Stop searching and start doing

I have read a lot of interesting posts so far this year about Evernote, OmniFocus, GTD, inbox zerogeneral productivity approaches, and now my friend Dan Gold is trying an experiment where he is going back to paper!.

When Mr Gold posted in Google Plus that he was trying this paper experiment and invited some of the productivity people to join him, I said no thanks, and good luck.

I touch so little paper these days I’m affraid if I went back to paper that I would break out in hives.

But based on his follow ups, he is having a lot of success with the paper system and it reminded me of something I have said before. There is no perfect system for everyone.

Just because I run my real estate business in Evernote does not mean you should or would want to. Just because I structure my day a certain way does not mean that is what will work best for you.

Some agents I talk to and help get into a system spend so much time thinking about things and trying to copy what others do that they forget the important thing.

Get the work done!

Stop overthinking it. This is not rocket science.

Here is what I suggest you do. If you are looking for a system that works for you read Getting Things Done, read some tips in this blog and other blogs about productivity then take the things that you think can work for you and create your own system.

Once you have a system, do it and keep doing it. Make it a habit. And if you find yourself getting on track and needing to get the habit back, there are good blog posts for that too.

There is no right and wrong way to do things. Do what works for you.

5 Reasons Students Will Love Using Evernote

Today, something a little different. I want to introduce you to Jordan Collier. Jordan, the author of Evernote Student Handbook, has agreed to share with my audience some tips on using Evernote for your children.

My daughter, who is in 8th grade, received a Fire Kindle for Christmas. She asked me to teach her Evernote, and as much as I love Evernote I had a hard time telling her how she may be able to use it.

So off to the web I went and I there I found Jordan. He shares with us some great tips that we can pass on to our kids. And if you like what you see make sure you check out his ebook.

Now join me in welcoming Jordan.

 

I surveyed my 8th graders to see what tech devices they could use at school if needed and the results were astounding:

98% of my students had at least one device.

The overall ratio was 2.1 devices/student.

If this is true, then why do students still prefer to hand-write assignments? Why do students lose notes and assignments? Why do students lug around bulging backpacks and have one unorganized notebook for each class?

I use my phone and iPad for just about everything. If it works for me, wouldn’t it work for the digital natives who think an iPhone has always been around? Students could use their phones and tablets to help them at school and stay organized, right?

But they don’t.

It’s not because they don’t want to; it’s because they don’t know how.

So this year I’ve tried my hardest to teach students (and other teachers) how using Evernote at school will help them stay organized, be less stressed, and be better prepared for school. I hosted a workshop, wrote a handbook, started a blog, and I use Evernote daily in my class to teach my students the benefits of digital organization.

Here are five reasons reluctant students may try using Evernote:

1. Search notes instantly. This is by far the coolest feature of Evernote. Type a note, snap a picture, or scan a handwritten document into Evernote and it becomes a searchable document (even handwritten notes). For students, this is a complete time-saver and great when studying for tests.

2. Keep a digital notebook for every class. By using Evernote, students no longer need a 3-ring binder for each class. Instead, by creating notebooks and notebook stacks for each class, students can keep all of their notes, assignments, and class papers in one place– Evernote. Say goodbye to this:

Use Evernote to stay organized

Use Evernote to stay organized

3. No more lost or misplaced papers. If students complete notes or an assignment on paper, they can snap a picture of it (or scan it) and save it directly to Evernote. I’ve had several students this year lose an assignment, but email me their scanned document when the assignment was due. Storing assignments digitally definitely saved their grades!

4. Share notebooks. When students work in groups, inevitably the student who has the group’s folder is absent or goes on a “unexpected” family vacation. It always happens. Using a shared notebook allows students to have one location to save and share information regardless of their physical locations. Whether they are working from school, from home, from Starbucks, or from Disney, each group member always has access to the shared notebook.

5. Text papers in class. Students are FAST at texting– ridiculously fast– and most of them hate handwriting anything, especially essays. So instead of physically writing an essay in class, many of my students use their phones instead of pencil and paper. They open an Evernote note, text their paragraph or essay, and then email me the note. If they don’t finish in class, their note is automatically saved and synced on Evernote, and the next time they open the note, they can pick up where they left off. No flash drives or computers needed.

Even though the digital natives are very tech savvy, they still lack confidence and know-how when it comes to using tech at school. At first, many of them feel it’s more work or takes too much time, but like anything, the more they try, the faster they become.

To get more ideas about how students could use Evernote at school, download the free ebook 19 Practical Evernote Ideas for Students.

Click below if you’d like to purchase the Evernote Student Handbook– a how-to guide I created for my students.

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