Learning to play chess is easy, mastering the game is another thing altogether. I feel the same goes for learning to use Evernote. Evernote is simple to use; there are countless ways to import information into Evernote but mastering its capabilities is keeping me occupied. Fortunately, I ran across a great book to help me tame this powerful tool. David Ward of The Attorney Marketing Center has written a book called Evernote for Lawyers: A Guide to Getting Organized & Increasing Productivity*. While this book is geared towards lawyers, I believe everyone can benefit from his experiences with Evernote. Read more
Daniel Gold, the author of Evernote: The unofficial guide to capturing everything and getting things done. 2nd Edition*, has managed to write a book that ties Evernote and Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity* together. I personally found the book to be a great combination, and had previously tried to make the connection based on articles I had read. Gold managed to add clarity to the subject. Basically, Gold describes in roughly 63 pages how he implements the GTD system using Evernote. Read more
I recently returned from the 2011 American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) conference in Orlando, Florida. On this trip, I decided to approach my note taking just a little differently. Normally, I take notes with a traditional paper and pen. This time, I took all of my notes on my iPad, and it worked out wonderfully.
My primary application of choice has been and will be Evernote. Evernote allows me to capture my ideas easily and I can then organize them in notebooks, tag them, and make them available through the cloud.
Knowing I was going to the ASTD conference, I started to prepare early. Using strategies from Getting Things Done (GTD), I created a tag to identify my postings. At a minimum, I tagged them with “ASTD 2011.” I used other tags depending on the topic. All of my notes or postings were added to my Reference notebook because these were ideas I would use later but did not require a next action.
In preparation for the conference, I forwarded my airline, car, hotel, and conference information to the appropriate tag and notebook. It was very useful to have this information at my fingertips.
During the conference, I used the ASTD application extensively to schedule the sessions I wanted to attend. While in the session, I took notes directly into Evernote. I gave each session its own note page. Any pictures I took during a session, I emailed directly to Evernote and appropriately tagged and placed in the Reference notebook.
Once I returned from the conference, I was able to use the desktop Evernote client to help assemble my trip report. By using Evernote and the GTD strategies, I feel I was more prepared and I worked less. Normally, I have to do double duty on my notes, when I write them on a legal pad and then transcribed them to my trip report. With Evernote, I had the additional benefit of being able to search through my notes immediately.
Here are a couple of lessons I would like to pass on: 1). ensure your iPad is fully charged before starting the day; I came close to running out of power and 2). spend time to prepare for note capturing before you actually get to the conference.
I had a tremendously positive experience using this method; I expect to continue to using my iPad and Evernote to capture conference notes well into the future.