Monday, March 31, 2014

{Almost} Paperless Organizing: Evernote, Part 3 (Post 5)

I knew that Evernote would take some time to talk about.  This is post #3 and we've barely got into it.

I will continue talking about the tags that I use to mark my notes in Evernote.

Last time I talked about .Tickler File tags, .What tags, and, my favorite, .When tags.

.Where tags
The .Where tags are what David Allen (of Getting Things Done fame) would call context tags.  In other words, where you will be when you need to do this.

.Where tags

@Computer means that this task or project will require me to be at my computer.

@Home means I will do this at home.  (I used to also have an @Errands tag, but I have begun putting my Errands on Wunderlist.)  In a way, I think this tag is kind of unnecessary, but I saw someone else use it, so I thought I'd give it a try.

@Kitchen Again, most likely unneccessary.

@Mama's  This is for when I go see my mom.  I have a few ideas of places to visit.

@Phone  Phone calls.  Self-explanatory.

Out of all of these, I'd say that the @Computer is the one that is most useful to me.

.Who tags
I only have two .who tags:  Family and Gracie.  I only have one note tagged with Gracie.  This set of tags is ideal for people who have outside jobs and do projects with other people.

.Misc tags
These tags are for when you need to tag it with something, but the .What, .When, .Where, and .Who may or may not apply.  These tags are very important.

My .misc tags
Again, the . in front of .misc means that it is a category header only.  I have seven categories under .misc tags.

.correspondence   These are emails written to me.  So far, this is only for the correspondence from the little girls we sponsor through Touch a Life.

.important info  Eventually, I may further subdivide this category.  I know I need to subdivide the notebook that is called Important Info.

.notes  There are three further subcategories:  Church (for sermon notes), Ladies (for notes taken during our Ladies Bible Studies), and Quotes which I haven't even used yet.

.projects This is my favorite new tag.  I came up with these on my own (You saw it here first!).  I have three subcategories:  Big projects, medium projects, and small projects.  Big projects are those that are going to take multiple days to complete.  Medium projects will likely take one day, and small projects take just a few minutes or maybe no more than an hour.  These tags combined with the .when tags (1-Now, 2-Next, etc.) is very useful for effective productivity.  Look below and you'll see what I mean:

From this list of my big projects, I can see that the most important one I need to do is catching up on my checkbook (recording transactions into my financial program).  After that, I can work on organizing my file cabinet, and so on.

I can look at a similar list of medium projects and know which ones are important to do soon and which ones can wait.

.receipts are further subdivided into Not For Taxes, For Taxes, and Photo Biz Receipts.  When I get an electronic receipt, I tag it with one of these tags and then stick it in the appropriate year notebook in my File Cabinet stack.

Eventually, I want to be able to scan receipts and put them in Evernote.  This will hopefully help during tax time.

.recipes  I have a bunch of tags under the heading of .recipes.  Look below for the first division:

.Dish type
  • Appetizers/Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Desserts (further divided into Cakes, Cookies, Misc Desserts, Cupcakes, and Pies)
  • Household Stuff
  • Kids Play
  • Main Dishes (further divided into Beef, Breakfast, Chicken, Main Misc, Pasta, Seafood, and Soups)
  • Mixes
  • Sides (further divided into Breads, Fruits, Potatoes, and Veggies)
There are two subcategories for .Events: Holidays and Potluck.

.Prep Type
Here are the subcategories:  Canning, Crockpot, Easy, Grilled, Make Ahead and Freeze, and Make Ahead Partially.

Tips are for meal tips.

.temp tags  There is just one subcategory: Is in Dropbox.  This is when I thought I was going to use Dropbox to house my recipes.  So, another tag is obsolete.

As you can see, tweaking Evernote to work is an ongoing process; however, it is well worth it!  I love being able to have my brain and more accessible and laid out in such a way that I can make good decisions about prioritizing my projects and tasks.

One final tip
In order to be able to access my most used notebooks and tags, I put them in the shortcuts area of Evernote.

Shortcuts make it easy to find my most used Notebooks and Tags

Fortunately, I can arrange the shortcuts into an order that makes sense to me.

I am currently in the process of emptying my email program of as many saved emails as possible.  I think this is what really sold me on using Evernote.  After watching The Secret Weapon videos that I've mentioned a couple of times, I used their method to work on my inbox.  I was shocked when I wound up with an empty email inbox!  I literally dropped my jaw open.  (It's not currently empty, but I now have a great method to use to get them processed.)

What do you think so far?  Do you think you can now use Evernote to help you go {Almost} Paperless?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Intro to the Series

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Calendars

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Evernote

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Evernote, Part 2

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Evernote, Part 3

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Wunderlist

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  AnyList

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Final Thoughts

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