Evernote: One place

It’s easy to slip with following GTD principles, and for me, my capture list became one, then two, then many places over the course of a year.

It’s worth reading through the GTD book to get at more of the system, though the basic idea behind capturing is that it’s important to have some simple, universal place to put ideas down so that you can free up your mind and memory for other tasks.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been using Evernote as my primary capture system, and it’s been working wonderfully. What’s most important about Evernote is that it can function quite well as one system for most everything you want to organize.

Reminders to the Rescue

I do still have my calendar for events that are happening, though the advent of Reminders makes it the best tool for any kind of scheduling.

At first, it may seem a bit awkward that Reminders are mostly a collection of Notes without any body text or description. What’s nice about that, though, is that the next action or anything relating to that task can be included in the same place, without any need for cross-referencing.

Don’t pin yourself into a corner

An important tenant from GTD is to not put a date to a thing unless it absolutely must be done by that time. In those cases, a reminder date is helpful, though reminders do not need dates, so the same function can work as a general to-do list.

Also, after something is done or planned or sorted out, don’t hesitate to delete the note to get it out of the way. There are things you may want to remember forever, though it’s less likely you’ll care about exactly when you got that bag of almonds two years ago.

A separate calendar can also serve as an archive of past events, as the point here is more about doing the next thing rather than running down rabbit holes.

Then again, a separate Evernote Notebook can also help shuffle away these details, and Notebooks can even be grouped in Stacks to isolate whatever you need. My “Stuff” Stack holds Notebooks for Receipts, details and manuals for things I’ve Bought, then another for those Selling/Sold.

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