popularised GTD says "take from the system whatever you find useful and leave the rest".  Various people here use modified version of the GTD process,  and I think quite a few use The Secret Weapon (TSW).  But if you try to follow someone else's processes,  you first have to learn them until you can deal with the task automatically - and their tags,  categories,  and general timescales may not be useful to you as they set out.  So you have to modify their system extensively,  test it out,  and probably make more changes where you find further oddities or things don't work out.  And dealing with this large,  all-singing.  all dancing system will probably take up more of your time than actually working on things you need to do.

Far better in my view to start out from basic principles.  The only GTD process that I follow completely is 'always write things down'.  Get jobs,  ideas,  appointments - anything -  out of your head and into a system where you have a list of things waiting.  It's much more effective to concentrate on what you're actually doing than to have to worry about something you plan for next week.  Or that painting or story you'll get around to when you have time.  Write down your thoughts to be dealt with later.

When you've finished with your current task,  review your list and pick the next most important thing for you.  Looking at the list may give you more ideas - write them down;  or you may think of extra details for an existing entry.  Add them in.

If you get a lot of items in your list,  you'll need to apply some priorities - use very broad categories like NOW! / Soon / Someday.  Concentrate (obviously) on the NOW! and when you've cleared that list,  move things over from Soon.

You can do most of that in Evernote with three notes for your respective lists,  and use Reminders for anything that has a date attached to it.

I suggest you start with that simple system and get your life in order - and add 'Review GTD system' to your Soon list so you can take a step back and see whether you can think of any way to do better.

:)

Yeah definitely! I read and thought so myself too that everyone has a different way of applying GDT and its different for everyone, thats why my post was probably so vague, but I was just kind of confused where to start with the kind of things I do (college + making as much music as I can being productive) but thank you! your post is really informative and I'll definitely try to just start out, as you said, from basic principles, and I'll see how it goes :)

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6 hours ago, Undentifiedz said:

Hi! I'm sorry if this post will end up being a bit vague, but I hope someone can help me out here!

.....Now I wanted to be more productive and started reading up on Getting Things Done and came across some thin

I started getting intersted in combining GTD and Evernote, but I'm not sure if it would be useful for me?....

You sound like you're on the right track to putting together a workflow.  And that's the most important thing, getting organized. Don't let anyone tell you there's only one way to do things.  Some ways are better and work better for you.  There are no wrongs, except to do nothing.

You mentioned ToDoist that you liked so you can take many good ideas from there.  I use Evernote because I want to keep all my notes together, and it gave me the freedom to incorporate ideas from all the sources you mentioned.

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There is a fantastic recipe on how to set up quite an elegant way of doing a GTD workflow within Evernote that really impressed me. I believe you can find it here: http://ruudhein.com/evernote-gtd.

Alternatively, I myself use IQTell that is very well integrated with Evernote and really based around the GTD concept ( http://www.iqtell.com ). I am in no way affiliated with the company, just a very satisfied user, as I am with Evernote.

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On February 25, 2016 at 5:47 AM, Undentifiedz said:

it's all focused to people who already have jobs and such, and how the tags are made (Now, then, soon, later, @work, @home, writing names down of your collegeaus, etc) and it all seems like a bit too "bussinessy" to be useful for me(?)

I never got the context thing, perhaps because I didn't have a clear distinction between work and home (I worked from my home). So, I just roll without this.

Theres a lot of suggestions going around - don't get too bogged down by them, or this post.

Just write down your tasks as separate notes and tag them as Tasks.  

Then create a saved search to find Tag:Tasks                  

You are on your way, and can embellish the process from there.

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6 hours ago, CS-Nor said:

Alternatively, I myself use IQTell that is very well integrated with Evernote and really based around the GTD concept ( http://www.iqtell.com ). I am in no way affiliated with the company, just a very satisfied user, as I am with Evernote.

I also use IQTell and love it (as I do Evernote).  IMO, it is much more project/task focused, making easier to identify, track, and work your tasks.
You can manage projects and tasks in Evernote, but it takes a lot of work, a lot of discipline, to make a success of it.  IQTell does most of this for you.

One thing I'd add in general:  Be prepared for some trial and error, especially in the beginning.  You can't really find out what will work best for you unless you actually test drive the app/system.  No matter how great it looks in the showroom, no matter how great the reviews are, would you ever buy a car without test driving it?  So do your research, get opinions, and then test out 3 or 4 systems and/or apps before you make a major  commitment.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

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Thank you, I agree @JMichaelTX. I also tried a few different things before ending up with the combo of Evernote and IQTell that I find works for me. Doesn't mean it works for others though, so always good to explore a little.

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On 2/26/2016 at 11:43 PM, DTLow said:

I never got the context thing, perhaps because I didn't have a clear distinction between work and home (I worked from my home). So, I just roll without this.

Theres a lot of suggestions going around - don't get too bogged down by them, or this post.

Just write down your tasks as separate notes and tag them as Tasks.  

Then create a saved search to find Tag:Tasks                  

You are on your way, and can embellish the process from there.

Yeah this definitely seems more useful for me, and I've been trying it out. I'm slowly getting the hang of it, although sometimes im still a bit with my hands in my hair cause I'm a bit lost, but it'll come. The main reason why I can't really seem to follow so many "guides" is because it's almost always e-mail orientated, but the thing is, I don't even get work e-mails for my type of work (yet, especially cause I'm in college). I don't really get e-mails I have to put into specific tags (now, later, soon) so I always feel "left out" with how it works, and I am/was just confused with how to apply my college work and my personal project work. 

 

As what someone else posted: IQTell seems interesting and I might try it. Right now I'm using Todoist, which I got the hang of now, and I'm using it together with evernote, but I still have a bit of a struggle with using evernote to it's fullest extend for my use.

 

Thanks everyone for the help! I'll just keep trying and trying and hope i'll find something that works good for me :)

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5 hours ago, Undentifiedz said:

why I can't really seem to follow so many "guides" is because it's almost always e-mail orientated, but the thing is, I don't even get work e-mails for my type of work (yet, especially cause I'm in college).

I wouldn't be too concerned about lack of email.
I know the guides focus on it; its a nice feature, but its just one of various collection methods.

>>I'll just keep trying and trying and hope i'll find something that works good for me

Thats a good approach.  My process gets changed frequently as I learn new things, and new features appear

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6 hours ago, Undentifiedz said:

IQTell seems interesting and I might try it.

A cool thing about the integration of Evernote with IQTell, is that you can tag a note in Evernote with, say "IQT.Task", and IQTell will automatically create an IQTell task from that note.

So you not only have the ability to search in Evernote for your tasks (tag:IQT.Task), but you also have the powerful task and project mgt features of IQTell.

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I have tried and tried to implement GTD in Evernote and failed each time.  I always go back to a simple dated list (IOS Reminders) because I like to see what I need to do by date. I have recurring reminders which Evernote doesn't handle well. I can't seem to make the leap to  GTD vs. doing everything on a specific date. It seems with GTD one spends so much time trying to figure out what to do next. I know I could put dated items on my calendar, but the bigger issue is what am I missing about GTD? I loved the simplicity of Ruud Hein's system, but left it. I don't work but am a writer and blogger. I use Evernote for everything except my task management. Any suggestions or insights would be appreciated. I'd love to embrace GTD in Evernote and stick with it for more than 2 days.

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20 minutes ago, phyla said:

 I use Evernote for everything except my task management. Any suggestions or insights would be appreciated. I'd love to embrace GTD in Evernote and stick with it for more than 2 days.

My workflow works for me, and is influenced by GTD and TSW.

I'm not too hung up on Next Action.  I think the point was, don't spend your time on compiling all your tasks into long lists; just focus on the Next Actions. When you complete a task, identify the Next Action.

I also use the Reminders for hard dates.  It doesn't matter what system you're using; if something is due at a set date/time, that's a fact.  The reason I use Reminders is that it's sync'd to my calendar; that's where I keep track of scheduled items. The calendar allows recurring items.

When I review tasks, I assign a When tag; Now, Soon, Later, Sceduled, Someday, Waiting.  Now and Soon are the tasks I focus on.

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Thanks, DTLow  for your reply. What is your notebook set up?

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3 hours ago, phyla said:

What is your notebook set up?

I'm a tag enthusiast.

I know TSW recommends Task Notebooks, but I just use an !Actionable tag.
I use a generic !Archive tag for completed tasks.

I have three main notebooks: @Inbox, Filing, Trash
Not related to task management. I have some shared notebooks, and some local notebooks

Note: Shared notebooks could be for project work teams, and would contain task notes.

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Thanks for your input. I am revisiting TSW, I know it's a good system, I just have to work with it. It still bugs me that I have to have two systems, one for dated/recurring tasks, and one for the other types of activities. For some reason I just can't get used to how Evernote handles the dated reminders, so I am using the reminder-with-no-date  feature for the Next tasks.

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I've been using a GTD inspired process in Evernote for a couple of years. I have Task folder with two notebooks - Action Pending and Completed. I use two main tags: .What for the domain (Family, Finances, House, Career, Personal, etc.) and .When (0-Daily, 1-Now, 2-Next, etc.). I don't use any of the other apps described above, but I do have a canned search for Action Pending-Now. 

For me the simple power of this approach (as advocated in GTD) is being able to build a big backlog of tasks, but be able to process it either by area or urgency. For me at least, it's hard to overstate the negative impact of a giant list.

BTW, one key hack needed for my method is a registry edit that automatically creates new notes using the current view (Notebook + selected tags). You can find that thread here.

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, sfmike said:

I've been using a GTD inspired process in Evernote for a couple of years. I have Task folder with two notebooks - Action Pending and Completed. I use two main tags: .What for the domain (Family, Finances, House, Career, Personal, etc.) and .When (0-Daily, 1-Now, 2-Next, etc.). I don't use any of the other apps described above, but I do have a canned search for Action Pending-Now. 

For me the simple power of this approach (as advocated in GTD) is being able to build a big backlog of tasks, but be able to process it either by area or urgency. For me at least, it's hard to overstate the negative impact of a giant list.

BTW, one key hack needed for my method is a registry edit that automatically creates new notes using the current view (Notebook + selected tags). You can find that thread here.

Good luck!

So let me see if I understand your process.  Your domains are actually more projects than the standard GTD contexts. Is that correct?

So every task goes into the action pending notebook with a domain tag, and maybe a when tag. Then when you are ready to take action you review all the tasks and assign the now tag to those few that you will do now. Right?

Here are my stumbling blocks which others seem to have mastered but I have not so far:

I have dated tasks like pay cable bill, but hate the dated reminder feature in Evernote, just doesn't work for me, and don't like on the calendar. I also have recurring tasks which I just want to remember to do and don't want to have to decide or think about, like clean microwave. It seems to me that there's a lot of time consuming analysis in going through the decision process for all the tasks that don't bubble up on their own as needing doing.mI don't know why I find GTD in general so difficult to implement, either in Evernote or reminders. I like opening up a list ,seeing why I have to that day,mother analysing what  needs doing after this scheduled talks are done. Maybe I just don't have a GTD mentality. Sigh.

 

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2 hours ago, phyla said:

I have dated tasks like pay cable bill, but hate the dated reminder feature in Evernote, just doesn't work for me, and don't like on the calendar. I also have recurring tasks which I just want to remember to do and don't want to have to decide or think about, like clean microwave.

Heres some items from my workflow - hope it helps

For sure, Evernote doesn't do recurring reminders
I use the Apple Reminder app for this.

>>I like opening up a list ,seeing why I have to that day,mother analysing what  needs doing after this scheduled talks are done.

I prepare a journal note each day which includes a task section.
I transfer my now/soon tasks to it as a 
checkbox list (mass copy links)
This is what I work from during the day
On a day to day basis, I would rarely look at my When later/someday tasks.
They get addressed in the project or weekly reviews.

Saved searches in the shortcuts area make processing easier. I have
Process-Inbox
Process-Actionable
Process-Projects
When-Now
When-Soon
When-Later
When-Waiting

 

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2 hours ago, phyla said:

I have dated tasks like pay cable bill, but hate the dated reminder feature in Evernote, just doesn't work for me, and don't like on the calendar. I also have recurring tasks which I just want to remember to do and don't want to have to decide or think about, like clean microwave. It seems to me that there's a lot of time consuming analysis in going through the decision process for all the tasks that don't bubble up on their own as needing doing.mI don't know why I find GTD in general so difficult to implement, either in Evernote or reminders. I like opening up a list ,seeing why I have to that day,mother analysing what  needs doing after this scheduled talks are done. Maybe I just don't have a GTD mentality. Sigh.

 

Yeah that's a difference - I don't really use due dates or regular recurring tasks. Upon reflection, I think my method owes as much to Scrum as GTD...

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On 2016-03-23 at 5:29 PM, sfmike said:

BTW, one key hack needed for my method is a registry edit that automatically creates new notes using the current view (Notebook + selected tags). You can find that thread here.

I have scripts controlling my import folder, and creating notes from templates.
this is where I apply rules for notebooks and tags, and parsing csv files.

There are some auto-filing settings in Evernote but I've turned them off
Maybe its just a trust issue, but I don't find it a serious problem to just do my task tags manually.

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20 hours ago, DTLow said:

I have scripts controlling my import folder, and creating notes from templates.
this is where I apply rules for notebooks and tags, and parcing csv files.

There are some auto-filing settings in Evernote but I've turned them off
Maybe its just a trust issue, but I don't find it a serious problem to just do my task tags manually.

I guess it's my workflow. Say I'm looking at my action folder with the tag "house" - that is when I want to add related items. Also, it drove me crazy that creating a new note/task removed the tags from the view. This made my process much smoother.

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10 hours ago, sfmike said:

I guess it's my workflow. Say I'm looking at my action folder with the tag "house" - that is when I want to add related items. Also, it drove me crazy that creating a new note/task removed the tags from the view. This made my process much smoother.

I think I finally have the system to work for me. Thanks to everyone for your input. I have to keep things simple or I end up fiddling with tags and searches and not doing the stuff I should be doing. (I loved Ruud Heins system but played with it way too much.) One thing that seemed to mess me up was assign a When as soon as I entered a task on my list. That's what TSW says to do, but it didn't work for me.  I also don't use contexts, another  element that isn't important to me.

Here's what I think is working for me, maybe it will help someone else. Hard dated and recurring tasks are in IOS Reminders, scheduled appointments go on the calendar. In Evernote, I have an Action notebook and a Completed notebook for tasks. Every incoming task gets a project tag assigned to it, and unless it's urgent and has to be done right then, no When tag. Then I use the project tag to see everything I need to do for that  project and then assign a Today tag. I focus only on those until I complete them.  This gives me a quick and straightforward way to see by project what needs to be done and also, as someone above says, eliminates the long, daunting list of to-dos.  Thanks again everyone.

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44 minutes ago, phyla said:

One thing that seemed to mess me up was assign a When as soon as I entered a task on my list.

>>Delay assigning when tags
I agree with your approach on this.
It should get addressed in project reviews

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