Posts Tagged Evernote

Organizing and going on with my day

My last post covered how I’ve been Organizing my Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly activities. In this post I’ll go over how I organize and track my day.

I keep a note titled Daily Execution in Evernote. Every morning, I review my Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly note to check what’s in the calendar for the day ahead of me. I look for things that have to happen at a set time (such as a meeting) as well as things that have to happen on this day, but not at a specific time.

This is a template of what my Daily Execution note looks like:


I try not to pollute this note with too much information. If I have a meeting, I create a note for that meeting, put all the details I need in there, and then just add a link to it on my Daily Execution note. If the meeting is a place I have to drive to, I’ll add the address to the note, so I can easily tap on it on my phone and pull up directions. If it’s a phone call, I put the phone number on the note, so I can simply tap on it on my phone.

This note is my single source of truth for my day. It needs to give me a clear idea as to what I need to do on this day, and it needs links to other notes with further information about those things.

I check this note several times all day long.

 

Many times I’m checking it on my phone, so I try to make it easy to look up information I need.

As the days go by, I jot down quick notes on things I just did. I use vJournal on my Mac or iPhone for that:

vJournal keeps a note in Evernote with timestamps for everything logged that day:

The iOS version of vJournal also adds location information to the note. I like that because sometimes I’m driving by some place and I see something I want to check out later (for instance, a stakepark I didn’t know of). Logging that info to vJournal allows me to easily find out when I saw the place and where it was so I can go back there later.

At the end of the day, I review my Daily Execution note, as well as the note created by vJournal. I verify what I had to do that got done and what didn’t get done, and create new tasks, calendar entries, etc, accordingly.

Once I’m done reviewing that information, a copy all of the content in my Daily Execution note, paste it at the bottom of my note created by vJournal, tag it with “daily log”, rename the note to follow the format YYYY-MM-DD (which allows me to quickly find my log for a specific day), and move the note into a Archive notebook.

For the records, I started using the approach of having a single Daily Execution note about two years ago. The approach of keeping a daily log I’ve started all the way back in 2010 (as of today, I have 2349 notes tagged “daily log”)!!

As far as keeping a daily log like that, I can’t tell you how helpful it has been. I’m often going back to it to help recompose my memory on things I’ve done, people I’ve met, places I’ve been, ideas I’ve had, etc.

I’ve been changing how I do these things slightly over the years, trying new things out, but the basic idea has been sticking around and it works well for me.

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Organizing my Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly

A few years ago I found this great YouTube video:
Evernote Tips: How to use Evernote to achieve your goals

I really like the approach presented there and thought I could adapt it to the way I was already organizing things. One part of the approach is to have a note titled “Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly”. See below what that note looks like:

I have a shortcut to that note, as I’m constantly going back to it, often multiple times every day. Even though I have other calendars I need to use (Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, etc), I consider my note in Evernote as my single source of truth: everything that’s really important for me has to be in that note, as it makes very easy for me to see the immediate stuff as well as things that are expected to happen in the future.

Let’s see how that note is organized.

Things that happen every week

In that section I want to see things that happen every week on a specific day. For instance, I need to fill out timesheet on Friday, and I’d like to post to this blog every Tuesday.

Current month

Here I want to see the most important things in the current month. I try not to put to much info in the calendar itself. Instead, I create a separate note for each entry containing all the info I need about it, and then I add a link to that note to the calendar.

Months in the current year

Here I want to see all months in the current year, and things that are expected in those months. Notice that I’ll only put here things for which I know the month, but do not know the actual date (either because it could be any day within that month, or because I don’t really have the actual day yet). When I do have the date, then I move it to another specific place (more on it later).

Things in specific periods

Here’s where I put things I may want to remember in specific periods. For instance, I like doing a monthly review in the first couple of days in the following month. Or, I like remembering that December is a short, unusual month because of the holidays, and I use that information when I’m about to do planning for that month.

Entire current year, day by day

As soon as I know exactly the date for something expected to happen, I put it in this section. It makes very easy for me to see at a glance everything going on the entire year. When I’m planning for a month that’s about to start, I look here to see how the calendar needs to be populated. I also put here birthdays that I absolutely cannot forget.

Five years in the future

This is where I keep things expected for the next five years in the future. If I know the exact date, I’ll add that information, too. It can also be something like “passport expires on Month/Day. Look into getting new one 6 months earlier.”. If I don’t have a date, I’ll at least add a note so I’ll always have a reminder of something important that needs attention.

Beyond

If there’s something I know should happen beyond five years in the future (for instance, an important document that’ll expire and need renewing), then I list it under a Beyond section at the bottom of that note, including the year and note.

Review it often

As I mentioned earlier, I review this note at least once a day. Since I put everything really important in this note and review it often, I get peace of mind knowing I won’t forget these things.

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Virtual Brown Bag on Feb 9, 2016

My notes for last week’s VBB…

George talked about JavaScript generators.

I talked about my struggles integrating AngularJS templates into a Rails app, which boiled down to me skipping a step or two following instructions on how to use the Angular-Rails-Templates gem.

I mentioned Postach.io, which is a blogging platform that allows us to maintain a blog by writing the posts as notes in Evernote. This is what I’m using for my musical blog, Sanctuary of Nevermore.

For my professional blog, www.lassala.net, which is hosted on WordPress, I’ve been using a blogging tool called Blogo, which allows me to write my drafts in Evernote, and then edit the posts and publish it using this tool.

I’ve also mentioned my post Catching up with my Book Reading, and talked about three books I’ve finished recently that I really enjoyed:

Anything you Want: 40 lessons for a new Kind of Entrepreneur, Derek Sivers

Mastering Creativity, James Clear

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries & Jack Trout

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Catching up with my Book Reading

I have the bad habit of starting to read several books and then taking a long time to finish (I just finished a book that I started to read 3 years ago!). I like books both in printed and electronic format. I grab them and start reading. Next thing I know, I’m reading 10 books at the same time.

I decided to organize things so I can finish off the books I’ve started, and put a little more thought into what books I’m going to read next. This is what I do…

Put all books in a single place…

I put all of my digital books in PDF format in a Books notebook in Evernote. This allows to search across all of these books (a feature of Evernote). I also add one note for each print books and audiobooks I have.

 

Tag them…

I use 4 different tags:

  • Backlog: used for books I want to read;
  • To Read: used for books I want to start reading as soon as possible;
  • Reading: used for books I’ve started to read but haven’t finished yet;
  • Read: used for books I’m done reading.

Use “Saved Searches”…

I created one “Saved Search” for each one of those tags. It looks like this on my search menu:

I’ve been focusing on my “Books – 2-Reading” search, as I want to finish off those books (there are 11 in the list right now!).

This is how I create each search:

This is how I save the search:

 

Write book notes…

For each book I’m reading, I create a separate note named after the book’s title, and tag it with “book notes”. I then type in whatever comments I want, put snapshots of specific pages, URLs, anything else related to the book that I find I may need in the future. These notes also go into my Books notebook.

I know I can annotage things on Kindle books and export my notes, but as I mentioned, I have books in Kindle format, PDF, print, audiobooks, so I decided to follow the flow described in this post for any type of book format.

Signing off now. I have some reading to do!

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Virtual Brown Bag on Jan 26, 2016

These are my notes from the meeting yesterday…

Evernote
Went over the way I’m using Evernote.

Chocolatey
https://chocolatey.org/
George’s recommendation of a Machine Package Manager. Since I still do some work on Windows, I’ll check out this tool.

Vimium
Vimium is a Chrome plugin that adds VIM commands to your web navigation. I’ve been using it for several years now, mostly for the following feature: I hit the F-key, and then Vimium assigns a combination of letters to anything clickable on the page, so I can do all of my web navigation without using the mouse.

ConEmu
George mentioned this tool as a etter console for Windows: https://conemu.github.io/
I’ll definitely check it out. I’ve been using Console2 for a long time, but ConEmu seems to be a lot better.

Emergent Task Planner
JB’s recommendation for a paper task planner. As much as I like doing everything electronically, I have started using paper for a couple of notes here and there (which I keep syncing it back into Evernote), just in order to try doing things differently. I may try out this task planner and see if it works with my flow.

Elixir
JB shared a little of the awesomeness of Elixir’s pattern matching and how you can write some expressive code with it.

The video for yesterday’s meeting is up!

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Notes from January-2015

When I was running the Virtual Brown Bag (VBB) a few years ago, I used to share weekly links to things I thought interesting or useful. I don’t currently have time to go back at hosting weekly VBBs, but I’ll start posting my links monthly, mostly for my own reference, but it may also turn out to be helpful to my readers.

Technical

10 tips for better Pull Requests
A brief history of web design for designers
Better Specs  rspec guidelines with ruby
TastyCupcakes.org
How We (and You) Use Alfred Remote Every Day

Lifestyle/Productivity

Find Work You Love by Identifying Your Unique Angle
27 Simple Things to Start Doing for Your Happiness
How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the Two Minute Rule
How to Trick Yourself Into Drinking More Water Every Day
The Secrets Of Highly Efficient Napping
How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your Goals
Identity-Based Habits: How to Actually Stick to Your Goals This Year
Tim Ferriss: How to feel like the Incredible Hulk

Evernote

A couple of years ago I posted about how I use Evernote. I’m still using it a LOT, and am always looking for ways to improve the way I use it…

How To Use Evernote To Achieve Your Goals
How To Get More Done Using Evernote and Have Peace of Mind Every Single Day Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 Dictate Notes Into Evernote for iOS
Scannable: A New Mobile Scanning App from Evernote
Command + J Will Save Your Day
Plug Sunrise Into Your Daily Routine
How I organise Evernote
How Susan Orlean Writes With Evernote
Bring Creativity to Life With Evernote Post-it® Note Camera & Scannable

Etsy

I mentioned over a year ago that I help my wife organize and run her online store on Etsy. I read several articles about improving Etsy sales…

How to Boost Sales One Step at a Time
Wholesale Guide for Etsy Sellers
8 Pinterest Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season
3 Keys to Enticing International Shoppers
Top Tips for Managing Custom Orders

Misc

Essay · The future of the book
How Facebook and Candy Crush Got You Hooked

Funny

Intelligent Elevator

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Using Evernote to Manage a Gifts and Crafts Shop on Etsy

Back in 2011 I wrote a post on how I was using Evernote, which is the 2nd most popular post on my blog currently. I guess it was about time for me to write another one, as I continue to use Evernote a lot! Actually, instead of writing another long post, I’ll probably write a couple of short ones…

A few months ago my wife started to produce some great handmade gifts and I wanted an easy way for her to publish, as well as to organize her business. I found out Etsy was a great platform for publishing her items, so we opened her online store called CLVL Arts Brazil, and we are using Evernote to organize her business. It’s worth mentioning she had no idea what Evernote was, but once I showed her how I use it, she started to use it too, and even got a better phone that runs the mobile app more smoothly. As I teach her how to use Evernote and other tools in this business, I plan on writing a series of posts describing our experiences, hoping this will be helpful to somebody else.

I’ll keep updating this one blog post with all the posts in these series, and will also use tags such as “CLVL Arts Brazil”, “Evernote”, etc., so we can find everything around more easily. 

More to come! Meanwhile, you may want to check out our store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CLVLArtsBrazil.

CLVL Arts Brazil

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How I’m Using Evernote

I’ve been using Evernote for about a year and a half now. I have shared at the Virtual Brown Bag how I’m currently using it. Since I got great feedback from that, I’ve incorporated it into my “productivity” session, and I figured I should write a post to document it. I’ve been changing the way I use it over time, as I try out different things, so I’ll post updates in case I make changes that I feel work best for me.

What the heck is Evernote?!

I like the succinct explanation on their site:

  • Capture anything
  • Access anywhere
  • Find things fast

whatsevernote

Very simple concept: I can capture anything (text notes, audio notes, photos, emails, web clips, etc.) using a variety of clients (Windows/Mac, browser-based interface, iPhone, iPad, Android…), access it anywhere (in any of those devices), and find things really fast.

I’ve always been terrible at taking notes and finding them later. Pencil and paper have never worked for me. Electronically, I have tried from the old-fashioned (but still effective) text file sitting on my desktop, to Microsoft OneNote. I’ve used OneNote for awhile, but the fact I could only used it on my computer sort of ruined things for me, as I wanted to be able to use it also on my PocketPC at the time. I’ve also tried to use MS Outlook for some time, loosely following the recommendations from Take Your Life Back (which in turn describes how to use MS Outlook to implement Getting Things Done).

When Evernote first came out as a beta, I looked into it and thought it was going to be an awesome thing. Once they’ve stabilized the platform, I started using it with a free account, and it didn’t take long for me to switch to a premium account.

Capture Anything

How often do we “keep things at the back of our minds”? I know I used to do a lot of that, and invariably, things get lost. I’ve been dumping pretty much everything into Evernote: quick ideas, things I’d like to try, articles I should read, notes about books I’ve read, meeting notes, pictures of whiteboards, links, audio notes of all sorts, etc. I then organize my notes daily, so I can review them and maybe enhance them after having sat on the idea for a few hours, and also so that I can organize them by applying “tags” and moving them into “notebooks”; that way, I have great chances to find my notes later as fast as possible.

evernote-notetypes

I will walk you through some of the things I’ve been capturing…

Capturing Interesting Things Found on Twitter

Whenever I’m in some place waiting for something (maybe waiting in line at the grocery store, or waiting for somebody somewhere…), I pick up my iPhone, run my twitter client (I use Echofon), and do some speed reading through the twitter stream. If I…

  1. find something that seems interesting
  2. I “retweet” it…
  3. …as a direct message to my Evernote alias (D myen)
  4. which sends that tweet straight to my Evernote account

evernotetweet

That has been a great source for me to have things to share at the Virtual Brown Bag: as I revisit the tweet later and gather more information about it, I apply a “brown bag” tag to it. When we’re about to start a Virtual Brown Bag, I filter my notes by that tag, so I always have a pool of things I could share at the meeting.

evernote-brownbag

Of course, I capture those tweets in any of the twitter clients I use, since always it’s necessary is to send a direct message to myen (D myen). Just for completeness sake, I use Echofon on the iPhone, Twitter client on the iPad, and TweetDeck on the PC.

Capturing Interesting Blog Posts

Similarly to tweets, I capture blog posts for later reading (and/or sharing at the Virtual Brown Bag). On the iPhone, I use Reeder as my blog reader. Whenever I…

  1. Find an interesting post
  2. I mail the article…
  3. …to my Evernote special email alias (when you sign up for Evernote, you’re given a special email alias; any email sent to that alias is automatically put into your Evernote account)

evernote-blog

I use Google Reader on my PC to follow blogs, and there I follow the same process: if I find an interesting post, I email it to my Evernote account right from there:

evernote-googlereader

Capturing Emails in MS Outlook

The Evernote Windows client adds an “Add to Evernote” button to MS Outlook, so one can send things from Outlook straight into Evernote.

Capturing Webclips or Entire Pages

I used to use a free program called Onfolio to capture either web clips or entire pages a couple of years ago. That was a great tool to save that content and take it with me offline. Also, if the page or website ever went away, I’d still have that content with me. However, at some point Microsoft acquired Onfolio, and I *think* they’ve buried it under one of their “Live” initiatives, and I haven’t heard much about it ever since.

I’ve experienced a little bit with Instapaper for a few months, but I just didn’t feel like paying 5 bucks for their iPad app, when I already have an awesome Evernote app that gives me pretty much the same functionality and more.

Evernote has integration with all the major web browsers out there. It adds an “Add to Evernote” button to the browser; when you push it, it either sends the selected clip on the page to Evernote, or it sends the entire page if you want.

I use the awesome Readability bookmarklet to clean up the page I’m looking at, and then I send it to Evernote to either read later or store it for future reference.

evernotereadlater

Capturing Whiteboard

I always walk to my whiteboard to write notes, ideas, draw diagrams to put some things out of my head, and stuff like that. As soon as I’m done doing so, I pick up my iPhone, take a snapshot of the whiteboard, and send it straight to Evernote.

Capturing Ideas for Gifts

I’ve been terrible at trying to remember what would make good gifts for friends and family. Now, for instance, if I’m somewhere with a friend or relative, and he or she seems to really like something around (a bottle of wine, a sunglass, a perfume… whatever), I capture a snapshot of the thing, and tag it as “gift ideas” in Evernote. I started doing this just recently, but it’s been working out really well.

Capturing Information About Location of Places

Sometimes I drive by a place and think “dang, that place is cool… I should come here when I get a chance”. Of course, later I either forget about it, or forget where the place was. Guess what? Now I just take a snapshot of the place. Creating a note in Evernote on a mobile device adds geolocation coordinates to the note, so later I can pull the note up, show it on the map, and get directions to it.

I’m starting to do that with different places I’m driving by, such as skateparks, RC tracks (or any place that’d be cool to take my RC car to), restaurants, etc.

Capturing Audio Notes

I’ve been using my Evernote on my iPhone to capture a couple types of audio notes:

  • When I’m driving around and can’t stop to take notes, but really need to remember something later, I just hit the new audio note button in Evernote and record the thing; later, I process my notes and take appropriate action;
  • When I’m at band practice and new song ideas, arrangements, etc, come up, I create an audio note, and tag it accordingly (“riff”, “arrangement”, “lyrics”, “melody”, etc.);

Capturing Personal Documents

Before going on vacation to Brazil last year, I’ve decided to scan all of my personal documents (credit cards, bank cards, insurance information such as cards, policies, photos of insured stuff, passports, drivers license, etc.) and put it on Evernote.

The idea is: when you’re on vacation with family and kids, there’s lots of distractions that make it easy for you to lose your documents. At that moment, it’s very hard to remember important information contained in your personal documents.  I also want to have that information handy because I usually need to look them up for a variety of reasons.

evernote-personaldocs

Capturing License Keys

Anytime I receive an email with license keys for whatever software, I send the whole email into Evernote, and tag it with “license key”. No more hassle looking those suckers up!

Capturing Daily Log

I’ve always had problems of this sort:

  • “…have I called that company to tell about that problem…?”, or
  • “…I remember I called them, but don’t remember when…”, or
  • “…I know I called them last week, but I don’t remember who I talked to, or any important details of the conversation”, or
  • “…I feel like I got a lot done last week, but I really can’t remember what the heck I did…”

Somebody once said, “It didn’t happen if you didn’t write it down!”. For the last 6 months or so I’ve been keeping a brief daily log. Every day I create a new text note titled “YYYY-MM-DD”, and tag it “daily log”. In such a note, I enter things like:

  • “Called person X. Was told to call whoever else at this number: 999-999-9999”
  • “Implemented this”
  • “Found this bug on”
  • etc…

Next morning, I review that note to see if there’s any actionable item I need to take care of, or maybe I need to create separate notes to provide more information about something. And then I start a new note for the new day.

evernote-dailylog

Capturing Session Notes

In the past, every time I was about to do a presentation, I’d review my session material, and jot down some notes on a piece of paper. Or, maybe I’d create a temporary text or doc file with my notes, which I’d print out. I’d then do my presentation, use my notes, and throw it away. Then comes a time I need to do the same presentation again, guess what? Yeah, I’d create my notes all over again. I know, very stupid.  Sad smile

Of course now I’m putting my all my session notes into Evernote, tagged as “presentation”. I put text notes, snapshots, steps I want to make sure I follow, etc. It’s very easy to lose the train of thought in the middle of a presentation when you get interruptions, things that don’t go right, etc. That’s why I like having a note with my general workflow for the session.

evernote-sessionnotes

Capturing Song Lyrics, Tabs, Chords…

I usually remember how to play the songs I write pretty well, but have a time remembering anything else. When I pick up my acoustic guitar to just play some cover tunes for fun, I always have to look up lyrics, tabs, chords, etc. I’m now adding that all to Evernote.

evernote-tabs

I understand there are iPhone/iPad apps out there that makes really easy to play along songs like that, but I rather have those things as simple notes that I can access on any of my devices whenever I want.

Access Anywhere

I access my notes roughly…

  • 45% of the time on the PC (using the Windows client)
  • 30% off the time on the iPad
  • 20% of the time on the iPhone
  • 5% off the time on the PC using the browser-based client

The rational for those numbers is:

  • I’m on average 8-10 hours a day in front of my computer, so it’s a lot easier to use the Windows Client there;
  • Most of the time I have my iPad with me, so that’s what I use if I’m not on the PC;
  • I always have my iPhone with me any place I go, so that’s what I use if I can’t use either my PC or my iPad;
  • And finally, if I happen to have nothing with me, but can get to a computer connected to the web, I can at least use the web-browser Evernote client (which is pretty good, by the way).

Find Things Fast

Back in the days when I was using MS Outlook to organize things, I’d create several folders and deep levels of hierarchy, and put things into those folders accordingly. That was the only way I could have any hope to find stuff I was looking for. Nowadays, its search capabilities are certainly a lot better, but I don’t really care, as I’ve gone away from using emails and folder to organize my stuff.

The organization and search features in Evernote allow me to find what I’m looking for really fast.

Organizing Notes

In Evernote, I use the following to organize my notes so I can find them later:

  • Notebooks: think of them as folders. Even though there’s support for several folders and hierarchies, I only use about a dozen, and I’ll be reducing that number to probably 6 or 7. I also don’t use a folder hierarchy; with the tagging system (see next), I don’t currently have a need any more levels than that. Every new note goes straight to my “Inbox” notebook, which I try to cleanup daily, by applying tags to notes and moving them to a more appropriate notebook. Some of the other notebooks I have are “projects”, “notes/references”, and “archive”. I’ve recently created a “music” notebook (where I have those lyrics, tabs, chords, for songs that I play), which I’ve set on my iPad to go offline, so I can access those notes anytime even if I don’t have internet connection.
  • Tags: I create several tags, which I then apply to notes as appropriate. I have tags such as “daily log”, “brown bag” (for things I may share at the Virtual Brown Bag), “brown bag log” (for things that have been shared), “read later”, “watch later”, specific projects, “license key”, “tax report YYYY” (one for each year), “gift ideas”, “tablature”, “chords”, “lyrics”, etc.

Searching For Notes

Notes can be found by typing something in the search box. By default, it’ll look in the title and body of notes. You can also filter the notes being shown by clicking on a specific notebook, and/or specific tags:

evernote-vbblog

Other criteria can be applied to the filter, based on attributes of notes, such as when the evernote-attributesnote has been created or modified, what special kind of things it contains (images, audio, ink, attachment…), what’s the source of the note (emailed to Evernote, Email, Mobile, etc.). If there’s a search that I always perform with the same criteria, I can save that search, and access it later through the list of Saved Searches.

For example, like I mentioned before, I create a daily note where I keep my log of activities for that day. Those notes are tagged with “daily log”, and I put them in my “Archive” notebook. I’ve have a saved query (named “Monthly Log”) that shows me all my daily log notes created in the current month. I run that search when I need a refresher as to what I’ve done in the month.

Evernote defines searches with a special, simple, syntax, that can be typed directly into the search box as well. For instance, my “Monthly Log” search is defined like this:

notebook:Archive tag:”daily log” created:month

Check out the Evernote for Windows User Guide to learn more about how to perform more complex searches.

Another saved search I have is one that shows me all the notes that don’t have any tag. I use it because I prefer to have all notes tagged, which helps me filtering and finding faster later. Such a search can be simply defined like so:

-tag:*

It worth point out that Evernote finds stuff in images as well. One a note containing an image gets to the servers, it goes through an OCR process (Optical Character Recognition), and Evernote then indexes the image. When you perform a search later, it’ll will find words in those images:

evernote-attr

Finding words in a snapshot of source code like I showed above is simple, but Evernote also does a pretty good job at finding handwritten words, which comes in handy for me since I take lots of pictures of whiteboards:

evrernote-ocr

Evernote also searches inside PDF files, and I love it! In the past I’ve also had trouble organizing and finding stuff in my PDF e-books. What I’ve been doing now is just to add all my e-books to Evernote; I can now easily find which one of my e-books talk about whatever it is that I’m searching for. Since I can get to it both in my iPhone and on my iPad, I have access to my library all the time!

What’s free and what one has to pay for?

Here’s a snapshot straight out of their website as of today:

evernote-premium

Honestly, $45 bucks for something that has encouraged me to write such a lengthy blog post seems to be well worthy. I have paid a lot more money for things that didn’t give me a 10th back. And no, I’m not getting any kick back here.  Smile

Where do I learn more?

I strongly recommend you download and read the Evernote for Windows User Guide. This is actually one of the PDF files I have in my Evernote, as I’m always using that as a reference to learn some shortcuts and ways to customize searches.

Also make sure to check out their blog and podcast; it’s a great way to learn a little more about some features that maybe you didn’t know about, as well as learning about how other people are using Evernote for sorts of things.

And finally, I’ve also been keeping an eye on this feature called “the Trunk”: there I can find information about other applications and hardware that integrates with Evernote, such as Voice2Note (converts your voice notes to text) and the Livescribe Smartpens.

Summary

Unloading stuff from my mind into Evernote has been great. I used to try to keep everything in my mind, and of course, I’d keep forgetting important things. Now I don’t even bother: just dump into Evernote, and look for it when I need it.

Do you use Evernote? Let me know how you use it. As I’ve mentioned before, I keep looking for new things or different ways to optimize how I use this tool.

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What Does Your Work Environment Look Like?

Don’t you ever wonder what somebody else’s work environment look like? I do. I enjoy seeing how people set up their work area, hoping that I can pick up some nice tips. I also notice that very often when we have somebody visiting our offices here (people attending training, clients, etc.), they are always poking around to check out our work areas.

So here’s what mine looks like:

devenv

  1. Dual monitors: yeah, baby! I love those big monitors in front of me! I absolutely hate when I have to work for too long on a setup where I don’t have dual monitors (this is how I usually organize VS for dual monitors);
  2. Laptop: I’ always have my laptop there on the side for anything that are secondary to the work I’m doing (research, TweetDeck, messenger, Windows Live Writer…). Depending on what it is that I’m doing, I may boot from a VHDthat I have setup as a development environment (as one computer is busy, I do work on the other one);
  3. iPad: I usually have my iPad right there with a book, article, or something like that loaded. That way I get to read a few paragraphs here and there, as I wait for a build to complete, for VS to come back to life, or things like that.

Of course, there’s also a bunch of pictures there as a reminder to what’s really important, and I also, I have a decent view when the whether is nice outside.

view[5]

beanbag[5]funkychairThe funky chair: the first time I saw one of those chairs was several years ago, when I client came to our office and brought one of those (he had some bad back problems). I just thought the chair was weird. Then, a few years ago a friend of mine had one of his house that he didn’t use and told me I could have it if I wanted. I said, well, what the hell, let me give it a shot. It felt kind of weird for the first couple of days, but then I got used to it, and now I really miss it when I don’t have it. Every once in a while, though, just to do something different, I work for one pomodoro or two sitting on the cool bean bags that we have in the office.

Let’s see… what else…. ah, of course, there’s a whiteboard right behind me that I use all the time. I usually walk to it, sketch something out, take a photo with my iPhone and send it straight to Evernote.

whiteboard[5]

And finally, there’s one of those mini basketball hoops for when I’m taking short breaks. Smile

basketball

What about you? What does your work environment look like?

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