Since I co-founded Plank (and probably for a few years before that) I have always had a trusty little black book by my side to take notes. I used it to take notes in meetings, make lists of things to do (both work related and personal), transcribed phone calls and general thoughts. As long as I acted quickly on anything important in there and then transcribed it into my computer, nothing got lost. If I waited just long enough to move on 2 or 3 pages forward, I had a problem. It was an efficiently disorganized system, that had needed a reboot for years.
Since I got my first iPad I knew that it would somehow be the tool that helped me solve this problem. I knew that, Apple fanboy aside, there had to be a way to get it to replace the little black books that were now stacking up in the office. After a few attempts with Pages, Notes and then Reminders I was close to never seeing my handwriting again.
Finally, late one night over the holidays at the end of 2011 I figured it out and bought myself a subscription to Evernote. It took a few months of toying around but once I started to bring my iPad to work with me everyday, and had Evernote synching properly with my iPhone and Mac, I was ready. Three months later and all my thoughts, meeting notes and scribbles are dropped into there. I still do transfer texts to Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack & Google Docs but I’m feeling much more organized.
As you can see it’s still not the perfect, streamlined workflow but by removing the need to transcribe my scribbles and have every word on all my devices immediately has probably saved me 30-60 minutes of work daily. I’ll take it. My next goal is to now get Plank’s whole administrative and accounting system to be completely digital. We’ll see how that plays out the rest of this year.
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