Screencast: How to Integrate FollowUpThen with your Evernote & GTD setup for productivity bliss!
I’m really excited about showing off my first screencast to all of you! I’ll admit, this was a bit challenging at first! I received about 100 recommendations on different services, and some not so good. But, between PowerPoint, SnagIt, and YouTube editor – I got it done! So, your feedback will be quite helpful!
In this screencast, I highlight a very small and yet very powerful add-on to my Evernote & GTD setup I talk about in my eBook. It’ll cover two things: first, showing off how I use Evernote’s copy note linking to really ramp up your productivity; and second, leveraging the power of FollowUpThen.com to help you remind yourself on a given day and/or time about a note you have in Evernote. It’s super easy and the best part – there’s no interface to “hack”. Take a look and let me know what you think!
The case for having multiple Evernote notebooks
There is a real use case for having multiple notebooks! Part of my future update in my eBook on how to best integrate both Evernote and the GTD methodology will be explaining the real business need for having separate notebooks for your non-actionable items, in addition to your GTD notebook. There are three reasons why I believe there are benefits, which I will review: 1) having offline access (which requires being a Premium User); 2) Sharing with others; and 3) organization of your reference material. This post will explain the reasons and show you how to set them up.
While I derive zero benefit from Evernote for making this argument, I strongly advocate becoming a premium member of Evernote – if for no other reason, you will have access to offline notebooks on your iOS device or Android device.
If you travel like I do, or at least have site visits with clients and/or colleagues, having separate offline notebooks might just be critical to you if you do not have a WiFi or a 3G connection that will allow access to all of your notes. Let me give you a very specific use case of why this works so well.
Three days on the road – three different cities.
Like so many of you, I travel everywhere with my iPad. In this one case, I had to be in three different cities on three different days very recently. That required me to make three different master itineraries – which leveraged the amazing note linking feature – and then at least 10 different agendas for my meetings (which also leveraged the amazing note linking feature to other notes in my Evernote notebook). As I laid out in my eBook, I love having access to these Master Travel Itineraries and Master Agendas that link out to other notes that will allow me to be more successful at my meetings. Basically, less searching and more doing, which makes me look both practical and polished when I meet with a client! Well, without a WiFi or 3G connection, I would be unable to access my notes onsite because I just didn’t have it at that office. Moreover, when I was at the airport, I wanted immediate access without having to search for the WiFi signal to all the information about my flight and rental cars and car services. Having that offline access to me is critical to have immediate access to all of my notes! Having separate notebooks for your travel days is very helpful in this case because otherwise, you’d have to make your entire Archive notebook offline – which in my case is about 4GB of data!
Sharing with Others!
If you only have one notebook, you’re unlikely going to want to share that entire Archive notebook with the masses! Therefore, having separate notebooks designed to be shared with clients and colleagues is critical! This is a beautiful way of having others see how a project is going, your notes on relevant news tied to a specific area (such as electronic discovery as I have set up), etc.
Organization of Your Reference Material
I have heard from many people on various best practices on what works and what may not for some people. One of the suggestions I received was using notebook stacks as opposed to parent/child tags for some of your reference material. I like the idea and here is a very specific use case of why this works so well!
Clients and Projects
As you many know from my eBook, I keep 3 notebooks for the most part: Inbox, GTD, and Archive. Projects are tagged with a master Project tag and then children tags: Active, Inactive & Closed. Beneath each are all of my projects. Depending upon how many tags you have (less is better) and how savvy you are when it comes to searching tags, it might take you awhile to find those critical notes on a client and/or a project. A possible alternative would be to create stacked notebooks for Clients and Projects. The reason why this might be ideal is that you have immediate top level access to your clients. In my case, I did not put each of the 150 clients I’m working with in my stacked notebook, but rather just the top 10 I am actively working with at this time. I can simply click on the clients’ notebook, and run a tag search from there – or go right to the note I am looking for if it is nearby. The same philosophy can be applied to projects – and if you do go this route – I can see how it would provide minimum interruption in your workflow!
How do I set them up?
One other lesson learned in writing my eBook is that you all like specifics — so, with that said, let me show you how to set up new notebooks and how to stack them!
First: create two new notebooks
Second: left click on one notebook and then drop one on top of the other. Now you have a notebook stack!
Third: Right click on the stack and select rename – and now you can call it Clients, Projects, or whatever you like! That’s it!
What best practices and ideas do you have about using Notebook Stacks? Let me know in the comments below!
My Evernote & GTD Presentation on MortgageCoach.com & the GTD Virtual Study Group!
I had the great pleasure of being on Dave Savage’s MortgageCoach.com‘s weekly coaching call to present on my Evernote & GTD system. My segment begins at 22 minutes, 27 seconds, but I encourage you to listen to the whole video as Dave has an incredible system!!
Oh, and one more thing: you can also listen to me as a guest speaker on Tara Rodden Robinson’s GTD® Virtual Study Group: Using Evernote to create a trusted system. Download the recording here. I truly hope this enhances and adds even more value to your productivity workflow! As always, if you have any questions, please let me know!
On writing my first eBook …
I am extremely excited and proud to let you all know that I’ll be publishing my very first eBook in the near future entitled, “Evernote: The unofficial guide to capturing everything and getting things done.”
The cool thing is that this eBook is about you. All of you that subscribe to this blog, follow me on Twitter, and “circled” me on Google+. It’s your input and feedback that has given me inspiration to write this eBook.
Even if you’ll never use Evernote, there’s a plethora of ideas in here on how you can make this applicable to all aspects of your life and leveraging the GTD methodology. So because you all are incredible, I’m wondering how many of you would be even interested in paying a mere $5 for reading my eBook? If you could become more productive and efficient, would this be worthwhile? What are some of the things you’d hope for in an eBook such as this? Let me know and I’ll be sure to include! Oh, and I’ll be running several giveaway promotions on its launch date. Something tells me that people who subscribe to the blog will probably be happy! 🙂
So, for now, a tease … the Prologue.
The purpose of this eBook is to help your mind relax, allow you to breathe easier, and allow you to become more productive by being able to make better decisions in the overly saturated productivity apps space. I will objectively overview the most well known and maybe some obscure apps that all claim to make you more productive, give you back control, and adhere to the wildly popular Getting Things DoneⓇ (“GTD”) methodology. The benefit to taking the time reading this eBook is that you will not only be able to make better decisions about how to organize your life in the electronic world, but but this will also be a “living eBook”. In other words, every quarter, you will receive an email notification, letting you know that I’ve added sections, and will let you know exactly what I’ve added. In essence, this is the eBook that keeps on giving! Cheers!