Zendone, Evernote, and GTD

ZendoneI have writ­ten sev­eral times about Ever­note, which has become my all-around stor­age solu­tion for notes, web clip­pings, and doc­u­ments. This is true both both in pur­suit of genealog­i­cal finds, and for per­sonal and busi­ness endeavors.

One of the biggest gaps I have seen in the Ever­note prod­uct is its lack of a seri­ous suite of GTD (Get­ting Things Done) func­tion­al­ity (Wikipedia: Get­ting Things Done).

GTD is a whole sub­cul­ture. Some even say, albeit jok­ingly, a whole cult, built around the ideas of David Allen, the author of, you guessed it, Get­ting Things Done (Ama­zon | Barnes and Noble). If you dis­till his ideas down to the sim­plest level, David Allen’s point is that our minds can­not pos­si­bly hold every­thing we need to remem­ber to do; our attempt to remem­ber every­thing we should do causes stress, which low­ers per­for­mance and the dimin­ishes our abil­ity to get things done. He rec­om­mends that we find a trusted sys­tem for gath­er­ing ideas, tasks, thought tick­lers, and poten­tial next steps. Peri­od­i­cally, we must process those items, tak­ing action on the quickly done items, and sort­ing the oth­ers based on con­text (@phone, @computer, @work) and pri­or­ity. Once we know we are gath­er­ing items and tasks in this way, we can use our minds to actu­ally con­sider things, instead of sim­ply try to remem­ber what it was we intended to think about.

In Ever­note itself, there’s not a good way to man­age to do lists, dead­lines, and an over­all GTD work­flow. Sev­eral inte­gra­tions have sprung up that attempt to address this gap, includ­ing ones with Nozbe, Reqall, and Dial2Do. Of these, I am most famil­iar with the Reqall inte­gra­tion. While this helps you get data from Ever­note into Reqall, it is a lit­tle lim­it­ing, and does not add up to an inte­grated workflow.

Zen­done, new appli­ca­tion, not quite released for Beta, but demon­strated on Vimeo and with a detailed pic­ture of the user inter­face on their web­site, looks like it may address the GTD work­flow gap in Ever­note. Zen­done allows you to pull items from the default folder in your Ever­note account and process them, either tak­ing the action you intend to take (do), or orga­niz­ing them into tasks to be done later (review & orga­nize). As you do this, Zen­done auto­mat­i­cally moves your notes from the default note­book. You can also add items in Zen­done and have them show up in Ever­note. Any­thing you sched­ule is pushed to your Google Cal­en­dar. Alter­nately, you can add things to your Google Cal­en­dar and they will show up in Zendone.

Zen­done is a final­ist in the Ever­note Devel­oper Com­pe­ti­tion, where nearly 1,000 devel­op­ers com­peted for $5,000 for six final­ists and a $50,000 for the grand prize. The win­ner will be announced at the first Ever­note Trunk Con­fer­ence in San Fran­cisco on August 18th. I wish I could be there!

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