Using Evernote for Task and Time Management

enI began using Evernote last February. The initial purpose was to move towards a paperless office and have a better way of storing and accessing the thousands of quotes, stories, illustrations and files that I use in my writing and speaking.

EN has proven to be the answer for this type of data storage. I also use it as my tool for notes when I am taking an online course and can see using it increasingly as my initial location for all note taking. It auto-syncs with both my phone and the cloud so I can always access all my data even if I am on the road without my laptop.

My reason for going paperless was part of a larger quest for simplicity, so I began to wonder about using EN as a replacement for the time management program I have used for over a decade, Time & Chaos. I really like T&C, it has been the most used, always open program on my computer for years. I appreciate the ability to customize it, the option of using color coding and the tight integration of contacts, calendar and tasks. It also has an email client (in its Intellect version) but I have never bothered to make the move since it seemed to have several shortcomings compared to Outlook. But since I liked it’s time and task management features better than those in Outlook, I ended up using both tools.

Enter Evernote. After getting it and reading all I could find about it including taking in some online training, I realized that it could function quite well as a task manager. And the ability to so easily move documents- including emails added with a click from Outlook- from a task folder to an information folder made it a pleasure to use and instantly increased my efficiency. No more keeping emails in the email client as to do items- and usually forgetting about them.

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Work Ethic

Dollarphotoclub_69708430_workhard800I used to think I had a pretty decent work ethic. But then I met a fellow I will refer to as Larry.

Larry lost everything in a business failure. He ended up on the streets. In order to have a better chance at finding a job, he moved to another area of the province that had more opportunity. His new home was a homeless shelter and then transition housing.

While in the shelter, Larry worked at odd jobs and saved money until he could afford a $300 vehicle, which then became his new residence. He felt it was a healthier place for him and he takes great pride in its cozy efficiency.

He continued to work at odd jobs while applying for longer term work locally and in the surrounding area. He finally landing a job offer, but it was conditional on him completing several online courses and exams. So he jumped in and started taking the courses, stopping whenever he ran out of money to work for a day or two.

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Christians vs Jesus

Sometimes Christians Drive me Crazy!Why are so many people who self-identify as Christians so different than the person of Jesus Christ?

I’m not talking about a failure to live up to his high standard of morality- which includes both inner attitudes as well as outer actions. We all fail here, and he has made provision for this on the cross.

I’m talking about the great disconnect, the total lack of resemblance between so many Christians (which once meant “Christ-like ones”) and Jesus. I’m referring to the puzzling situation we find ourselves in, in which this gap has become normalized, expected and mostly unquestioned.

The simple answer to this question is that so many who carry the name Christian are not actually following Jesus. They don’t intend to use him as an example, they don’t try to represent him in their daily lives, they don’t consider his teaching in their decision making, they don’t allow his voice to challenge and shape their values.

The fallout from this tragedy is far-reaching with both global and eternal implications: Some never come to faith, some walk away from the faith, some pretend they don’t have faith, the name of Jesus Christ is slandered and the power of his teaching is discredited.

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InBox Zero

InBox Zero- Level 1 Achieved

For the better part of this year I have been moving toward a more paperless office, which I suppose is a less-paper office.

It started with my foray into Evernote and the purchase of my truly beautiful ScanSnap iX500. The goal was to reduce the great volume of paper files I need to transport wherever I go. As I have been scanning away I have also noticed that an added benefit is that those files become more findable and thus more usable.

This led me into David Allen’s Getting Things Done and the whole idea of “inbox zero” which I have since discovered is a phrase coined by Merlin Mann,a wizard of email organization.

The simple idea is to deal with all the email in your inbox every day, either automating it to the appropriate folder, deleting it or reading it. This avoids the embarrassing and sometimes costly problem of an important email getting buried and forgotten, but more importantly frees up head space so you don’t have to worry about any email being buried and forgotten.

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Living Within Your Limits

There are a couple areas where I have taken flak related to my book Release. Sometimes it has happened after a talk and sometimes I get an email about it.

Both areas are in the segment I refer to as Harnessing Your History.

The first area has to do with dealing with pain from the past rather than ignoring it or suppressing it. People have challenged me that this is a “negative” approach and we just need to forget about it and move on. But the fact is, pain that we don’t deal with begins to affect us deeply and might pop out when we don’t want it too!

The other area where I take some heat is when I point out to people that they cannot be and do anything they want, despite all of the voices saying otherwise in pop culture, esp via the self help movement. Some have fired back at me and said that it is wrong to suggest we have limits.

So it was refreshing today to get an email from someone who subscribes to my Release email series, thanking me for pointing out this issue of limitations:

Thank you for this email. It’s refreshing to see a more realistic view of our abilities.  It’s been a while since I read or heard something like that.  I think it was years ago something I heard or read from Zig Ziglar.  I do think there are many areas where we don’t have the talent or interest to excel at that. I personally need to focus on areas that I have the talent and/or the interest in it.

Exactly! Recognizing our limits allows us to focus on the things for which we are truly gifted and can excel.

I have posted the email that elicited this response below. If you are not currently on my Release email list you can access it here: Sign Up for Release Emails

You even get a free pdf version of the book out of the deal!

Here’s the email:

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