How I Use Evernote

I’ve been using Evernote for the past few months and it’s been crucial to getting and keeping my life organized.  Here’s my system:

  1. Folder structure: Cabinet, Inbox, To-Do, Trash.  All incoming notes hit the Inbox first for processing.
  2. Note processing: The two main types of notes in my life are either Recurring or Projects, so I label each note’s title with Recurring: or Project: to identify them. If a note is a project I add a success criteria, if a note is recurring I star it for fast retrieval later and eventual scheduling into Google Calendar. A third type of note is Reference. I don’t touch the title of reference notes, but do I use Evernote’s tagging system to label them with something descriptive (eg minecraft) and immediately put them into the Cabinet.
  3. At least once a week I review all of the notes in my Inbox and if appropriate add them to To-Do (in progress), to the Cabinet if the project is finished, or schedule them into Google Calendar and/or set an Evernote reminder if the note is recurring. If the contents of a note are not substantial or worth retaining then I delete it when it’s no longer needed.
  4. I also use Evernote’s chrome plugin to snapshot and tag reference material. This is substantially better than using a browser based bookmark system because the Evernote plugin stores the full text of the web page I’m capturing into a note.

Using this system has helped me identify and organize collective groups of tasks that turned out to be projects. It also gives me a handle on scheduling and reducing my workload with recurring tasks.

My Evernote system is the byproduct of following advice from Michael Hyatt on his Evernote system. The weekly review was inspired by Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.