Tips & Stories

Evernote for Today’s Working Professional: How CEO and Blogger Gini Dietrich Achieves Work/Life Balance

Posted by Gini Dietrich on 27 Apr 2011

Posted by Gini Dietrich on 27 Apr 2011

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Name: Gini Dietrich
Profession: CEO of Arment Dietrich, a non-traditional marketing firm;
author of spinsucks.com, founder of Spin Sucks Pro
Location: Chicago
Website http://www.armentdietrich.com/
Blog:
Spin Sucks
Facebook: Arment Dietrich
Twitter: @ginidietrich

Bio

Gini Dietrich is the CEO of Arment Dietrich, a marketing firm that helps companies use digital media for business growth. She is the author behind Spin Sucks, a marketing/advertising blog that has received accolades from Social Media Examiner and AdAge. Gini is a frequent speaker and keynoter on topics related to technology and communication.

Evernote, Everywhere

I use Evernote for…

Evernote is my hourly sidekick. I take meeting notes in Evernote, create my to-do lists, build presentations, jot down ideas, capture photos or images, and save files. Anyone who runs their own company knows you have to be a big multi-tasker. Evernote gives me the freedom to capture information on the fly, wherever I happen to be working from–at my office, at home, on a plane, or even at the gym.

As a communications professional, I create a lot of content. A lot of the time, it’s content that I have to share with my team or clients. Whether it’s a strategic plan, notes from a conference, prep for a talk, or a PowerPoint presentation, I’m able to save everything into Evernote and review it whenever I have a free moment. I also don’t have to worry about saving files to computers or thumb drives–all of my files go with me wherever I go, regardless of the device I’m on.

Here are some of my organization tips:

  • I create specific notebooks for different aspects of my life and work. I have over a dozen notebooks including ones for each Arment Dietrich client, as well as notebooks for keeping track of people I meet on the road.
  • I tag my notes: some of my most-used tags include client, task list, speeches, and people.
  • I like to check things off my list so I installed Egretlist on my iPhone and iPad. Egretlist allows me to create tasks when I’m on the go and sync them with Evernote.
  • I use shared notebooks to share files with my team: Shared notebooks are so much faster than going back and forth on email. We can have a productive brainstorm all on our own time and I’m able to provide feedback and see updates to shared notebooks immediately as they’re made.

In the past, I would create a list of things to take with me when I left the office. If I forgot notes or a file, I wouldn’t be able to have a productive meeting. If I spontaneously decided to work from home, I didn’t have access to my task lists. Since upgrading to Evernote Premium, I have become much more productive because I’m able to attach and search for any type of file  and pull it up when I need.

Evernote is constantly helping me evolve the way that I work and stay organized. I’m always finding new features and discovering ways to implement it into my work and life.

Favorite Feature:

When I figured out I could create task lists and have Evernote find the boxes I hadn’t yet checked, I was seriously hooked. I’m a checker offer so I love having the box feature! It’s an addiction. [You can create checkboxes in Evernote for Windows, Mac and the web.]

Achieving a New Kind of Work/Life Balance

As any busy working professional can relate, I’m always looking to squeeze just a little bit more time out of the day. For many of us, that means juggling a delicate work/life balance. Evernote has helped me not feel so tied to my desk at the office, and also be able to organize my life away from the office. I’ve been using it to create my grocery list and power through my shopping after a busy work day. Evernote also plays a key role in helping me stay fit – at home and on the road. When I’m at the gym, Evernote helps me manage stats from from cycling, which is especially helpful when I am traveling. I use Evernote to take pictures of the stats on the bike at the end of a workout, helping me keep up with my fitness goals, even when work gets crazy.

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24 Comments RSS

  • Hamish Norton

    Great insight. I’m off to discover check-boxes right now.
    Thanks Gini for sharing.

    • Gini Dietrich

      I love the check boxes!

  • Kim

    Ahhhhhhhhh! Ctrl+Shift+C – my new fave in notes. Thanks for that tip on creating checkboxes. I, too, LOVE to check it off.

  • C_3PO

    Yep an interesting summary,
    I have tried in vain to get my employer to use this, they live in the 90′s and I have given up. If I’m out shopping, or just get that “eruca” moment I will use my Android phone to quickly add what I need. I’m in my early 40′s and kids at my college (where I study Cisco) don’t “get” Evernote???

  • Gini Dietrich

    And I still have to write that guest post for BlogWorld that I see in my tasks up there!

  • Matt

    Wait, how are you searching for unchecked checkboxes? What a boon that tip would be for me!

    • Matt

      Aha: search for todo:false

      • Stephen

        Is there a way to automate the process?

        i.e. a Notebook that has all of your “ToDo’s” aggregated?

      • Andreas

        @Stephen: you can create saved searches on the desktop clients. They act like a “smart notebook”

  • Tim Rueb

    Great post, thanks.

    I also need to use check-boxes more. I currently use task list in gmail but could see a switch if the capabilities outperform a simple task list.

    I also love the shared folders as well. Very good way to conduct business when you are extremely mobile. This is a strong feature that comes in very handy for me.

  • Andreas Duess

    We use a combination of Evernote and Dropbox for collaboration across our entire company. With every new client we add a new shared notebook, keeping everybody informed about everything.

    It doesn’t matter where I am, I always have complete access to all of my files, from all of my devices. We could not run our business as efficiently as we do without Evernote.

  • Tommy Day

    Hey Gini, thanks for the info, I’ll be sure to add them to my current use of Evernote. I love the sharing feature. My wife and I share all kinds of notebooks for personal and business, from food shopping lists to hot new products lists for our beauty/fashion website to pics of how we want our new kitchen to look in our new house.

    Cheers! Tommy Day

  • TC Coleman

    Checking out Egretlist now! Thanks for the tip.

  • Hilmar

    I’ve never seen the check box functionality before I read your article :-) I always wrote “done” in front of the tasks to mark them as completed but the check box is the way to go.

  • Alicia Scott

    Gail – thanks so much for sharing. You addressed some of my biggest challenges of syncing between several contexts – home, work + nonprofit I volunteer for and work activities, etc. So – THANKS – VERY helpful. and I am checking out Egretlist – didn’t know about that one. Happy organizing your world!

    Alicia

  • Jejoma

    Hi Gini – Reading your last section you really should get the Sports Tracker app. You can get loads of statistics re your excercising, you just need a Symbian phone plus the beta Evernote app that Evernote couldn’t be bothered to finish properly. It works OK though.

  • David

    Thanks Gina. I also like the Check box function, and use the Search “todo:” operator to gather my To-Do items. (Clicking Attributes > Contains > To-Do items works too.)

    One question: On the image it appears you may have a list of your ToDo check boxes from different Evernote notes gathered in one note? Is there a function to do this? (I use Evernote Premium, Windows).

    Thanks again & Best with Arment Dietrich, David

  • Ellmary Fenton

    Thank you so much for your article. Did not know that you could search for unfinished to-do items.

  • Kim

    So I think I’m missing something — if you can create lists in Evernote and put in check boxes then why use Egretlist? Isn’t that an extra step?

  • Barry Forbes

    Are there plans to make Evernote available for Android? That would be the icing on the cake!!

    • Joel Dahlin

      Barry, an Android app does it exist and it works great.
      http://www.evernote.com/about/download/android.php

  • Jimmy

    Great tip, thanks millions!

  • Krisztian

    Your post made me think Gini…particularly after the comment from Andreas…
    We have been using Evernote but we mostly run our global company on Basecamp, Dropbox, Google docs and Skype to collaborate.
    I am off investigating how we could utilise Evernote more…thanks a lot…

  • rajesh koul

    I am now checking how to utiilse Evernote to full