Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Personal systems update - OmniFocus and Evernote

As you read this, I'll hopefully be somewhere between Portland and Denver en route to Orlando.

There are few times in my life with as much uninterrupted time as a cross-country flight. While I'll probably need to sleep for some of it (got up at 4 AM), I should have a good chunk to get some work done. Here are two new tools in my workflow since I switched to Mac. I'll probably be using these heavily while in my narrow little workspace.

OmniFocus: I'm still in the 14-day trial period of this Cadillac of task managers, but it's likely I'll be pulling the trigger and paying the $80 (!) when the time comes. It's really slick and helps me to stay on top of all the different projects that are starting to take shape in my new role. Being someone who needs GTD in their life to function professionally, this Mac-only software is elegant and simple but can be as involved and complex as needed. The iPhone app is another $20, so I'll be out $100 by the time it's all through, but nearly all the reviews say it's worth it. From what I've experienced so far, I agree.

Evernote: I've had this one for a while but just figured out how I'm going to use it. I'm still developing my process, but so far I have notebooks for 1. Inbox (for notes on the go that I can categorize later) 2. Groups and meetings (both prep for and notes during) 3. People (that I meet/talk with regularly - again, prep and notes) 4. Projects (thoughts and prep for different projects. When they become tasks they move to OmniFocus.) and 5. Reference (it's a catch all right now, but I'm working on breaking it down to a few simple categories. The tag feature is nice, but so far I'm just using notebooks.

So there you have it. And if you're wondering why I only have six people on my list in the screenshot above...I'm still transferring stuff in. It will be a lot more populated a month from now!

One thing I love about these products: They are in the cloud but also back-up locally (though EN does it better than OF).

What do you think? Do you use these tools? If not, what do you use to manage tasks and notes?

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