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Example Evernote journal entry for work

screenshot of Evernote and the example note I created

Tim asked on my previous post about Evernote for an example note that better demonstrates how I use Evernote to record what I do about work.

I created a new note adapting real tasks for the example (in order to maintain some privacy). Some tasks are made up, so please don’t comment about the tasks I wrote.

Click on the image to view a larger version and to read the text seen on the screenshot.

How I use Evernote for work

screenshot of Evernote and how I hit 1,000 notes

A majority of the notes (out of 1,000) are used in a work journal. Every day I write just about everything that happened that day while at work.

It’s hard to describe how incredibly useful it is to keep a work journal. It gives you the power to confidently answer all questions about what you did last week, yesterday, or an hour ago, and to defend yourself if a problem or discrepancy ever arises.

The journal is also a personal development tool and helps to keep you focused doing what you need to get done. It helps you be accountable for your own actions. It also helps you to know where you made mistakes and where you succeeded. It also helps you to write weekly reports.

Here’s how I format my daily work journal entries:
Title = Today’s date, fully written out. The Windows version takes the first line of your note for the title, so I make my first line of the note the date.
Second line = blank.
Third line = First thing I did that day. Notes contain times, people, phone numbers, quotes from sent and received emails, times of sent and received emails, email addresses, URLs, and details of completed tasks. I only use common abbreviations; I don’t abbreviate names. I want to be able to search for it. Like a web developer, I throw in extra keywords so that I can always find the note even if I don’t remember exactly which word I chose.

I write in the past tense. I know I completed these tasks because 1) they’re in the list, and 2) I wrote about them in the past tense.

After the day’s notes, I insert another blank line. On the next line I write “TODO” (to do). What follows is a list of things I need to do. I usually start this list at the beginning of the day and it contains things I need to do that day and the following days. Since I return to Evernote quite often to update the day’s journal entry, I’m always looking at the TODO list.

I write items here in the present or future tenses. I often start items with “Need to…” As I complete tasks in the TODO list, I cut the text and paste it at the bottom of the main note above. When I paste them, I convert present and future tense words to their past tense form so I know for sure I completed the task.

Since I look at my current note and notes in the recent past on a daily basis, I tend to put lots of ideas, random thoughts, and general note taking (non-journal or diary material) in the daily note. To separate these, I create categories within my notes and capitalize all the letters (like TODO, or IDEA, or PARK DISTRICT). I put them in all caps so I can easily spot them as category sections.

When you buy a bike, do these things

If you frequent bike message boards, you’ll see tips on “what to do if your bike gets stolen,” but fewer messages and discussions about how NOT to get your bike stolen.

So what should you do to keep your bike yours?

As soon as you get your bike, do these things (and in this order):

  1. Buy a lock and learn how to lock it. Learn from the Chicago Bicycle Program’s webpage or ask the bike shop staff to show you. Even if you don’t think you will need to lock it, YOU WILL at some point need to lock your bike to something (even if it’s inside your garage or on the balcony).
  2. Take a photo of you AND the bike (freestanding and not locked). This does two things: associates you as the owner of the bike, and reminds you what your bike looks like so you can describe it to others.
  3. Record the serial number. Save it to your computer, your Evernote, and your fireproof safe. This is another way to associate you as the owner of the bike and is unique to the bikes from that manufacturer.
  4. Register your bicycle with the bike shop (if they offer it) AND the local police department.