The Dream

NOTE: This was originally posted on and has been migrated here.

What are we after when we think about how we manage our time and money? Here I share my thoughts.

“What’s the best way to eat an elephant?”

That answer isn’t what you’ve heard. You don’t. You never eat an elephant. That is the correct answer. Here’s the problem with the question. When you start with the question, you miss the WHY behind it. WHY should I eat the elephant? Let’s take a step back and consider the WHY.

… a little further… 

… It’s a big animal… a bit more… a bit more… 

STOP! What do you see? 

I see a GIANT, powerful, endangered (this is an Asian elephant to avoid making some connection between this story and the African elephant used in the Evernote logo) creature who, from the looks of things, would be extremely tough to chew and would cause quite a stomach ache. 

I am not interested in eating the elephant, and I’m not convinced the question of “how you eat an elephant” should be asked at all. No. Let’s not. 

My point? It’s better to take a step back and consider WHY use Evernote to manage your world. From this post, we’ll dig deeper into the HOW — yes, I’m that confident I’ll answer the WHY well enough for you to continue reading. 

The Dream

For many people, Evernote is just a note taking app with more features than you shake a stick at. The features can be overwhelming and the usage maybe not so clear. I see this often when considering solutions for customers. Let’s say, for example, you want a solid CRM for a small business. You might find some simple “out of the box” options that work just fine with almost no setup at all. Once you get into things though, you discover the limitations. The tool might do the job, but ONLY the job it was created to do. If you need something more, that’s too bad. Suddenly that other option looks more appealing. You passed on it at first because the price tag was high and the on-boarding process was long. It makes more sense now that you see how it can fit exactly what you need AND grow with you in the future. 

That has been my experience with Evernote. 

Here are a few podcast that shaped how I use Evernote — rather than the other way around. 

To sum up: 

  • RULE YOUR TASKS. Don’t let them rule you (that includes your email).
  • Your day is like a soup. Stir it up. Let it flex.
  • Use a strategy that identifies what is important and get the other stuff out of the way.

I need a tool that 

  • Easily collects data from multiple sources
  • Provides a way to quickly sort through content — getting to what’s most important
  • Easily manage what I need to do in a practical way

Evernote is up to the challenge. 

  • Emails, voice memos, text messages, websites, and photos all in one place
  • Robust, manageable sorting to quickly identify priorities
  • Actionable items move to my calendar with a simple drag-and-drop management to plan out my day

That’s really it, and what you see in the screen shot. It takes more than Evernote. That’s actually a screenshot from my favorite calendar app, Fantastical, and the integration isn’t possible without third-party tools. The power of Evernote comes from creative strategies to solve problems. That’s the value in understanding the dream, or the big picture first, THEN utilizing a tool that’s up for the challenge. 

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