Be honest. You’re distracted, right? In fact, that’s probably why you are reading this blog post instead of working on that project you should be working on now.
Maybe you’re like my friend, Justin, who told me a few weeks ago that he was having real trouble making progress on his book. “The deadline is looming,” he admitted. “But I can’t seem to get focused.”
A friend recently sent me a fascinating article on “batching.” After reading it, I became intrigued with the idea of dedicating blocks of time to similar tasks in order to decrease distraction and increase productivity. While there are variations of batching, the Pomodoro Technique seems to be well thought out and tested. There are also free tools and resources to get you started.
What Is Batching?
Batching is simply a form of time management that allows a person to maximize concentration and decrease distraction. As a result, it increases your productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness, while decreasing fatigue, procrastination, and stress. Batch processing is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion.
I have written previously on how to get your stuff into Evernote. In fact, I have expounded on ten different tools, including my two favorites: emailing and scanning. This is all well and good. But how do you find your stuff when you need it?
In this post, I want to share four different techniques for finding your stuff in Evernote. Honestly, it is so simple to get started, that Evernote doesn’t even include a section on this in their Getting Started Guide. However, don’t let this fool you. Evernote provides a robust set of tools for finding almost anything—easily and on-demand.
Earlier this week, I attended a very productive meeting. It was long, but we accomplished what we set out to do. We made significant decisions, established accountabilities, and left the meeting knowing exactly what was expected of us. I think everyone left feeling that it was a good use of time.
Unfortunately, too many corporate meetings don’t go this well. Often, they are a complete waste of time. But the good news is that they can be substantially improved by observing a few simple rules. Here is my list of seven rules for more effective meetings.
A few weeks ago, I started using Evernote as my primary “blogging workbench.” It is where I store blog post ideas, collect various post components, and then write the post itself. This has proven to be a robust solution that enables me to be working on several posts simultaneously.
I thought I would share my workflow with you. Yours will be different, I’m sure. But, hopefully, this will provide you with a few ideas.
In the last few months, Evernote has become my digital filing cabinet. It has enabled me to go completely paperless. Once I scan the paper into Evernote, I toss it into the recycling bin. Simple. Clean. Efficient.
However, as I have shared my enthusiasm for Evernote, several readers have expressed their concern for the safety of their data. Some have asked:
It is no secret that I am a big fan of Evernote. It is one of those amazing tools that can radically boost your productivity. I use it probably more than any other program other than Mac Mail. It has enabled me to realize my dream of a paperless office.
But Evernote can also be initially intimidating. The program is so deep and feature-rich that new users hardly know where to start. It is like buying a Swiss Army Knife. I personally used it for two years for little more than typing meeting notes into it.
I have used a paper journal for years to take meeting notes and jot down random thoughts. (I detailed my system here.) Yes, I tried the first generation iPad for this, but I ended up passing it on to a colleague. I just couldn’t quite fit it into my workflow—especially after I got a MacBook Air.
For years, my journal of choice has been the Moleskine. In fact, I have an entire shelf in my office set aside for storing my old copies. I have loved the simplicity, usability, and low profile of this notebook.
Thanks to Evernote, I have been able to go completely paperless in my new home office. For years this was a dream of mine; now it is a reality.
In this post, I want to explain how to use a scanner with Evernote. This has been the single biggest clutter-buster for me. No more stacks of paper sitting on my desk or credenza. Those days are history!
Whenever you are about to embark upon a vacation, the question of email inevitability comes up. Will you remain online, go offline, or try a hybrid of the two? In this post I provide a brief overview of these options and the system I will use on my upcoming sabbatical.
First of all, I have experience with all three of these options:
Through the years, I have raised money for all kinds of projects: private schools, mission trips, even adoptions. It has always been such a hassle to promote and administrate. Until now.
Razoo is a new web service designed to make fundraising easier than ever before. It puts the “fun” back in fundraising. (Okay, maybe I am overselling a bit.)