Leaving Evernote?

Osiyo. Dohiju? ᎣᏏᏲ. ᏙᎯᏧ? Hey, welcome back.

I have four pain points in my life that lead me to be less organized than I’d like. My bookmarks, my Google Drive, my Evernote, my YouTube playlists. Each one of these are collectors for my “stuff.” My Chrome bookmarks have tons of named folders. What happens is I find a bunch of videos I’d like to listen to or watch (or links to articles, whatever) and I get anxious about so many tabs and I clean it up by ctrl+shift+d and save them all in a “New Folder.” My Google Drive is somewhat similar. My YouTube playlists are somewhat curated by topic – which I have more than 100. I usually put videos in playlists by topics such as an author main subject, or even those present in a video. However, I have two playlists “ToWatchLater” and “ToWatchLater2” which contain more than 6000 videos I’ve said “I’d like to watch these” but I haven’t yet. And a “stuff” folder which are videos I’ve watched but was too lazy to catalog correctly. My Google Drive is probably the most organized but only because of the 350GB of content I’ve done my best to organize it the best since it contains all of my research documents. I continually go through and move files. As I get new research I catalog it correctly; if I didn’t I couldn’t do research.

I’ve been using Evernote since 2008. I love it. At one time I used an app for my iPad called AwesomeNote. I still use AwesomeNote2 on my phone. It is, as the name suggests, awesome. It could use Evernote notes and supplemented Evernote notes with categories and more. I can take pics and scan docs into Evernote, use PDFs, and more. I have been paying for Evernote for a long, long time. For 13 years, it’s done the job. What is the job Evernote performs for me?

As I stated in the first paragraph, I have some pain points. Evernote has become a note collector and not a note management tool. If I want to save a web page or part of one the web-clipper is very nice to use. However, I save this info and never do anything with it. I have notes of notes of notes… which is really how I live my life. Oh I made a todo list – oh I lost that list so here’s another one. oh I found the first one but I’m not going to take the 4 seconds to compare the two lists so I’ll just put them together and now I have two todo lists. And I found a third one. Lists of lists of lists. I mean that’s the way it used to be. I’ve been Bullet Journaling for years (minimalistic) so I don’t lose my lists anymore. However, I still don’t go back and review notes in Evernote. I just make them.

I’ve used Zotero and Citavi for cataloging information, highlighting text in PDFs, and making notes. They suffer from a different issue. They are clunky to use. They’re amazing, but clunky. Just like Evernote’s tag system. When I’m doing research I want to be able to save information quickly including quotes and content. I need to be able to tag it quickly and find related notes. Evernote has a tag system (similar to WordPress). It’s not bad, but it’s not fast for me.

In case you didn’t already know, I’m eccentric. I will write a lot of code just to simplify tasks. I also get distracted fast; as in my mind wanders exploring the many branches of word association that can take me in any direction. I don’t even know where it’ll end up.

What I need is a way to take fast notes, tag them quickly, make citations, pull web pages or parts of web pages, mark PDFs and other documents for research items, and a way to catalog all of it. I need something that can work as fast as my brain. Evernote just isn’t it. Neither is Citavi, Zotero, OneNote, nor many of the other systems. I use bullet journaling because I just open a notebook and write stuff down. I can add calendar events quickly. Believe me when I say that if I have a thought I need to get it out as fast as I can so I can continue with my work. So remembering a calendar date, I don’t want to spend the minute or so opening Google calendar and adding an event, setting a time, etc. I just want to write it. I also want something that isn’t proprietary. I want to be able to open my files in any text editor and not rely on HTML, or some other format.

So what things do I not need my system to cover? Calendar. I write these quickly in my Bullet Journal and then at night I migrate them to Google calendar. That’s usually when my brain is winding down and I’m setting up my tasks for the next day. I also don’t need it to manage my resources that’ll be done by Google drive on my computer. I also don’t need it to work with emails.

I spend most of my days at a computer either with work or side projects. By most of my days I mean from 7am to 8pm most days. Not all day, but most of it. So, I don’t need to have more work to do to. In fact, I’d like there to be less to do. If I can spend less time cataloging then maybe I can either get more work done in less time or even more work done in the same time. I’d prefer more work done in less time.

What I would like is something that I could integrate with SERINDA. The fact that SERINDA is web based front end makes it incredibly easy to load webpages in frames and then drill down to content to save elements or links. So this is an aspect I will be improving on with SERINDA. This includes wiring more neural network pieces so that I can better predict tags that might go with notes.

I was unfamiliar with zettelkasten (definition) and after reading a lot of articles and watching YouTube videos it’s not different from what I do with bullet journaling. What is never explained is how to use the notes to compose a book. So I went back to Citavi 6. I love it, it doesn’t copy PDFs into its archive unless you tell it to. I can clip PDFs and create notes that don’t affect the original PDF and I can export those notes how I want to.

I really lost my train of thought. However, I’ll give an update on the different uses in the next post.

Until next time. Dodadagohvi. ᏙᏓᏓᎪᎲᎢ.

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