How I use Evernote to keep track of my to-do list

by Jeff Hilimire on June 11, 2013

Um, Evernote, were you reading my diary? Or at least my blog?

See, I’ve been struggling with landing on a solid to-do process for years. In fact, you’ll see in September of last year I blogged about my process for managing my to-do list and ended up deciding to use Evernote but wishing they had a way to set due dates.

And finally, Evernote’s most recent update introduced “Reminders”, a feature that allows you to attach a due date to a note. You set the date and get an alert when the due date arrives. Here’s how I use it:


Notice the green arrow at the top right. That’s where the Reminder is set. I can change that or mark the note as “complete” from that icon. The thing that I do that might be different than some is I create a checkbox for to-do’s at the top of the note, as indicated by the green arrow on the left.

For example, I might take a lot of notes during a particular meeting. And let’s say there are five action items that I need to make sure I complete. I would create five checkboxes at the top of the note and create a reminder for when they are due. The great thing is that now the to-do is attached to the note itself, so there is context for me as I go to complete that task.

Reminders show up at the top of your notes list so that they are always present (if you want them to be). That looks like this:

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 10.21.11 PM

Oops, looks like I need to schedule my fantasy football draft too. Yes I have a folder for fantasy football. Deal with it.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of using Evernote as both my note-taking digital brain AND my to-do application is that I can use one app for both functions. The trouble I had when trying to use both Evernote and Omnifocus (a fantastic note-taking app) was that I couldn’t always remember to check Omnifocus. I always check email and I always use/check Evernote. I find that now I’m on top of my to-do’s more than before because I basically live in Evernote during the day.

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  • Brimstone

    I don;t understand why twenty years ago my PDA had integrated calendar, notes, todo’s and contacts…as did Outlook and other desktop programs…yet things like Evernote which are supposed to be far advanced organization tools are not integrated like this.

  • Jeff Hilimire

    I think Evernote is trying to get there but its important to remember that they didn’t start necessarily trying to be a connector of these services. They really just wanted to be a place you stored your notes and now they are evolving. I hope they can make it because you’re right, this seems like a problem with today’s technology.

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