If you’re a frequent Evernote user, then you’ll know that it’s not really big on notification features. In fact, making To-Do’s and lists in Evernote is easy – but the hard part is getting them done. Often times, you need to open the app once or twice a day just to be reminded of things you need to do.
With a web app like Evernotify, you can now receive e-mail notifications of tasks you have saved in Evernote. Here’s how:
GTD, Evernote Style
Evernotify.me is a free web-based service that syncs with your Evernote account and sends e-mail reminders to the address of your choice. This feature is simple yet useful, specially for users who might not have access to Evernote (which is next to impossible if they have a smart phone) or just plainly forget to check on their notes.
The web app is free to use, provided you sign up and link your Evernote account. Note that this app will not import all Evernote tasks, but only those you tag in Evernote with the word “evernotify”. Once done, these tasks are broken down into two categories: To-Do’s and IOU’s. IOU’s are further classified as either Loans or Borrows.
The list appears in minimalist style and can be filtered according to the task type. Just click on the kind of task and it shows you only tasks in that category. So how do you cross off these tasks? Unlike the Evernote app, you’ll need to append your To-Do’s with the word “done” and IOU’s with either “returned” or “settled” to get it crossed off the list.
This part is a bit tricky to master. I was surprised to see a task I typed in Evernote as “Borrowed Kate’s book” as “Kate’s book” in Evernotify – obviously with the word “borrowed” was omitted. It probably has something to do with the way the app scans for key words, which is not a big deal if it gets the job done, anyway. However, it can get confusing for those with poor memory who might not really remember what they wrote the first time.
On the right side of each task, there’s a calendar icon. Clicking on it will show how many days the task is pending – a great way to provide motivation for a task to get done.
Notifications are sent to an e-mail address you specify, the frequency of which can also be tweaked according to your preference. Here’s how the e-mail notification looks like in my Gmail inbox:
The e-mail will not give you the list of tasks, but only the number of pending tasks and completed tasks. It does, however, give you a link to go to your Evernotify account to see what these tasks are.
By default, Evernotify syncs with your Evernote account every hour, but you can do this manually by clicking on Sync With Evernote on the right panel of the page. Remember, though, that you also have to sync your Evernote app every time you add a task tagged with Evernotify – that way, you’re sure both apps are correctly synced.
Note: Ticking a check box for completed tasks will not be tracked by Evernotify.
To view the rules and usage guidelines for this app, you can click on the Help link on the bottom of the page. You should see a short tutorial for the app. This further explains how the app works and detects certain words in your notes. For example, typing the word “borrowed” or “loaned” will tag the note as an IOU in Evernotify. Adding the word “settled” on an IOU crosses it off the list.
This app is pretty handy overall, albeit lacking a few more features I would have liked to have – such as setting a specific time for the notifications to be sent. I also would like to see a task’s due date (if assigned in Evernote) in addition to the days it is pending. It just seems like a more effective way of knowing which items are of more priority than others.
Even without these features, I still found it very useful when I’m away from my desktop and only have my Gmail app in my phone on auto-sync. It made a world of difference to get e-mail that’s not spam or Facebook notifications, and something that will actually make me more productive. It also helps to sort out which tasks are still undone since my Evernote lists are not as organized as I want them to be and different tasks are scattered around several notebooks. With Evernotify, all is organized into simple categories. I can quickly scan tasks and decide which of them I want to finish for the day.
Evernotify may not be feature-rich helper of Evernote, but it does get the job done and make task management a bit easier to track. It greatly helped to keep me motivated in accomplishing my tasks, because I still get e-mails about it even when I’m away.
Although it’s quite useful, it’s a bit tedious to write notes and tasks that you want to track with Evernotify. First, you’ll have to remember to tag them with “evernotify”, then you’ll have to append the right words when a task is completed. This may be fine for people who don’t mind forming a new habit in the name of better task management, but this alone also takes up more of your time and may not be acceptable for the more time-conscious user.