Using an Evernote @inbox Notebook to Get Sh*t Done3 min read
If it wasn’t completely obvious, I use Evernote a lot. And with using Evernote a lot, you get to develop a lot of tricks to keeping yourself organised.
At the time of writing this, I have 1800 notes in my Evernote. It’s not a lot because I delete a lot of notes when I’m done with them (I’ve got over 1000 in the trash right now) and no longer need them (like published blog posts). I use Evernote to help me plan my days ahead, and projects. The native reminder system is very good for that.
While I’m writing or working, I remember little things that I have to do, or article ideas, or things I need to follow up on. Instead of stopping what I was doing, looking for a pen and notepad to write these things down (I’m usually on my laptop) I just use the Evernote Helper and it goes straight into my Evernote, without having to close any programs.
More so, I use the global keyboard shortcut for it to increase efficiency.
Also, while I’m reading on Feedly or the web, I clip/share things to Evernote all the time. From articles, to clippings of articles I want to blog-response about, to items I want to purchase, everything gets clipped and set to the green elephant for sorting.
You must think my Evernote is a mess! Actually it isn’t. I created a notebook called ‘@inbox’ as my default folder which I sort through every day. For each note, I make any further notes, add reminders if they need to be actioned, delete them if I already did them, and move them to the appropriate notebook.
Appropriate notebook? What?
I use Evernote for work, blogging, school, budgeting, personal planning, wardrobe ideas, et cetera. Each of these are actually a notebook stack, each comprising of various notebooks of subset topics. It’s like inception: a note in a notebook in a notebook stack. Once you start using Evernote more, you’ll see the benefit of this model, but that’s the catch 22: in order for it to be useful, you have to use it often.
Within each of these notebook stacks or aspects of my life, I have an ~Inbox: *insert stack name*. This contains the stuff which needs to be done; it’s high rotation, meaning, stuff in there usually gets deleted when the task is done. When I notice that I have a lot of tasks for one thing in particular (say, website maintenance) then I’ll create a notebook just for that, under the appropriate stack.
This should help you visualise my madness:
So, if the note in @inbox has a task which is personal, it will get put into my personal stack’s ~Inbox, and if it’s work related, the work stack’s ~Inbox.
So why ‘@inbox’? Why not just inbox?
The @inbox folder is not inside of a stack, it lives alone. The purpose of the ‘@‘ sign is to ensure it’s at the very top of the list at all times. Remember that Evernote sorts things alphanumerically, so special characters are up top, then numbers (0-infinite), then letters (a-z of course).