Things 8 and 9: Being organised – Google Calendar, Evernote and Remember the Milk

This post was written for 23 Things for Professional Development, Thing 8: Google Calendar and Thing 9: Evernote.

Things have been a bit quiet here for a couple of months as other things in life were taking priority and cpd23 was put on hold.  But now I’ve started up again and will hopefully be catching up with the things I’ve missed so expect a little flurry of posts over the next week or so.

Things 8 and 9, google calendar and evernote, are tools to help with personal organisation.  I like being organised and find it stressful if I’m not. Without my notepads, lists and diaries I’d be lost, but now some of that organisation is going virtual.  I don’t think I will ever want to, or find it helpful to, give up pen and paper entirely but online organisational tools certainly have their advantages.  In particular, instant access anywhere I have an internet connection (which is now pretty much everywhere) and being able to easily share things with others.  Obviously there are disadvantages too – my notepad does not require me to remember to charge it every evening and sharing something online is only easy if the person you want to share it with is using the same tool as you and wants it shared that way.

Google calendar

At work we use google calendar to arrange staffing of our Live Help service, which it’s really useful for as it’s staffed by people in different libraries.  We also use it for some room bookings.   Having an events calendar users can subscribe to or add to their own google calendar is a great idea too.  I also use google calendar for my own private calendar (although I use Outlook for my work calendar).  It integrates with my phone calendar which I find really helpful.

Evernote

I hadn’t come across Evernote before.  I’ve been testing the Windows version on my laptop, the Android version for my phone and the web clipper bookmarklet.  My first impression is that I like it and could find it really useful.  I like the interface and so far it seems to work well – apart from the Android app not being able to create check lists.  The web clipper was the thing I was most interested in as currently I use Delicious and/or Zotero to keep track of websites, blog posts, etc I want to go back to but this hasn’t been working brilliantly.  Evernote seems to be the solution I’ve been looking for so I’m going to be converting to Evernote for a trial period to see whether it really is as good as it seems.  Whether I’ll make much use of it for taking notes I’m not sure yet.  I tend to use pen and paper for note taking as my phone is too small to comfortably type on and most places I want to take notes I don’t have my laptop with me, but that may well change once I start my masters.  I do type most of my notes up though and having my notes and clipped websites in the same place so I could search them both at the same time would be really useful.

Remember the milk

This isn’t one of the things, but it’s something I came across a few months ago which I’ve found really useful for organising myself.  It’s an online to do list I can access anywhere I’ve got an internet connection, though I mostly use the app on my phone.  It’s really simple to use and means I can add stuff to my to do list wherever I am when I think of it.  Tasks can be put in to different lists, e.g. work and home,  given due dates,  prioritised and have email reminders set.  You can sign up at www.rememberthemilk.com.

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