Evernote and GTD (2): Collecting

This is the second post in a series on using Evernote in a GTD setting. In the first post I discussed the setup of Evernote for use with the GTD methodology. In this second post I will start with the collecting of information into Evernote.

Collecting is a very important step in the Getting Things Done methodology. I am running OSX as my primary OS and have an iPhone. So I use my Apple laptop and my iPhone for getting stuff into Evernote. In this post I will focus on the Mac side of collecting stuff into Evernote.

If you are running Windows and have a Windows Mobile phone some of the things you read here will not apply although most actions are also available on those platforms. In a later post I will also briefly mention those Evernote clients as well. But for now I stick to the ones I use most.

Getting info into Evernote on OSX

You can set up your computer in a way that makes it possible to sent info to Evernote from all programs. This is one of the best features of Evernote. When you install the OSX client also a Clipper is installed. This nifty tool sits in the top menu bar. It gives you access to two important tools to get info into Evernote:

Paste into Evernote will paste the current selection of the clipboard to Evernote. Clip screenshot into Evernote will give you a rectangle with which you can select any portion of your current screen as an image into Evernote. Evernote uses a recognition technology that identifies text on images and pdf files. So when I take a photo of a business card the info on that card can be found by typing the name of the person or the company that is on the card.

On the website of Evernote you will find instructions on how to install a webclipper in your web browser. This will gives you functionality to clip complete web pages or parts of web pages to Evernote. So when I am browsing and find some info I need to take action on I will send it right from the browser to my default notebook (in my case “1. Inbox”) in Evernote. The same is true for all other programs I work with. If there is some text in a Word document that holds an action or some important information I select it and past it right into Evernote.

But sometimes a task just pops in your head while you are working on something else. For that I have installed a Quicksilver script to quickly add a todo item to Evernote. You can download the script Clip to Evernote here. And a direct link to the latest version of the script: download. Before you can use this script you need to edit it and read through the instructions. Make sure you set at least the default notebook setting and read through the instructions on how to use it.

When I work at a document and someone walks into my office with a task for me I simply activate Quicksilver, press period and type: title:Call Fred at 1231245. I then tab to the action field and enter clip to Evernote.

A last way of getting info in Evernote for this post is using the mail address that is provided with every Evernote account. You can mail to that address and the info is added to your default notebook. I use it for sending complete emails to my Evernote inbox when the mail contains actions. I also forward account information and other mails with information to my Evernote account mail address. You can find you Evernote account mail address in the web interface settings page. It looks something like this:

In the next post I will describe how I use the iPhone client of Evernote for collecting stuff and actions in Evernote. As always your suggestions, questions or remarks are welcome. Simply comment on this post.

This is a post in a series on GTD with Evernote:

Part 1: Evernote and GTD
Part 2: Collecting
Part 3: Collecting with the iPhone
Part 4: Tags, Saved Searches and Premium
Part 5: Revisited

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • jv

    re: clip to evernote script, the default notebook issue is fixed and you can save yourself a few valuable keystrokes by omitting “title:” and just putting a colon at the end. for example, this should do the same thing as your example above:

    Call Fred at 1231245:

    i also set a trigger for my script in quicksilver so that cmd+opt+e pops the clip to evernote script in the first pane, process text… in the second, and then blank in the third. lightning fast!

    glad you’re able to make good use of the script. let me know if i can help with anything. :-) jv

  • Fokke

    to jv: Thanks for the tip with colon!

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  • http://www.hanspetermeyer.ca hans

    This is great. Is there a way to put a date due in these “clips to e-note?”

    Still figuring out the functionality of e-note, and some way of tying items to dates would be helpful.

    thnx,
    h.

  • Fokke

    Hi Hans, AFAIK due dates are not yet supported in Evernote. I don’t use due dates in my workflow so it is not a big issue for me. For entering dates you can use tools like Typinator or Textexpander. Fokke

  • http://www.challengecoinsplus.com/ challenge coins

    Great info, thank you for making this available on your blog.

  • http://www.sewartistic.com Juliasew

    For Dates (GTD) in Evernote:
    I’ve created tags & Sub tags
    Main level: Due 2010
    Sub tag: Nov 15

    I use a saved search to list them.

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