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evansc22

Evernote for Task Management (Not the usual)

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I have used EN for quite a while for task management. I have a hybrid set up consisting of what works for me from GTD & TWS. Nothing major. I like the system well enough and find it acceptable.

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I'm also moving my journal from DayOne (Mac) over to EN just to keep everything under one roof. This is a side story really, but the point is, I'm basically living in EN preferring to have one application for many needs instead of multiple applications. Although I think DayOne serves as a journal somewhat better than EN, EN can very well accommodate. So, the theme lately for me has been to move as many functions into EN as possible within reason. I know it can't be all things, but it can do a lot of things pretty well.

Background 

I work in IT as a MSP. My company uses a well-known-to-the-industry modular web based application where customer work tickets are created and tracked. The system is also our CRM, technical knowledge base, and does customer billable time tracking which pushes into an accounting software package. The application does A TON of things, but the interface is clunky, and it feels like you have to force yourself to use it. Attaching a simple screen shot requires several clicks, and in order to view the attached file later, you have to download it and open it in a viewer. No inline viewing. The mobile app is almost unusable. But, it's not going anywhere. I'm stuck with it. 

On to the Question

I never can seem to ask a simple to-the-point question in this forum. Apologies. Since I'm using the company software for "work stuff" while also trying to use EN for basically everything, I'm finding that I'm creating tasks in Evernote with links back to the company tickets thus double entering information. I have two tags to separate work from personal (Projects-Work & Projects-Home). I prefer to have all the "things" I need to accomplish under one pane of glass, so to speak, and EN does that well. But, our ticketing system is designed so that other techs can look up information months down the road about an issue a customer had. It's a basic technical support ticketing system. As such, it makes sense for the company to have all that history. My problem is, it's tough to get information into it at times, especially in the field. EN is simple. I've tried putting all the history of an issue in EN by time-stamping updates as I go, along with screen shots, and then copy/paste back into the company software. The fields are text-only so you miss all the attachments. Also, the ticketing system is designed so that each time you work on a problem, you create a "time entry" or "note" which adds time/date stamps, as well as hours worked which creates the history of the issue. None of this can be properly copy/pasted.

What to do?

Do I continue to double enter, and just make sure all the details get into the company software? Should I stop putting any work related things in EN and force myself to use the company software, and only use EN for personal tasks. I've over-thought this and know the answer is simple, and there could be a number of "right" answers. Just looking for an ideas from the community. I'm looking for a black/white solution and like always, there may not be one! Thanks in advance.

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Hi.  I know the problem - I do contract work and frequently find that customers have legacy software systems that need to be used for their own selfish internal purposes,  but were developed by committees that probably worked for competitors,  given that some of the processes no-longer make any real sense.  Depending on the sensibilities of the customer (some folks can be really sensitive about proprietary information) I'll copy/ paste or take a mobile pic and generally avoid as much duplication as I can,  but at the end of the day if you want to work from Evernote you have to make sure the data is in there to start with.

I agree with you that there's no 'right' answer - just your own personal preference.  How much work do you feel is reasonable (possible) to update Evernote with so you can continue to use it?  If there's too great a call on your time,  then revert to the company software and suck it up.  If your gain from a more convenient layout means you're willing to duplicate work up to a point,  just be aware that you need to recognise that point when it comes up,  and don't keep on ploughing more and more work into a deadend situation.

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Thanks @gazumped

I was very curious if anyone else ran into the same situation, and if I could adequately explain where I was coming from. 

 

think what I've decide to do is put tasks/projects in EN as the exception instead of the rule. For example, maybe I'm researching something for a customer that takes a few weeks/months but doesn't necessarily fall under something that is billable (because it'll apply to multiple clients, or whatever). I could then be disciplined to copy/paste the research back into the company software.

 

I really don't get any value out of putting each and every task into EN since all that is there is a reminder with a link back to the ticket. All the history is in the ticketing system and not EN anyway, but certain research projects and gathered information does provide value. Some tasks are literally 15 minute phone calls that I can bill for that start and end in the company software. No reason to enter that in EN, IMO.

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Again, I'm just looking for opinions. Eventually I'll come to my own conclusion. Just another part of the task management journey.

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