Migrating to Evernote #2 – Organisation

This is the second part of my Migrating to Evernote series.  Part One is here.

Evernote has some excellent ways to organise your work – I use both notebooks (individual notes get stored in a notebook), and stacks (piles of notebooks).

I have also created a few other individual notebooks with specific uses.

Here’s how my navigation looks:

A quick explanation:

  • _inbox  – where everything comes in, all my default actions happen in here – and once a week, I sweep through and file things in the right place
  • _people – I’m using this as a simple CRM – capturing key stakeholders I am working with, and notes on them as well as tags to indicate workflow stages (more on that later)
  • 9 Spokes – my work ‘stack’ with a series of Notebooks on key projects or workstreams
  • Favourite Tweets – exactly as it says, I do a lot of my networking and connections through Twitter and this notebook is automated to receive anything I mark as a ‘favourite’ through an IFTTT applet
  • MattR_Personal – personal reading, record keeping, multiple notebooks
  • MattR_WebClients – a notebook for each of the websites I help manage and support
  • Templates – some useful templates, meeting minutes, 1:1 forms etc.

That’s it. I try to keep the top level as simple as possible so it’s easy to navigate and find things, although searching is the key to finding things fast.

Evernote Tags – keep it simple

You can tag any note, with unlimited tags.

With this much power, it’s tempting to file everything into very granular places, and then use hundreds of tabs to cross-reference your notes.

However, Evernote has a great search facility (more on that later), so you can find anything, anytime.

With this in mind, I use tags as a way of keeping track of workflow. Any note that needs to have progress tracked, gets assigned a stage in the workflow; idea/todo/in progress/done. I clear down the tags on a regular basis to ensure that I see the right status of items that are currently tagged.

In my people folder, I mark contacts as to call/follow up/action to act as my simple CRM.

Here’s how my tag list looks:

With stacks & notebooks defining your structure, and tags defining your workflow, you should be able to set Evernote up to support your knowledge capture and handling to your specifications.

In part 3 of my series – I’ll be looking at how I use Evernote to gather and capture information.

If you want to try Evernote for yourself – please use this link.