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Jason is the founder of Ignite Student Ministries, a dynamic ministry igniting youth, young adults and university students to passionately pursue Christ and transform society in high schools, work places and universities around the world.

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Using Evernote for Your To-Do List

Jason VanaJason Vana

evernote to do list

I’m a fairly busy individual.

Between working full time, running Ignite (an international nonprofit ministry), writing for Sweet Fish Media, taking on graphic design projects for clients, writing for my own blog, as well as the typical living tasks (cleaning, buying groceries, cooking, laundry, dishes, making trips to the bank), it’s near impossible for me to keep everything I need to do straight.

For years, I’ve tried to find some kind of program or app or system that would help me stay on top of my daily and weekly to-do lists, to no avail.

The To-Do list programs I found were either too complicated (I don’t have time to categorize, set start times and deadlines, assign it to a project) or couldn’t be used on all the essential platforms I needed (MacBook, iPhone, iPad, Windows PC).

I need something as simple to use as writing tasks on a piece of paper, but convenient enough to access it wherever I am. I mean, what if I’m in the bathroom and remember I have something I need to get done?

Simple and accessible everywhere. The solution I’ve found: Evernote.

Not Typically a Task Manager

Most people will tell you that Evernote isn’t typically used as a To-Do list, and they would be right.

If you want a robust task manager with deadline reminders, task categories, start date and progress updates, linked to a project with extensive notes that collapse under the task, Evernote isn’t for you.

But if you want a simple, write out my tasks for the week and cross them off when done solution, Evernote is a great tool!

[Tweet “Turn Evernote into a powerful To-Do List accessible from any device. Includes FREE Checklist”]

Set Up

Before jumping in and starting your to-do list in Evernote, there’s a few things you’ll want to get set up first:

evernote1

To-Do List Format

Once you have your note created, it’s time to get your tasks organized. You’ll want to use the Check List feature when entering tasks so you can easily cross them off when completed.

Here’s the system I use:

Task Sections

You’ll want to create a title for every day, so you group those tasks together. I have 9 sections I created:

Stylizing Tip: Put the section headers in ALL CAPS, or bold and resize them to stand out.

Populate Weekly Tasks

The next step is to populate each day with any recurring tasks that happen every week. Here are a few tasks to consider:

Stylizing Tips: Make weekly tasks a different color, so you remember not to delete them at the end of the week. I chose green.

Populate Monthly Tasks

Next you’ll want to populate any once-a-month tasks. They will either go under a specific day, if you need to complete them this week, or under the Next Week or Future sections. Here are a few tasks to consider:

Stylizing Tips: Make monthly tasks a different color. I chose orange.

Populate Remaining Tasks

Once you’ve filled in your weekly and monthly tasks, it’s time to go through and write out any task you need to get done this week.

Be realistic in your scheduling. The whole reason I include weekly and monthly tasks, including any evening meetings, is to have a fair idea of how much I could get done each night. You don’t want to overbook yourself.

Anything you can’t get done this week, assign to either the Next Week or Future Sections, so you’ll remember to include them at a later time.

Stylizing Tips: Use the default text color for adding tasks that do not recur.

evernote2

Weekly Maintenance

In order to keep this system working, you’ll want to plan 20-30 minutes every week to go through and update your list.

Every Sunday night, I pull up my To-Do List note and do some weekly maintenance. Here’s what it looks it:

Daily Updates

As you go throughout your week, there will always be a task you need to complete that you couldn’t have planned for. Simply add tasks when you remember them or they pop up, and check off any tasks as you complete them.

The beauty of Evernote is that your task list will be automatically updated on every device!

Color Codes

There are a few color codes I use to keep my tasks organized:

There you have it! That’s my system for using Evernote to keep track of my To-Do List.

The system might seem a bit complicated when written out, but I have found it to be the fastest and easiest way to create a To-Do list I can access and update anywhere, without spending hours each week setting it up.

[Tweet “Turn Evernote into a powerful To-Do List accessible from any device. Includes FREE Checklist”]

Evernote To-Do List Reference Sheet

Want to implement it yourself? I have put together a quick reference sheet to help you get started in using Evernote for your To-Do list. Simply subscribe to my blog posts by entering your email address in the field below. You’ll get an email with a link to download the Reference Sheet.

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[Image via Heisenberg Media cc]

Jason is the founder of Ignite Student Ministries, a dynamic ministry igniting youth, young adults and university students to passionately pursue Christ and transform society in high schools, work places and universities around the world.

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