(Evernote Is the Tool of Choice for Organizing Your Blog Ideas)
Evernote is the most useful personal organization tools I have seen. However, like many tools and project managers it can become disorganized real quick if you let it. The good news is there’s a simple way to organize Evernote so it works for you and not against you.
When starting with Evernote, it is easily seen as great potential. To take advantage of that potential, you have to organize it. Start with setting up a simplified structure and stick with it Here’s how:
1. Create a “Stack” for Each Main Area of Your Life
Keep the stacks limited to about six or so. It’s not a lot, so they will have to be broad—Examples are Business, Side Hustle, Family, Daily, and Vault. That last one is for notes you might want again someday, but not any time soon.
As for Daily, this is where you create and store your ideas, to-do tasks, and goals. Brainstorm often. Keep your mind open. From there you can move essential tasks and projects to systems like Asana or Worflowy–we will go over these systems in future posts. The point of all this is you shouldn’t put your entire project management system in Evernote (you can, but you don’t want to overwhelm it), but this is a great place to do the first stages of your organizing.
2. Combine Notebooks Wherever Possible
A common problem I see with Evernote users is they have too many notebooks. If you use a new notebook for everything, soon you will have hundreds to thousands note notebooks—this leads to confusion. In lieu of creating new notebooks for any new idea, combine notebooks with related topics into a single notebook and use tags to keep the topics organized (more on tags in number 3).
3. Fewer Notes, More Tags
One of Evernote Premiums (the paid version) best feature is the search function. Use it often. You will be amazed at how you will find what you are looking for, not only with key words but with tags. Use tags and keywords to make searches easier. And know that it’s okay to have long notes. There is a line separator that is perfect for keeping thoughts and dates in the same note distinct. Think of tags like hashtags in Twitter.
Putting It All Together
Evernote is a database and like any good data it’s about data in and data out—but first that data needs to be organized. To be useful, a database like Evernote 1) has to have data in it, 2) the data needs to be worth having, and 3) the data has to be easy to retrieve. A clear, simple structure will do that for you and that’s what we outlined above.
Find 3 hours by yourself, open up Evernote and get organizing. Once you have established the structure, just stick to your system, and of course clean it up from time to time. Evernote will help keep you organized and productive as long as you keep Evernote organized and productive.
Image of the Evernote was created by Alan Dean under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license