The first thing I do every day, besides, you know, wake up and eat breakfast, is organize my workday. Because I work on several projects at once, with different groups of people (and I’m a full-time remote employee), it’s important for me to be able to keep it all straight without feeling overwhelmed.
That’s why, no matter how many productivity apps are out there, I prefer to stick to just one. And I prefer that one to be Evernote, a free app you’ve surely heard lots about over the years.
I’m here to tell you exactly why it’s hyped as much as it is and why you need to start using it today.
Reason #1: You Can Easily Separate Projects
I’m currently working with two different teams—one with The Muse, one with an external marketing agency—as well as on one personal project. So, as you can imagine, Post-its don’t cut it as a reliable to-do list for all this.
Luckily, Evernote allows you to organize all of your notes into three different tiers.
- Tier 1: Stack
- Tier 2: Notebook
- Tier 3: Notes
To help you make sense of that, a “stack” contains a series of “notebooks,” and a “notebook” contains a series of “notes.” I keep all of my professional life organized in one “stack” called “Career.” And I have a notebook for each of my three projects within that career stack.
Reason #2: You Can Use Shortcuts for Easy Access to Your To-Do List
Because I use these three notebooks every day, I’ve also added my career stack to my Evernote shortcuts menu so it appears at the top of my sidebar. This allows me to have quick access to everything I need pertaining to a particular project.
Reason #3: You Can Take Notes for Meetings and Things You Need to Remember
Inside each notebook I can keep notes of everything I need to know about that project. For example, in my Editorial Project Notebook, I have a note for every meeting I’ve prepped for or attended, I have a note for every proposal that’s been accepted, and I have a note for “how to do” certain tasks that are part of my daily job.
I also have my notes sorted by “Updated Date” so that the ones I’ve worked on most recently or use the most frequently appear at the top. This makes it easy for me to jump into my notes for today’s meeting or take a look at what’s on my agenda for the day.
Reason #4: You Can Create Seamless To-Do Lists for Each Project
Within each notebook, I can create a to-do list for each project. I can then organize them by due date so I know what to work on first.
Not only does this keep my day and week organized, but it can also be helpful to my boss as well. If one of my superiors ever wants to see what’s on my plate or how my progress is on a certain project, I simply send them the public link to this note and they can view my to-do list.
By using Evernote to organize every part of my professional (and personal) life, I have everything I need in one place. Whether I’m on my laptop, my tablet, or my phone, I always have access to my documents, and that means I’m always prepared, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.
Photo of person on laptop courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.