Everyone knows I geek out when it comes to new technology. But sometimes old tech is the best tech, and that goes for taking notes.
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Last fall information guru Clay Shirky banned the use of laptops and other digital devices in his NYU classroom. It remains a controversial move. Not only students, but even other professors have criticized him.
Not me. I think Shirky’s onto something.
When it comes to achieving our goals, the biggest challenge usually isn’t a lack of resources or time. It’s our own memory.
It doesn’t matter how big or important a goal is, if we don’t review it, it’ll fade from memory. It’s almost as simple as the old saying: “Out of sight, out of mind.”
I use a lot of apps. Actually, more than a lot. I’m always downloading, using, and experimenting, trying to find the very best.
There are hundreds of thousands of possible apps to use, just for your mobile device. Throw in desktop and web applications and the number is nearly infinite.
I often refer to Evernote as my digital brain. It has replaced my physical filing cabinet, allowing me to go completely digital. It is where I store anything I need to reference later.
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But Evernote can quickly become unwieldy if you don’t have a system for using it. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it does have to be intentional. My own strategy has evolved over time.
I have been using Evernote since early 2008, when it was still in private beta. Since then, it has truly become my digital brain.
My Evernote Packing List
Evernote is one of those rare apps I can’t seem to outgrow. I am always finding new uses for it.
I started journaling a little over a year ago. It has become a regular part of my morning ritual. It has helped me clarify my thinking, process my feelings, and make better decisions.
However, like most people, I struggled with consistency. I wanted to journal. I was convinced of the benefits. But I found myself blowing it off with increasing frequency.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought an iPad Mini and am loving it. It goes with me everywhere. It is what I think the iPad should have been from the start.
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Since writing that post, I have been asked numerous times about which iPad applications I use. I thought I’d share here my top ten favorites. These are the applications I am using daily.
Please note: The way I organize Evernote today is completely different than what I wrote here. You can find my updated methodology here
I have been using Evernote for months. However, I have not really taken time to explore the depth of this incredible program until just recently. I have mainly just used it for a place to store meeting notes and an occasional web clipping.
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However, thanks to Brett Kelly’s very helpful e-book, Evernote Essentials, the Evernote user forum, and a little experimentation, I have begun to see the incredible power of this digital repository. So much so, then I am committed to going paperless in my new office setup.
I have been writing for a while now about Evernote, the software that turns your computer into a digital brain. It allows you to remember everything. Literally.
Yesterday, someone asked me if I had a list of all my blog posts I’d written on this topic. Sadly, I had to admit that I didn’t. The best I could do was point them to my blog’s search engine.
When I read anything, I mark it up. Margin notes, circles, and, most of all, highlights. In fact, I buy highlighters by the box. Or at least I did, until I started reading so much on my Kindle.
Amazon Kindle for Mac, Displaying Do the Work
by Steven Pressfield
Now I use the Highlighter feature of the Kindle to mark passages. I also occasionally use the Notes feature to record my thoughts about a passage. (This is actually pretty cumbersome on the Kindle itself. I usually only do this if I am reading on my Mac. Then I can use my keyboard.)
When it comes to Evernote, I am a hopeless fanboy. It has become an indispensable part of my productivity tool box. I use it as much as I use email or my calendar.
While it is easy enough to get started with Evernote, it is a program that is incredibly deep and rich. Just when I think I have mastered it, I discover a new tip or trick. In addition, the company regularly issues new updates with additional features.