Early last year, I upgraded to an Evernote Personal plan. I had just started a stint of self-employment and needed to get more organized. It helped, but I wasn’t in love with it the way I was around 2015. I thought that maybe I should give OneNote another try because we have an Office 365 Family subscription. That was awful and I came crawling back to Evernote.

## How I got here

My note saga, in a nutshell, is this: bounce around from app to app hoping one will finally be The One. In 2016, [I left Evernote for Apple Notes](https://scojjac.com/2016/11/06/goodbye-evernote-hello.html). At some point I left Apple Notes for Bear because of Markdown and tags.

Then my Mac logic board died, Apple called it vintage even though they still provide software updates, and I opted not to spend $600 to fix it or over a grand for a new Mac for the time being. Since my notes were Markdown-esque, I decided to try Obsidian.

There are things I like about Obsidian, in theory. It:

– uses folder structure and plain text
– is extensible
– shows the relationships between notes
– offers an easy way to publish to the web

But in practice, I didn’t like the feel. I didn’t want to create notes there. The iPhone app feels cramped. Attachments are second-class. Getting things in is very manual. So I started looking around; I tried Joplin, even “writing” apps like iA Writer. I wanted:

– cross-platform (I replaced that dead Mac with a used Lenovo T430s, and later a custom-built PC.)
– fast and easy entry
– folders and tags
– powerful search across notes, handwriting, attachments

And I returned to Evernote.

## The state of Evernote

Evernote v10 could win an award for Most Improved—the award for things that really sucked to begin with but have made great strides.

– It has much better performance (by all accounts, everywhere except Android).
– The customizable Home tab is becoming more useful.
– Tasks are a killer feature.

### Evernote Tasks

Announced mid-2021, Evernote Tasks are a new object type that live within the context of your notes. Each task can be configured with due date, reminder, flag, assignment (for Professional and Teams plans), and note where it exists. And they are surfaced into a Tasks pane with four views:

– My tasks: all tasks, sorted by due date
– Assigned: tasks you’ve assigned (Professional or Teams plan required)
– Notes: tasks sorted by note
– Due dates: sorted by overdue, today, next 7 days, future, no due date

This implementation works really well for me. I mainly want to see iOS specific features added, such as Siri support for adding a task (even if through Reminders, like Things 3) and a widget view.

_[Note regarding re-occurring tasks: I don’t typically use them—I get why they’re useful to people, but they’ve never been useful to me in practice. Nevertheless, it’s a highly requested feature and being worked on.]_

### It’s the best for me but needs work

I’m not just sticking with Evernote because I have thousands of notes in it already. In fact, at one point I deleted ALL of them from the service and I started fresh this time. I’m using it because it best fits my needs and is imperfect in ways that matter least to me.

That said, I keep a running note of [where Evernote can improve](https://www.evernote.com/shard/s283/sh/26247564-b917-4285-acd7-b4496dd8c9bc/844ab32f1d4e61606f82f90914904eb1).

## Future posts

I hope to write more in the future about how I’m using Evernote. And I’d love to hear how others are using it. You can [webmention](https://indieweb.org/Webmention) me from your own site, reply on Micro.blog, or email me.

Today I imported old posts and spent some time cleaning up posts and categories (there’s more to do). I also added emoji to my nav bar. 🙂

Anyone with tips on beach camping? I was always a desert rat and let others take care of the details. 🌊⛺️

Black handheld amateur radio with power switch on top to the right. Antenna shows the brand: Baofeng.

Love the click on this radio’s power switch/volume dial. Want to finish studying and achieve my amateur radio license.

In The Now Habit, Neil Fiore says there are three basic reasons a person might procrastinate: 1) victimization, 2) sense of overwhelm, and 3) fear of failure. If you’re not aware of how or why you procrastinate, a time log can be helpful.

While there are variations and you can adapt to your needs, the basic idea is this:

– For at least two weeks, keep track of how you spend each day.
– Every thirty minutes, note down what you did.
– If you procrastinate, write down what you thought, how you felt, what you did, and what you should have been doing.
– You can even toss in some mood/focus/energy tracking to determine when you are most productive.

I’m at the end of the second week and want to continue for a couple more, especially because I didn’t keep up with it during the latter half of this week. I do feel like writing down how I use my time helps me to keep myself accountable, though. When I review my log, I color code it to get a visual sense of how I used my time—dark green for productive, healthy tasks; bright green for focus tasks; red for procrastination; and with all honesty, yellow for things I don’t want to classify.

A quick aside here: it’s normal and good to not be fully productive every minute of the day. We need time to decompress and for things to bump around in the subconscious. However, in addition to having a goal and charting a course to get there, a good navigator must make sure they are staying on course. The time log helps with that.

Last month, I added a refurbished Gaggia Classic Pro to my coffee bar—with a 9-bar spring modification, VST basket, and Barista Hustle tamper. (I want to replace my milk pitcher because mine has a wide mouth that isn’t great for latte art.) I usually roast Ethiopian Sidamo in a dutch oven once a week, keep it in an AirScape container, and grind it in my Rancilio Rocky. I am extremely happy with the results I’m getting.

Each morning, I click the machine on and let it warm up while I prepare my great-grandfather’s breakfast. Once it warms up, I grind approximately two tablespoons of whole coffee—usually set somewhere around 7 on the Rocky—and eyeball what comes out. I’m very particular, but not too particular. 😉 Give it a good tamp, run a little water through the grouphead, lock in the portafilter, and give it a go. As long as the crema looks good and the extraction time doesn’t feel too long, it goes in the small 8-ounce Keep Cup. Steam up some milk, top up the cup, and I’m ready to head to the computer.

## Other Elements

We have a Chefman glass variable temperature electric kettle. It replaced our Breville, which died suddenly and caused serious disappointment. The Chefman beeps with abandon to the point that I can’t recommend it. There are some videos online about disabling the beeping; I might have to try it. We mostly use it for tea (matcha or herbal) and Americanos.

I also have a Chemex, French press, and Bialetti mokapot. IMO, the French press is the best option when lazy or brewing for a group; the Chemex looks cool but has a longer brew time.

This is lengthy, but right on. My second MacBook Pro’s logic board died after Catalina was released. I hated Catalina’s overzealous security, and Big Sur seems like an oversimplified yet buggy mess. I have unfortunately reached a point where, even with the release of Apple silicon Macs, I feel better off building a Windows PC. The OS was the reason for me to buy my first Mac; it’s now a reason to not buy my third.

El Paso definitely learns from its disasters. After the 2006 flood, they made huge drainage improvements. After the 2011 freeze (it got down to 12F/-21C in Las Cruces!), they made power station improvements. And as a result of drought, they have the largest inland desalination plant and implementing closed loop “advanced purification”. You love to see it.

Nancy Drew personified “the dream image which exists within most teen-agers,” Benson wrote in an autobiographical essay in 1973. This teen of 1930s remained culturally relevant for more than 80 years, even as young women’s roles changed dramatically. Mothers and grandmothers passed the books down to their daughters. “Women still tell me how they identified with Nancy Drew and that Nancy Drew gave them confidence to be whatever they wanted to be,” she told an interviewer in 1999.

Nancy is really a timeless character, and this kind of longevity is remarkable for a ghostwritten series.