Evernote web clipping plus todo lists as a reliable read-later tool

There are often things you read in web, which are actually interesting, but just come in the wrong moment. Directly before a meeting, or when actually searching for something completely unrelated.

It is still important to keep track of these things, ideally in a way that is archived, so even when the blog post in question disappears from the web, you can have access to this knowledge. Web clipping and read-later tools come to help.

This article will discuss a way to first use the Evernote web clipper efficiently for this purpose. Then, to not forget clipped items, it will look into ways to automate the workflow from web clipping an article to a reminder in your task management tool, and the right tagging to be able to actually retrieve older clipping.

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Creating reminders for the long term

Sometimes, there are tasks which are rare or only relevant in the long term, but still important – even in daily life outside of work.

For example, home maintenance: Spring cleaning, washing curtains, washing bedding. The small things, which are often forgotten way too quickly. And before you think about it, you sleep in months of your own sweat. When using task management, think in the long term.

This article will go over on how to efficiently use task management in the long term to not forget even the rarest occasions.

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The Inbox in task management

When working with an app like Things 3 or OmniFocus 2, one will quickly notice the folder in the top, called “Inbox.” 

After using emails for decades, the concept of an Inbox should be clear, but what is its meaning in task management? Can one not enter tasks directly into the relevant task list or project? Why is there an extra step, adding a task to an “Inbox” folder, when it will be temporary anyhow?

This feature will help streamline your workflows if used correctly. In this article, we will discuss its purpose, how new tasks should be captured, and how to make sure that the inbox stays tidy.

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Approaching personal productivity

The term productivity is vague. It can mean different things. Does one want to have more working time per day, or rather do the same work in less amount of time? Personal productivity is about having balanced workflows, reducing stress, and enhancing the quality of work.

How does one measure the rate of output and is it worth measuring? Is it mentally advisable to cramp as much working hours as possible into each working week?

In this article, we discuss at the goals of personal productivity, how to approach it, and a healthy way of thinking about personal workflows and such.

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How to write structured to-do lists?

After creating the habit of using to-do lists, they can get messy. What to put into a task management app? Where to start when structuring tasks, sub-tasks, and projects? Most apps have a variety of features, but it is hard to use them properly, especially for a beginner.

Especially if having a large amount of tasks, to-do list apps or task management systems can get out of hand. There are many things to do at once, but not everything can be done at once. Maybe stuff cannot even be done because something else needs to be finished first. Maybe there is a date attached, from when a task can be worked on.

Having a proper structure helps to create trust in the system and workflows, gaining security. It helps to be reliable and not forgetting tasks. Finally, it helps to tackle work which would be overwhelming, otherwise.

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Reducing noise in task management

A task management software is designed to be helpful. To remove noise from life. But when not organized properly, it can quickly backlash and result in something which adds more overhead than actually being helpful. The plan is: Avoiding and removing any noise, stuff which is not helpful for work. If tasks are entered wrongly, the list will be endless.

This article will go over a variety of tricks and tools to get the most out of task management by decluttering unneeded information. Not all task management applications will support every discussed feature, but a majority can be made to do a part of it. Mostly, this article focuses on methodology. They are ideas to try out or at least to keep in mind. The implementation of it will be very individual – both from the standpoint of used task management application and personal taste.

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An overview on automation

When using a multiple of productivity apps, the number of inboxes can get overwhelming. An email from a supervisor and a related task in a task managing app. Each app serves its own purpose, but a variety of apps cause noise. This causes the stigma, that productivity geeks are busier with handling their workflows than handling their work.

So, how to avoid such situations? Automation is one way to solve this. There are more situations, where automation helps making workflows more efficient.

The following will give an overview of apps and utilities worth mentioning when talking of automation. A more hands-on approach with screenshots and examples will be part of future setup articles.

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Keeping health above work

Many people like to work. Many people do not. If browsing websites about productivity, one is probably in the former camp. One way or another, it is important to keep health in mind.

There are a couple of things which can make a healthy lifestyle. Food, sports, sleep. The number of hours just working plays a big role. Despite loving work, less is often more.

During the work, it is important to have regular breaks. After work, forcing oneself to actually have a break is a good start. There is no need to think about work-related things all night.

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Minimizing and handling multiple inboxes

In daily work life, very few things can create more anxiety than the worry of forgetting something. It seems close to Getting Things Done (GTD), but it is true for any workflow. When one is busy with not trying to forget things, the brain cannot do other tasks. At least not as well.

Of course, there are lots of situations, where people can forget things. But a constant worry is, things slipping through. There is the email inbox, a calendar application, a To-Do application, the team Slack, the customer ticket system, maybe a couple of sticky notes, and so on.

The sheer amount of systems to administer can be overwhelming. In the end, it is not about administrating productivity apps; it is about finishing work, right? There are, however, a couple of things, one can do, to ease one’s mind.

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