Life is just plain too short. 24 hours in a day, 168 a week. Time just disappears as the week wanders on. Recently, I've been optimizing my life by keeping better track of things. Instead of forgetting a missed deadline because I wasted time doing something else, I always make it right on time. That's something I have become quite good at and I haven't added any capacity to my memory. One of the most helpful things I've added to my productivity workflow is a simple app called Simplenote.
Simplenote takes a somewhat radically different approach to things. A simple and beautiful interface for OS X and iOS, lack of features (good thing) and simple organization. I love it. Tagging a post is something similar to a folder. Organize thoughts and notes into tags. Or multiple tags. Have a meeting note that also is a todo list? Tag it. Remember it. Get it done. Some may think:
oh you cannot have folders? or folders of folders? that's sh*t!
I think it is incredibly simple and just the way it needs to be.
As an active freelancer as well as a student, I tend to have to manage a facet of things on my plate. From meeting with a clients to chatting with classmates on a project, I have to remember the little details across a variety of issues. Previously, I presumed that I could just retain all these things in my head and I will remember everything that I need to do. That didn't go so well.
It bit me in the arse as I forgot a number of important deadlines and failed. That was unacceptable.
Setting out to recover from failure, I needed to find a better way to remember everything. Could I just create a reminder for everything? Or an email? That never worked for me. Plus, Reminders on OS X are quite ugly as of 10.8.5. I wanted a simple way of organizing everything across most of my life and I found a pretty versatile solution. Ironically, the Simplenote has a smaller feature set that other solutions but that's why I like it more.
For me, I organize my notes in a number of tags, a few of them you can see here.
I constantly tweak and see what works better, never stop improving there. Clicking on Meetings will give me a quick view of all the recent conversations I've had and I can go back and find something relevant in a few clicks.
When I am out on the go, my Macbook Air can even be to heavy to bring with you. To keep things light, bringing an iPad or just a phone to write things down for a meeting is perfect. But this means that you are going to be writing on your iPad but you still need to access those notes right away back at home. You shouldn't have to wait to sync it. It should just happen, magically. Simplenote tends to make this happen.
With iCloud's Notes App, I've seen syncing issues. Duplicate notes and a note on one device and not on another to name two. Simplenote just removes this; i don't have to worry about it because it just happens and I love it.
When sitting down for a class, I open up Simplenote and check out last lectures notes as well as any questions I might have for the professor. After that at a meeting with a client, now I have to pull up the things I've done since last meeting with them and any questions I have. Done and done.
Now, Simplenote didn't affect my life in that I now had an excellent and free note taking application. I started changed things in my life. Having a simple conversation with a client, I now already have a note open and I'm jotting down whatever might come up. Instead of being left straggling behind because I missed a deadline, now I know anything and everything that I've ever discussed with a client or for a project. It's all there and it's all accessible via a simple search on Simplenote.
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