Productivity tips

Understand the value of your time.

When you have tasks that would be better suited to a skilled expert, but you’re not ready to hire a full or part time employee, then outsourcing to a freelancer, contractor, or other professional might be a good alternative. If your biggest objection is price, consider this:

How much money could you be making if you fully focused on the things you do best for your business, and leave the rest to others?

So instead of you spending a full day trying to figure out how to design a new logo for your business, spend your day generating revenue and use a fraction of that revenue to pay a designer. And instead of stressing about your quarterly taxes, hand that job over to an accountant. While it may feel like a hit to your bottom line, in the long run, it gives you time to focus on the areas of your business you really enjoy working on. Also think about the random tasks that consume too much of your time. For example, use a scheduling tool like Calendar or Mixmax to organize meetings.

Find out what your team is good at and delegate.

If you’re a solopreneur, you will want to skip to the next step. For those small business owners with one or more employees, you will want to consider which tasks can be delegated from your to-do list to your employees.’ If you have a few employees that love the idea of writing for your blog and they have some time to devote each week to the task, then they would be the perfect people to delegate the task to. On the other hand, if they are not good writers, or are fully consumed with other revenue generating activities, it might be better to go with the next step.

Decide what’s vital versus what’s nice to do.

First off, you need to prioritize your tasks. Start by making lists of tasks you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Next, for each of these lists, prioritize the tasks. Organize them in order of the things your business couldn’t live without to the things that would be nice to get done, but usually do not. Finally, annotate next to each task how well you are able to complete them. Some annotations may include quick and easy, must be done by me, not good at it, time consuming, and similar. With these things in mind, it’s time to move onto the next step.

Evernote Templates for Business and Personal Use

Evernote has created a collection of more than fifty templates that you can use to simply your note creation and save valuable time. The categories range from personal to professional with templates that will help you organize your business and home. You also have the option to create your own templates that are saved in your Evernote account for future use. To save a note as a template, go to the Note menu in the toolbar and select Save as Template. When you create a note in Evernote, you are presented with the option to open the template gallery and select a template for the note. You can choose between the templates that Evernote has created or your own templates that are saved in your account.

The Insert Menu

Evernote extends the functionality of the toolbar by allowing you to create different types of content via the insert menu. The insert menu allows you to create tasks or calendar events, add attachments, photos, and audio recordings. You can organize your note using dividers and link content from Google Drive. It is the Swiss army knife of tools for your text editor.

The Toolbar

The Evernote toolbar provides all the standard options you would expect in a text editor. With the toolbar users can select options to style headings, choose a font and font size, style the text with bold, italics, underline, and strike through. Users can highlight text in as many as six different colors. Users can create hyperlinks, justify the text, as well as indent and outdent. Overall, the editor is very versatile and offers a very satisfying writing experience.

Web Clipper

The Evernote web clipper is available for all of the popular browsers, and it makes capture from the web frictionless. There is really nothing that compares to how well it works. Once you have done the work to find something useful, Evernote makes it easy to save it. You can clip a web page, article, or screenshot into Evernote, choose the notebook where you want to save it, and even add tags — all with just a few clicks. Knowing that you will not have to repeat the work to find that information again in the future is a great return on the investment of your time. I use this feature frequently doing research for articles I am writing. I also use it in my personal life for travel planning. I create a folder for a new place I would like to visit. I save photos, recommendations for hotels and restaurants, and other useful information that will make planning a trip easier in the future. Another popular use case is to use the web clipper to save an interesting blog post and make Evernote your own personal read-it-later service. To get started download the web clipper for your browser. Once you have the browser extension installed, you can start clipping your favorite content from the web as a full page, an article, a simplified article, bookmark, or a screenshot.

Auto Import Folder

Save time managing your files by creating an auto import folder in Evernote for Mac or Windows. Evernote allows you to create a connection for a watched folder. Any time new content is placed in the folder, Evernote will automatically import the new content into the folder you designate. Mac: Evernote > Preferences > Import folders from the menu bar. Windows: Tools > Preferences > Import folders Choose the folder you want to setup for auto import and the notebook where you would like to save the files. I have one set up for screenshots, and it saves so much time when I need to find a use a screenshot. They are organized in one place in Evernote without cluttering my computer desktop.

Schedule social media.

Social media is a 24/7 gig. You should schedule your tweets and Facebook posts to make sure you’re regularly posting, plus test which times of day see the most engagement. Try for times not on the hour –– like 9: 13 a.m. or 1:47 p.m. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can provide a one-stop-shop for this type of work, maximizing your productivity.

Email to Evernote

How many times have you been frustrated searching for something important you know is buried somewhere in your email inbox? Evernote is a great way to manage important emails. Save emails and attachments in Evernote to be sure it is available and easy to find when you need it. Paid Evernote accounts include a unique account email address. You can use this email address to forward any email to Evernote and it becomes a new note. You can find your unique Evernote email address in your account summary in your account settings. When you forward an email to Evernote, the email subject line becomes the title of the new note. For even more organization you can use the “@” symbol to assign the note to a specific notebook and the “#” symbol to assign tags to the note. If you need to assign a reminder, use the “!” followed by a date. The basic structure looks like this:

  • Email subject: [Title of note] ![optional date for reminder] @[notebook] #[tag]
  • Email subject: Caterer Menu Selection !2022/09/09 @Wedding Plans #reception It is a good idea to save your unique Evernote email address in your contacts for quick reference. When you forward an email, you can send the email to the Evernote contact you have already created.