So you’re probably thinking that Scot has lost what few brain cells he has left and is putting garbage in post titles – you couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I’m an evangelist for Evernote. It’s steadily worked its way into just about every aspect of my life – to the point that I’ve gone ahead and forked over the money to be a Premium subscriber. It may not seem like much but this month I pass 200Mb of transfer without really thinking about it – notes to myself, pictures of places, pictures of receipts, scanned copies of documents I think I’ll need later, yes, Evernote has become my “second brain.”
What does that have to do with the subject of this post? An area that I decided to use Evernote was for managing my projects and lists – both home and work. I know, I know, I’m breaking a bit of that “separate work from home,” I posted about a few days ago (read the post) but while it is a single tool for the job using notebooks and tags I can keep the two from mixing together by using search queries.
You would think that as a heavy Google user (okay, most would call me a fan boy) search would come easy, it does but there are challenges when it comes to Evernote. It takes a bit of time to get use to the fact that searches are confined to the notebook you’re looking at so you need to take that into account. You also have to pay attention to how you name things as any given notebook or tag name can only exist once however, more than one note can have the same name (a small blessing). The other search item you need to get use to is that tags have to be called out in the search field, type something in without calling it out and you can get some strange results.
So, back to the post title: notebook:”Next Action” tag:@work -tag:@wf
That’s the search I have saved to pull out all my next actions that I need to do at work. For those that follow GTD you’ll notice the ‘@’ symbol that is typcially used for indicating the various contexts things are done in. In my case the search breaks down as follows:
I need to define the notebook that I want searched, I don’t want to worry about where I am in Evernote when I kick off the search so I call it out at the beginning. The quotes you see are necessary as the notebook name has a space in it.
In this case I’m only interested in those items that are tagged to be done at work.
For those items I have delegated off or I am waiting on a response for I tag them ‘@wf’ for waiting for. This search parameter takes all of the ‘waiting for’ items out of the work list as they are not items I need to take action on – someone else needs to.
What’s left on the screen at this point is just the next actions I need to take at work – now I just pick and chose the ones I want to work on based on available time and energy.
So that’s just a peak into the way I use Evernote to help with my GTD system, it’s not the only tool I use as GTD is about method not tools but since I’m at my computer nearly all the time at work it makes sense to use it.
Of course since I have the iPhone app as well so I can take my lists with me.
Do you use Evernote for GTD? Why not share your experiences in the comments?