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Rethinking my GTD strategy

I’ve been using Evernote since 2006. The combination of checkboxes and their searchability with the “todo:” search operator allowed me to manage my GTD workflow in a particular manner. Other third-party solutions, such as Zendone, utilized notes as to-do items, ignoring built-in checkboxes altogether. But then when Evernote released a new “Reminders” feature, they piggybacked on it by making the reminders behave as to-do lists, with their own checkboxes, completely separate from the ones in notes. This was a little problematic, as it creates serious fragmentation in your workflow. Perhaps it can be used for “focus” items. I didn’t like the old checklists, but I used them. I like the new checklists, but the fact that they can’t be correlated with the existing ones makes a transition difficult, and though reminders are supported in the API, they are not supported in the free-text search syntax or saved searches, both of which I use in my regular workflow. (Another area of fragmentation is that Reminders aren’t available in the Windows version.)

Enter Springpad. The only way you can enter a checklist is as a separate note type (just like in Google Keep). I don’t have a workflow planned up yet, but I’m starting to get some ideas. I also like the “comments” feature, and though this is used in so many modern platforms (blogs, Facebook, G+, etc.), because of my background, I relate it to software development PM apps like Bugzilla or OnTime. Evernote has collaborative features, but it does not have this ability to identify who wrote what when.

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App Reviews

Evernote GTD notes

I’ve been using Evernote for several years. A few months ago I started using an app called Zendone for my GTD workflow. This required a bit of an adjustment, because it has categories within the app which don’t actually correspond to Evernote tags or notebooks, and it uses theĀ titles of your Evernote notes to create task items, rather than checklist items from your notes, which makes going back and forth between Evernote and the app a bit problematic. So, mostly it’s like its own app which happens to use Evernote as its back-end database. To top it off, they just started charging fees, and I don’t really think it’s a service worth paying for.

So I’m going to go back to using Evernote directly. I might utilize The Secret Weapon for some guidelines, but I’ll also rely on some techniques that I’ve developed over the years and adapted from other apps. Maybe I’ll standardize this workflow and publish it as an alternative to TSW, and perhaps even make an app of my own someday…

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