Sunday, October 21, 2012

Evernote: The unofficial eBook... capturing everything and getting things done

I read this book in December last year to obtain some information how GTD could be implemented in Evernote. As I use a combination of Evernote, Zendone and Google Calendar for my GTD system, I did not follow the book religiously (though Zendone is recommended in the book as alternative way). Nevertheless it helped me to organise my notes better and to rethink some of the concepts I use.

Daniel Gold, the author of the book (his blog) says "Evernote is a life management tool" (Chapter 2) and motivates the use of it. He begins with explaining so-called Master Notes for Travels and Meetings. All the note templates described in the book can be downloaded, so this is a huge plus for buying the book.

In chapter 3 GTD is introduced and the following chapters are following the main steps collect, process, organise, review and do.

In the collect phase, the author concentrates on the concept of "Inbox Zero" and this has helped me very much to keep my mail inbox organised. In general this means to decide for every e-mail, if it needs further processing. If so, use your Evernote E-Mail-adress to forward it to Evernote.

Afterwards, the process phase is about deciding, whether the note in your Evernote inbox is an action or a reference. This is a very important difference, even though this is very often forgotten.

The next phase (Organise) is about the tags the author uses to organise his notes. As a user of Zendone , this is the part which I use the least. Nevertheless it helped me a lot to overthink the way I work with projects, contexts and areas of responsibility.

Afterwards, Daniel Gold discusses the topic of using several notebooks. Although you can do your whole organisation of notes with tags, it makes sense to create different notebooks, if you need offline access to certain notes, sharing of notes and organising reference material. I applied his suggestions and have for example a "Training" notebook (fast offline access), a notebook for me and my girlfriend (sharing) and a notebook called archive (reference material).

Another structure I use in my daily life is the so-called "Master Project Note" in which I store all my current projects. The author recommends a "Master Next Action" and a "Master Client Note", too.

The book ends with some words about the Review phase (Daily and Weekly Review) and the Do part, mainly this is about Saved searches.

The main part of the book is, as you can see in this review, about the organisation of notes and it has helped me a lot with this part of my GTD system. If you need some information on that, I totally recommend this book. It is especially useful for Evernote users, who are searching for an uncomplicated GTD system.

If you want to buy the book, you can either use this link or you click on the banner to open the store by an affiliate link:

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