Simplify for Evernote Efficiency

    It’s unlikely that sugarcoating will make our system more efficient.

    I used to keep notes for each session with my clients or meeting with partners, and other notes for each team member, and even some for other purposes. Since they were all connected, the system worked pretty well.

    This was mostly done for two reasons:

    • To have that information automatically dated, as each note has a creation date.
    • To be able to reuse the information in other notes. For example, a team member note would be dragged to and linked to a meeting note.

    Furthermore, the number of different types of notes would automatically provide statistics based on the backlinks. For instance, I could know how many meetings a client had or how often a team member attended meetings. However, if you ask me how many times I have used this information so far, the answer will be an overwhelming zero.

    As you already know, I have been simplifying things on my Evernote. Recently, I decided to try to organize all the above information in single notes with the the help of new Evernote features like headings, links to headings, calendar entries, etc. No statistics, of course. But that’s okay. Although they were always quite cool to look at, I didn’t use them at all.

    Anyway, I’m still not quite there yet, but I’ll keep working on it. And, as usual, I will share the results on my channel as soon as I’m satisfied with the new system.

    Perhaps we avoid it because it is challenging to simplify things. That’s the reason I keep reminding myself that there are always things that can be removed, especially unnecessary processes.

    It’s rare that sugarcoating, categorizing, and a myriad of other routines will result in efficiency.

    Evernote Just Made My Life Easier.

    Recent quality-of-life improvements to Evernote are making my system even better.

    Better Synchronization

    Remember that video I published a few months ago about Evernote moving away from the monolith? If you haven’t watched it, think of the project as a lot of work under the hood to enhance the user experience.

    Evernote has taken another big step in that project. Synchronization is currently being upgraded to a more modern system. All web clients have already been upgraded and the rollout of desktop and mobile apps is already underway. This is huge news!

    All of my apps have recently been upgraded, and after a few days of testing, I’m amazed at how efficient synchronization is now. The video below explains how to know if your account is already running the new system.

    Mobile Clients

    Based on the results of a recent poll on my YouTube channel, most of you are using the new Create page on the mobile client to create your notes. 

    That’s not my case. As you already know, I have the app on my phone set to always open on the Shortcuts page, where I have access to the notebooks I use most of the time. In other words, I always open a notebook first, and then I create a note. So much so that I simply don’t remember the Create page exists and rarely go there.

    Evernote 10.95.2 (mobile) underwent minor cosmetic modifications that I am in love with. If you go to the notes page, you’ll see a “new note” icon in the bottom-right corner. The same is true for notebooks, tags, and tasks. Not the calendar, though. At least for now. But don’t worry, it’s coming.

    The shortcuts page was also upgraded. It’s a small change, but I also loved it. The list of recent notes is now gone, and that translates into more space for my shortcuts, which are a pivotal element of my new system.

    You can find further information about the new features and my thoughts in the video below.

    Shortcut for the 'Open in New Window' menu.

    I’ve been begging for this keyboard shortcut for ages, ever since Evernote 10 was released. Fortunately, as a Mac user, I am able to rely on a workaround.

    Thank you, Evernote, for helping me take good care of my furry friend.

    I would prefer not to share this story today, but real life is certainly not all roses.

    My lovely dog, who is incapable of hurting a flea, was bitten yesterday. He was enjoying himself at the dog park when another dog rushed towards him and bit him for no apparent reason. To my untrained eye, that was a giant wound that terrified me to death. But later at the vet, I was told that everything was alright since it was only the skin that was cut. Regardless, almost 4 cm (1.5 in) still seems like a lot to me.

    Needless to say, this broke my heart, and it took me a long time to fall asleep yesterday. To be honest, I’m still a bit shocked, and this is definitely a story I would prefer not to add to my Elephant’s Journal. But life isn’t always perfect, is it?

    Anyway, it happened late at night, and his usual vet doesn’t have an ER. When we reached out to him, he suggested the one we ended up going to. But since this was our first visit to the place, they did not have a file with my dog’s information. His microchip helped with basic details and some vaccines, but Evernote played an important role as it’s where I keep his entire life history.

    A black dog with a white patch on its chest is wearing a plastic cone and has a happy expression while standing on a leash.

    As I said in yesterday’s video, all my family documents are in the Family notebook. They all have at least two tags: Documents and the name of the person or dog 🐾 that document belongs to. His birth certificate, passport, vaccine card, etc. are all there. And they are all listed in the Documents note, with links back to each of the notes containing the documents.

    So, I can either open the Documents note to see a list of the most used documents, or use the tag with his name to filter all his notes in the Timeline notebook.

    Another note that I keep in the Family notebook is called Caffeine’s Routines. Yes, his name is Caffeine 🖤. This note starts with a list of all the veterinary appointments in reverse chronological order, linking back to the notes in my new Timeline notebook. All of them also have at least two tags: Caffeine and Veterinary.

    Again, I have two options to get to the notes. I can either open the Caffeine’s Routines note to see the list and click on a specific item, or use the Caffeine plus Veterinary tags to filter and see all the notes.

    Below that list, I have several tasks, such as his vaccinations and deworming. I even have a task to remind me to give him a bath 😊. All these tasks will automatically show up on the Tasks' widget I keep on Evernote Home.

    There is also a link to the Caffeine’s Routines note in the Documents note. Yesterday, at the vet, all I had to do was open Evernote, which in my case is set to open on the Shortcuts page. From there, I taped on Documents (note) and had access to a list of his more relevant notes to answer all the questions the veterinary had.

    When I got home, I used Evernote to scan the receipt and the veterinary recommendations, then added the Caffeine, Veterinary, and Health tags, and saved the note in the Timeline notebook. Finally, I added a link to that note to the list on the Caffeine’s Routines note. It took me less than a minute to update the information, which will give me peace of mind in the future.

    I’m sure my furry friend will get better soon, but I’m still heartbroken. When I feel less stressed about all of this, I will make a video to better illustrate all the steps above. For now, please show your pet some love. These little guys are absolutely wonderful.

    Remember I told you in the last video to be careful when making significant changes to your Evernote? I was following my advice, but…🫣

    Also in today’s video, I talk about the recent updates to my system and some unexpected benefits.

    UPDATE: I had to put the Timeline notebook back. I just noticed that the reason it’s there is to let me easily drag to that notebook completed activities (notes) from any of the Backlog notebooks. To better understand it, please take a look at the image below.

    Yesterday, I ended up not working on my Evernote because the video recording and editing consumed a lot of time. Today, things are moving forward quite well. I am now down to 36 notebooks from the 51 I originally had in that Legacy stack.

    When I woke up today, I went to my computer to start organizing my notes on my new Evernote system. However, I quickly realized that it was an excellent opportunity to first tell you what I’ll be doing for the next few days or, maybe, weeks.

    😮 I decided to go for it. I’m no longer organizing my #Evernote. Everything is going into a single notebook, and I’ll use search and AI-Powered Search to find what I need. A video explaining my strategy is on the way.

    🫣 Let the experiment begin!

    Every time I open the messy Evernote account I use to record my videos, I am more tempted to stop organizing my main account. I’m curious to see if AI Search can find everything as quickly as I can.

    Evernote Templates are broken and driving me crazy. But there's a solution!

    I believe that the Bending Spoons deal was the best thing that ever happened to Evernote, but some new features may be adding even more confusion to old problems. For example, I would love Federico’s team to tackle the huge mess Templates is already making before it turns into an uncontrollable snowball.

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