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Productivity hack – Using evernote to context switch

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Everyday, we do different set of tasks that we want to do more effectively. Task can be anything, be it writing blog, working on project A, working on project B, or bill payments for expenses. These tasks can be classified on the basis of context.

A context for any task can be defined as things that were in your mind the last time you were doing that task. For example, you are working on project A and you feel like you are done for the day and want to start writing something or maybe complete some unfinished blog post. Now, this requires context change from “Project A” to “blogging”. This context comprises of all the information to get started, from unfinished posts to new ideas that you were having last time.

You try to remember what you wrote last time, you check your wordpress drafts, and you look for text documents where you have written new ideas. All these things take time. And, this cost hampers your productivity. You never know, this may lead to another reason for procrastination.

Evernote lets you avoid this overhead. For those who have never used evernote, it is a brilliant application to capture your thoughts/notes from all sources. You can write, you can clip web page, you can take photograph, or you can attach pdf document. Discovery is done either using notebook to cluster notes together or in-built search.

Steps to keep in mind in order to use evernote to handle this context switching

One Notebook Per Task

Keep a notebook for each task/context and bookmark it. Your click on any notebook on bookmark bar will load all the related notes and you are ready to roll.

One Note Per Thought
Dump all your thoughts while you are working in this notebook as a new note. Don’t bother writing good title or description.

Note for Current Status
Have a separate note to describe your last progress and what to do next. In my case I have a note titled “status” for every project to track my progress. Quite often, I have found that  if I pause working on a side project for a couple of weeks then, resuming that task afterward takes so much time in figuring out what I had completed and what needs to be done. This step will help you to quickly resume working.
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