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How can I use Evernote to GTD, or should I use a separate task manager for that?

What would you suggest?

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3 Answers 3

If Evernote isn't easily GTD-able, don't try and force it. You'll spend more time adapting your system rather than actually using it. The important thing is to find something that works for you. Many people tweak GTD to fit their own needs, and only you can determine if a system will fit for you.

Things like having the same tagging system represent tags, contexts, and status (as it seems from the little I've looked at Evernote) is not something I would consider easily usable for GTD.

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The easiest way would be to create tags for your contexts (e.g. @Home, @Work, etc.). This, in turn, requires that each individual action is a separate note. That's the basic principle that all systems will share. As far as how you organize your system, many people recommend different ways of doing this:

  • Darren Crawford: Recommends 3 notebooks: Inbox, Next Actions, Reference. [.Projects] tag is used for the project list.
  • bluecockatoo: Recommends the tag [next action], and one for each project, including sub tags for larger projects.
  • ruudhein: Relies heavily on saved searches.

I'll update this list further, as I'm very interested in the topic as well.

One way to make the system have each note represent a project rather than an action is to have the context tag only refer to the project's next action. So if you had a project "clean the garage" with an action "call bob", you would create a note for "clean the garage". Then in the body of the note, write "call bob" as the next action, and tag it as [@Calls]. This means that you will need to retag a note every time you complete an action.

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I found another topic on the subject here http://www.40tech.com/2009/08/25/getting-things-done-gtd-in-evernote-with-only-one-notebook/

At first, when adapting Evernote into my GTD system, I used multiple notebooks. My default notebook was used for my Inbox, and I created several others others for specific GTD folders and separate projects, each with their own category and sub-category tags. It was effective but a bit unwieldy when I needed to find something in a hurry, and I found it difficult to keep my tags in line. I started thinking more about tagging. Then I thought a bit more. Ever so slowly, my overstuffed filing cabinet of a brain realized that multiple notebooks were unnecessary for what I needed Evernote to do! All I needed was one notebook and a highly organized nested-tag structure.

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