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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 10 – Evernote

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 10 – Evernote
    Evernote T-Shirt Design

    We only have a couple of more days left in our 12 Days of Giveaways where we have been giving away some of the best productivity apps, services, and products that the web has to offer. We are quickly approaching the end of our giveaway and today we have one of the best offerings to date from our friends at Evernote. But, we first need to congratulate the three winners of Patrick Rhone’s “Keeping it Straight” books.

    First, aaron_z in the comments from yesterday’s giveaway talked about keeping college and life straight. He’s getting the ebook version of Keeping It Straight. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Walking is like meditation for me. A morning walk will allow me to clear my head and focus on what I am going to do *today* and go to college with a smile on my face. :)”

    Mario Kroll commented on Facebook about how he wants to clean the cruft out of his life. He’s getting the print version:

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    “I’m going to try and keep straight what is most important in my life, my work and my interpersonal relationships and focus on those, while passing on or reducing the many things that add very little value to those aspects or even take away from them.”

    And then Erin Feldman commented on Facebook about responsibility. She’s taking home the signed copy of Keeping It Straight!

    “… Another item is to stop apologizing when I shouldn’t. I need to learn to balance my own sense of responsibility with the realization that I’m not always to blame.”

    Congratulations to our three winners! We hope you can gain some insight that helps you simplify your life and productivity in 2012.

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    Today’s Giveaway

    I have been an on-again-off-again user of Evernote for years now and in the past few months I have added it back to my list of daily productivity tools (with some recommendation from Mr. Mike Vardy).

    To be absolutely frank, Evernote is the best digital notetaking and information management application I have used to date. What makes Evernote so darn good is that I can use it on my Mac, my PC at work, my iPhone, or even my Android device. I can even use it with my Livescribe Pen. Talk about ubiquitous capture.

    Evernote allows users to take notes (rich text too!), send and keep pictures, tag pretty much everything, create notebooks where you can combine notes, and much, much more. Also, Evernote has been picking up its game lately with the addition of the new Evernote Food (for tracking your food choices in Evernote) and Evernote Hello (for keeping track of all the faces of the pretty people you meet). These two apps show that Evernote is trying to place itself as the “one” app that you need to keep track of everything.

    But, instead of me telling you about the awesomeness that is Evernote, we are going to be giving away some prizes that do that much better. Today we are giving away one lucky Lifehack reader

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    • A 1 year subscription to Evernote Premium
    • A stylish Evernote t-shirt (Editor’s Note: If the winner is from outside the continental US, the shirt will not be part of the package due to shipping restrictions. Rather than limit the whole giveaway to this area because of this, we decided to make it global with this exception. Thanks for your understanding.)
    • And the be-all-to-end-all getting started guide for Evernote, “Evernote Essentialsby the infamous Brett Kelly.

    With this prize pack you will be set to use Evernote to become and stay more productive in 2012.

    How to Enter

    In order to enter to the giveaway, you need to leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page that answers the following:

    “How will you use Evernote in 2012 to stay more organized and become more productive?”

    Leaving a comment on both our Facebook fan page and here at Lifehack.org will get you 2 entries, so but you need to give us two items that you like the most – no copying and pasting!

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    The Fine Print

    Employees of Stepcase and Evernote (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The winning entry will be judged by the Stepcase Lifehack editing team and the winner will be notified on the platform in which their winning entry was placed (either on the Lifehack.org Facebook wall or by email through our commenting system here on the website). For those entering the contest with a comment on our site, in order to be considered eligible, you MUST leave a contact email when leaving a comment (it’s the only way we’ll know how to contact you). Entries must be submitted by 10 am Eastern the following weekday and winners will be chosen by 12 pm Eastern time on the same day. The winners will be announced the same day on Lifehack.org, and will be notified beforehand.

    Good luck!

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

    Ah, Inbox Zero. An achievement that so many of us long for. It’s elusive. It’s a productivity benchmark. It’s an ongoing battle.

    It’s also unnecessary.

    Don’t get me wrong, the way Inbox Zero was initially termed is incredibly valuable. Merlin Mann coined the phrase years ago and what he has defined it as goes well beyond the term itself.[1]

    Yet people have created their own definition of Inbox Zero. They’re not using it with the intent that Mann suggested. Instead, it’s become about having nothing left in immediate view. It’s become about getting your email inbox to zero messages or having an empty inbox on your desk that was once filled with papers. It’s become about removing visual clutter.

    But it’s not about that. Not at all.

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    Here’s what inbox zero actually is, as defined by Mann:

    “It’s about how to reclaim your email, your atten­tion, and your life. That “zero?” It’s not how many mes­sages are in your inbox–it’s how much of your own brain is in that inbox. Especially when you don’t want it to be. That’s it.” – Merlin Mann

    The Fake Inbox Zero

    The sense of fulfillment one gets from clearing out everything in your inbox is temporary at best, disappointing at worst. Often we find that we’re shooting for Inbox Zero just so that we can say that we’ve got “everything done that needed to be done”. That’s simply not the case.

    Certainly, by removing all of your things that sit in your inbox means that they are either taken care of or are well on their way to being taken care of. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is often applied to clearing out your inbox. But unless you’ve actually done something with the stuff, it’s either not worth having in your inbox in the first place or is still sitting in your “mental inbox”.

    You have to do something with the stuff, and for many people, that is a hard thing to do. That’s why Inbox Zero – as defined by Mann – is not achieved as often as many people would like to believe. It’s this “watered down” concept of Inbox Zero that is completed instead. You’ve got no email in your inbox and you’ve got no paper on your desk’s inbox. So that must mean you’re at Inbox Zero.

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    Until the next email arrives or the next document comes your way. Then you work to get rid of those as quickly as possible so that you can get back to Inbox Zero: The Lesser again. If it’s something that can be dealt with quickly, then you get there. But if they require more time, then soon you’ve got more stuff in your inboxes. So you switch up tasks to get to the things that don’t require as much time or attention so that you can get closer to this stripped down variation of Inbox Zero.

    However, until you deal with the bigger items, you don’t quite get there. Some people feel as if they’ve let themselves (or others) down if they don’t get there. And that, quite frankly, is silly. That’s why this particular version of Inbox Zero doesn’t work.

    The Ultimate Way to Get to Inbox Zero

    So what’s the ultimate way to get to Inbox Zero?

    Have zero inboxes.

    The inbox is meant to be a stop along the way to your final destination. It’s the place where stuff sits until you’re ready to put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it.

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    So why not skip the inbox altogether? Why not put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it? Because that requires immediate action. It means you need to give the item some thought and attention.

    You need to step back and look at it rather than file it. That’s why we have a catch-all inbox, both for email and for analog items. It allows us to only look at these things when we’re ready to do so.

    The funny thing is that we can decide when we’re ready to without actually looking at the inbox beforehand. We can look at things on our own watch rather than when we are alerted to or feel the need to.

    There is no reason why you need an inbox at all to store things for longer than it sits there before you see it. None. It’s a choice. And the choice you should be making is how to deal with things when you first see them, rather than when to deal with things you haven’t looked at yet.

    Stop Faking It

    Seeing things in your inboxes is simply using your sight. Looking at things in your inbox when you first see them is using insight.

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    Stop checking email more than twice per day. Turn off your alerts. Put your desk’s inbox somewhere that it can be accessed by others and only accessed by you when you’re ready to deal with what’s in it. Don’t put it on your desk – that’s productivity poison.

    If you want to get to Inbox Zero — the real Inbox Zero — then get rid of those stops along the way. You’ll find that by doing that, you’ll be getting more of the stuff you really want done finished much faster, rather than see them moving along at the speed of not much more than zero.

    More Productivity Tips to Get Organized

    Featured photo credit: Web Hosting via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Merlin Mann: Inbox Zero

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