Fixing My Productivity Mess: Part 3 – Simplenotes

In my Last post, I got Apple Notes all set up for my productivity system. I also got Evernote cleaned up and cleared out hundreds of old notes that I hadn’t even looked at for several years. They were mostly outdated web clippings and notes for research on projects I either did years ago or I no longer have any interest in.

In the process, I discovered that I had duplicate or similar noted and outlines duplicated over many different apps. I found variations of one outline in Apple Notes, Evernote, Drafts, Simplenotes and Workflowy. This was a recurring issue.

This happened for two reasons.

1) I have a history of hunting for just the right app or service to solve my lack productivity and organization. Like i said in a previous post, I’ve learned that there isn’t a magic bullet and there are no majic apps. There also aren’t any perfect apps. I just need to settle into the apps that do what I need and feel comfortable to me.

2) I get wrapped up in the planning, researching and dreaming, then I either lose interest, or I procrastinate and never get to it. Sometime, I pick it back up later, but in a different app or service.

I Love Simplenote!

In addition to Apple Notes, I really enjoy Simplenote. If Apple Notes is my go to for quick capture, and organizing notes relevant to current work and projects, Simplenote seems to be my go to for longer form writing.

It is no frills. It is text only. There are no folders. Only a long list. There are tags of organization, and it has excellent search. It is purely plain text but has a Markdown preview function.

It is clean, fast and simple.

I’ve been using Simplenote since I got my first Android phone In about 2007 because it provided easy syncing between my phone and laptop. When switched to iPhone, I just kept using it. It did sort of stagnate for a while, but since Automatic purchased it, it has had a lot of improvements, and some polish.

Over time, I stopped using it as a note-taking app, but I love writing in it. I’m writing this using Simplenote right now. It’s a nice distraction-free environment, just a list of notes in a hidden side pane and the note you are working with.

My notes list and tags are a huge mess though, like everything else in my digital life, and I have to do something about it.

So like Apple Notes and Evernote, I’m ruthlessly deleting, or moving notes out of the app. The only notes that stay are things I’m currently writing, drafts I will get back to, and actual articles and posts that have been published.

I will have a few pinned notes at the top of the list for templates, both blog posts and podcast show notes, and a Markdown tags reference note.

That’s it. The rest will just be a long list of notes. Tagged for categorization. I’m deleting thirty tags and limiting to just five to ten.

I really recommend that when you find an app that you love, for whatever reaso, and you find that you enjoy doing a specific thing in it, that you do that thing, and don’t clutter it up with things that detract from using the app for the activity you intended it for.







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