Published by Erik Talboom,
As some of you might still remember, I am very interested in personal productivity as it seems to be something that is a bit of a challenge for me to really structure and keep up. So after several months of not using it, I decided to revive my Personal Kanban system. At the same time, I was really tired of Trello. I don't know why exactly I really don't feel like using it anymore, it just feels too clunky and to have another license to pay just for these boards is getting a bit tiring. So instead I decided to try something weird, especially because this tool does not support any kind of board visualisation at the moment.
I moved my Personal Kanban system into Evernote. I have been a "relaxed" user of Evernote for a few years already. I have been able to automate most of my administration with Evernote, Scannable (mobile capturing app) and Zapier to trigger actions to be taken when I scan documents into certain notebooks. I even moved my blog a few years ago from Wordpress to Evernote and Postache.io. So I thought, why not move stuff into Evernote. I read up on other people's experiences with making this move and how to simulate some kind of visual buckets of notes (tasks) and ended up with implementing the popular tag based filtered queries on the home screen.
So I have a few tags to simulate my different columns in my Personal Kanban: backlog, intention, on hold, wip, to reflect. Whenever I want to transition a work item, I just replace the corresponding tag and it moves to the other bucket. I notice that I have a mix of small tasks in there as well as bigger "projects". I naturally rolled into this structure while I was moving my items from Trello into Evernote. Some of the things I noticed made sense for me:
- I created a note for each room or space in our house and added tasks in this note to capture the different smaller things to do within this space. I am aware that these notes will never get to done most probably because I will always come up with something extra to do in a room before all the other tasks are done. But I don't mind that too much. The purpose is not to move items into the done column, but to get things done and reflect on the ones that are important to reflect on.
- I created a note for smaller tasks, without any sub tasks, to just capture the relevant information and make sure I can get them done and moved in my system.
- I send mails that I want to read later or follow-up on to my Evernote email address, so that they also show up in my inbox. I still want to figure out how to add tags from within the mail, I remember vaguely there was a way to do that. I'll figure that out later. ( Let me quickly make a note of that 😉 ).
- I also started documenting meeting notes and even work notes in specific notes. This is something I never did before this structured. I work as developer most of my time and this means investigating ways of implementing something that we don't have yet. This typically involves a lot of experimentation, decisions and trial and error. I try to capture (some of) this information, to not just have the outcome, but also the path towards it. I like having all the relevant information in the same note, to go back to it later (maybe) and to structure my thoughts and experiences right now.
I also bought a new iPad pro with Apple Pencil 2nd gen, which is absolutely lovely to write notes. I am not writing my notes directly in Evernote, but I do typically end up saving the content in Evernote. I'll write another post on that somewhere soon.
While writing this blogpost (in Evernote) I am starting to wonder if I should add a tag Done to my system, to be able to visualise the items I actually finished. Not having this column on a Kanban board has always been an anti-pattern in my experience, so I'll add that experiment into the mix as next step.