I'm going to start a series of posts on my experience with Evernote (EN)and the Getting Things Done (GTD) system by David Allen. It has been a bit of a journey of discovery for me, so maybe what I have learned will help someone else.
To begin, I have been a fan a GTD for many years. While I admit that I have been a bit on again/off again with the entire system, personal work flow has been tied to the GTD workflow for many years. The two-minute rule and "Do it, Delegate it, Defer it" have helped me keep my e-mail inbox at zero.
A couple of months ago I started a new job and decided that it was also time to get re-engaged fully with GTD. The good thing is that GDT is not dependent on any software or system. You can make it work with an inbox, a few folders and a note pad. However, some of us like to geek it up a bit.
About a year ago I tried Evernote and it just didn't seem to be the application that I needed. I was looking for a better system than the "Notes" app on my iPhone. It just looked overly complicated.
The idea to give Evernote another try came from listening to a podcast call "Beyond the To Do List" Many of the people he interviewed on the show were using EN and GTD so I decided to give it another try.
Now that I have used it for a couple of months I have to say that I rank it as one of my go-to apps. The key for me to making GTD work is the ability to get an idea/thought/problem/task out of my head and into the "system". David Allen is a big fan of a small pad of paper and a pen. However, that never seemed to work for me and I kept lugging things around in my brain.
The best thing about EN is that I can do a brain dump almost anywhere. It has a quick interface in the iPhone/iPad app to type a quick note. You can also e-mail a note to yourself. This comes in handy when I'm emptying my e-mail inbox. If an e-mail needs action, I simply send it to my EN inbox for processing. But wait, that is not all. The cool factor of EN for the iPhone is the camera interface. I can take a picture and it sends it to my in-box. I don't use this feature very much, but when I do it is great. For example, taking a picture of the white board after a meeting and having it filed with the rest of the project notes.
The next few posts will show how I set up and am using EN to make GTD work for me.