Boy, is it tough to work without a system. I should know because I’m well versed in the process. Here’s the problem: I’m a digital hoarder. I just can’t say “no.” A free ebook? Yes, please? Free report on the latest fitness trends? Of course! And with Dropbox and Evernote on all my devices, I can have all these resources with me at all times. I love reading but this is where the rubber hits the road. I have essentially an endless amount of information, but what am I doing with it? How am I processing what I read? What am I creating from what I’m consuming?
What I loved about college was organizing my courses each semester. I loved getting a brand new three-ring binder, putting that syllabus at the front and loading up on blank sheets, ready to take notes in lecture, collaborate with students in discussion, and eventually finish with a passing grade on all the exams.
I’ve taken that approach to organizing my business endeavors. Imagine your filing cabinet at home. Each has a folder, it’s well labeled, and it’s probably in alphabetical order. Now I probably don’t go in the file cabinet nearly as often as I should, so that is where the system starts to break down. It needs another component, a glue to make it all work on a daily basis.
Enter Evernote Reminders
I have found that adding a simple reminder to a particular Evernote Note has been a great prompt for me to begin each morning in the right place, with the right note. From there, the system takes care of itself. I look over what I’ve done earlier in the week, I look at my goals for the week, and I write this all down in my work log. I’ve written about Evernote in the past, but I’ve never fully shared how I have mine organized probably because I’ve known that the system wasn’t fully complete. It’s interesting how when you add more and more responsibility that you are forced to add more and more levels of organization, and in this case a simple reminder to get started on the right foot each morning.
Sorry if this post was a little vague. As always, I reserve the right to blog about moments in time that are reminders to myself how I’m moving the ball forward. But I hope that something here today gets you thinking about how productive you are, how reliable your system is. Collecting information is easy. Keeping it organized so that you can access it at the drop of a hat is a step towards professionalism. And when you take all that information and create something meaningful on a regular basis, and you can tell about it, then you’ve become a pro. For me, that’s the goal.