The One Tool I Use to Stay Productive At Work

As a young professional I will admit it was hard getting adjusted to the full-time lifestyle straight out of college. I mean going to work eight hours a day/five days a week was a big change from taking naps in between classes during undergrad. Stepping into the 9-5 life has definitely been an adjustment to say the least.

I have been working full-time for a year and a  half now and I can say I’m JUST NOW starting to feel comfortable in my job. As a young professional starting out, it’s easy to feel the pressure of keeping up with co-workers who have been working 10+ years, but eventually you’ll learn your own way and get accustomed to getting processes down.

One of the hardest things for me has been productivity and making the most out of those 8 hour days. Working in the communications field, my days might not always go as planned, but I ALWAYS have projects to work on.

If you’re just starting out in your career, you may find that you have a hard time keeping up, keeping track of what to do, and making sure you’re getting things done on time.

Recently, I have been trying to find new ways to stay productive and get things done in a timely manner. I’ve tried electronic calendars (with reminders), written to-do lists, post-it notes, etc., but nothing seemed to keep me on track as much as I hoped. Thankfully, I found the best solution to keep me productive. What is it you ask? EVERNOTE!

I’m sure you’ve heard of Evernote because it’s been around forever. I’ve actually had an Evernote account for about 2 years, but never effectively used it because it seemed too complex. But oh, was I wrong. This tool has been so effective for me. In fact it’s so effective I’ve gotten more work done this month than any other month in the past.

This was literally me at work after Evernote changed my process:

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HOW DOES EVERNOTE WORK? 

Evernote is a note-taking tool that allows you to organize, create lists, reminders and clip things from the web. You can create notebooks, notebook stacks,  save documents, and even record audio notes. Yeah….it basically does everything.
Because of these great aspects, Evernote is great for professionals and creative entrepreneurs because you can get stuff done like a boss all while having fun (ok it’s fun for me because I’m a weirdo who loves planning and organizing things).
In this post, I’m going to give you all the details of how I use Evernote for work and how you can get started to become the note-taking pro I know you are. Let’s get started shall we?

GETTING STARTED WITH EVERNOTE

First you’re going to want to create an account. After you create an account, you can download the desktop version, the online web clipper tool and the mobile app.
Evernote has different payment plans, but the free version is honestly awesome. I haven’t upgraded my account yet, but I will most likely be upgrading in the future so I can have more space.
The good thing about Evernote is that anything you create or any changes you make on the web-based, mobile app, or desktop versions will all sync up, so everything is connected.
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After you’ve created an account it’s time to get down to business. The main thing  I want to focus on is creating notebooks and notebook stacks. These are the tools you’ll use the most if you want to keep track with all of your projects and stay organized.

Side note: The screenshots I’m using are from the web-based Evernote platform. The downloadable desktop Evernote looks a little different, but once you see how it works on the web-based version, you can implement these steps into the desktop if you so choose.

CREATING NOTEBOOKS + NOTEBOOK  STACKS

  1. Create a new notebook by clicking on the notebook icon and the notebook + add button

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2. Title the notebooks with all the tasks related to your job or whatever project you are working on. Since we are on the topic of being productive at work, I like to label my notebooks by each task I know I have to perform. Create notebooks that are specific to your job and the tasks you do and make sure you always create a “Completed Work” notebook. We’ll get more into that later in the post.

how to stay productive, using evernote for work, how to be productive at work

 

3. Once you’ve created your notebooks, drag one of the notebooks on top of another one, this will prompt Evernote to create a notebook stack. Think of a stack as a binder to keep all your related notebooks in.

how to stay productive, using evernote for work, how to be productive at work

 

4. Now that you have created and titled your stack, drag the rest of the notebooks into the stack and, boom, you have your very first stack of organized goodness.

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ORGANIZING YOUR NOTES + SETTING REMINDER NOTIFICATIONS

Now that we’ve created a stack, the next thing to do is make some notes within those notebooks. Creating notes is super simple and you can even put a reminder on each note you create if you have to meet a deadline.
1. Open the notebook you want to add a note in and create a note by clicking the (+) button
how to stay productive, using evernote for work, how to be productive at work
2. Once you create a new note, title it, begin typing tasks, and if you want, you can even put check boxes beside each task to check off as you complete each item.
how to stay productive, using evernote for work, how to be productive at work

 

3. After you’ve created your note, you can set a notification reminder so you won’t forget. This is super useful if you have deadlines to meet.

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how to stay productive, using evernote for work, how to be productive at work

MOVING NOTES TO THE “COMPLETED WORK” NOTEBOOK

Now that you know how to create notes, you’ve basically got everything down! Try to create notes for every task you have to complete to get your job done. A cool thing I like to do is once I have completed a task, I move the entire note to the “Completed Work” notebook. This allows you to know what you have already done and get those notes out the way so your notebooks can always stay up-to-date on current projects and tasks.

  1. Select “Move Note”

how to stay productive, using evernote for work, how to be productive at work

 

2. Move note to “completed work” notebook

how to stay productive, using evernote for work, how to be productive at work

By keeping things in the “completed work” notebook, you’ll know what you have already done and it’s a good reference for keeping track of your progress. And there you have it! The complete process to get things done in a timely manner at work by using Evernote.
Ok, so how productive do you feel now!? 
This was a pretty lengthy post, but I wanted to make sure I showed you a thorough step-by-step process instead of grazing over the details. Hopefully you find this process as helpful as I do.
What are some other tools you use to stay productive? Leave a comment below! 

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