People have been using Evernote as a task management system for years, including as a way to implement the popular Getting Things Done system. While I’ve seen the possibilities, Evernote has lacked a few key features to make that really work. Fortunately, some new tools and features have fixed that.
Reminders are the biggest change making Evernote a powerful tool for managing tasks. The Reminders feature is more than just setting an alarm. It also changes your note into something that can be checked off and marked as complete. Here’s some screen shots to demonstrate.
As you can see from the first image, setting a reminder is easy. And once they are set, Evernote puts them at the top of the list, so they are right there and easy to process. If you want to take a more “Project” based approach, you can create a note, add a reminder and then use check box items within in the note so you can check off individual items as you complete them. Once all the items are complete, you can check off the entire note as “Complete.”
I like how this feature marries nicely to the power and flexibility of Evernote to create a versatile, easy to use task management system.
One caveat, at the moment. The Reminders feature isn’t yet available for the Windows version of Evernote, but it’s coming soon. Right now I’m using my iPhone or various tablets to set and maintain the Reminders. According to the Evernote forums, a big Windows update is forthcoming, and I’m hoping Reminders will be added.
There’s one other feature that’s nice in a task management system: ability to create a task out of an email. Of course, you can cut and paste an email header into a task management app and then put the body of a message in the “Notes” field, but that’s clunky.
Powerbot for Evernote is the answer. When you install the browser extension, you get a new option in your Gmail: Add to Evernote. Click on that, and you get the following screen:
You can specify notebook, tags and write notes to yourself, all from this screen. All that’s missing is making a Reminder, but that’s easy enough to do as a separate step.
Will Evernote replace my beloved Pocket Informant? Probably not. I like having my calendar integrated with my task management system, but I think I’ll give it a try for a couple of weeks and see which works best for me.
What about you? Inspired to try out Evernote for all your task management needs?