A place for everything and everything in its place

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I just watched a video by a guy who urges viewers to maintain separate apps for tasks, notes, appointments (calendar), and documents. He says it’s important to maintain “hard edges” between our systems because if we don’t, it will lead to confusion.

My opinion? That may be good advice for some people but not for everyone. In fact, some people find that using separate apps is the very thing that causes confusion.

Why force yourself to use separate apps when you don’t need to (or want to)? Why add a layer of complexity to how you manage the information in your life?

I’ve found that the fewer apps I use, the better. Fewer apps mean fewer apps to learn and maintain. It means fewer decisions about what information to put where. It means less time spent finding where I put things.

That’s why I use Evernote for both notes and tasks. I wrote about my system in Evernote for Lawyers.

Over the last few years, as my needs have changed, I’ve experimented with different apps. In particular, I used a separate app for task management and Evernote just for notes. I would link from the task management app to Evernote for details and supporting data.

Two apps instead of one.

All I did was complicate my life and I have come back to using Evernote for everything.

Well, almost everything. I keep a separate calendar for appointments and events. I store documents on my hard drive and in the cloud (Dropbox, Box). But most of the information in my life is managed with Evernote.

I have tinkered with my Evernote setup and work flow, however. I use a different notebook and tagging system today than I did a few years ago. I’ll share my current system with you at some point, but by the time I do that my system may change yet again.

So, how about you?

Do you use an integrated law practice management application to manage client data, calendars, billing, and documents? Do you use separate applications for each function? Do you prefer Onenote to Evernote or use something else? Do you use one app for work and another for personal matters?

Whatever you use, if it’s working for you, don’t change it.

But do experiment. You never know, you might find something that works better.

Evernote for Lawyers

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