Take Note

Education, journal, Organization, productivity, Technology, tips and tricks, to do list, writing

Having a good note taking app is a must. Three things I believe every successful person should have on their phones: a calendar app, notes, and an e-reader. Successful individuals show up on time and plan their schedules accordingly, pay attention, write things down, and read. I also think they dress to reflect current trends and styles to look the part, but that’s a whole other issue.

Finding the perfect notes app for me has been a journey, but I believe I finally have it down. For the longest time I was a devotee of Evernote. I’ve presented at many conferences on the benefits of Evernote. But in 2017 there was some ambiguity as to the privacy of your content. At first, Evernote employees could access your notes in an effort to improve functionality. Then, after a shockingly unforeseen outcry (seriously, they didn’t see that coming?) Evernote had to retract the policy and currently claims that notes will only be accessed by employees with your express permission. The whole thing left me cold. Will or won’t, they still CAN, and that bothers me. Privacy is an issue for me. Ever since a teacher reported me for a photo I had posted on Twitter (jealous) I’ve become more guarded. I have photos on my phone from my modeling days, nothing I would consider inappropriate, but that isn’t the point, someone else did, they reported it and even though I didn’t get in “trouble” it was enough to make me stop and think. I don’t want someone getting ahold of those photos and twisting something that was fun and exciting, something I’m proud of (because honestly, how many 5’2” models were out there before Instagram?) and turning into something dirty. So for this reason, the Apple ID for my personal devices and the Apple ID for my professional devices are two totally different things. I added my work computer to my family share account so that I don’t have to pay for apps twice but those apps don’t sync up. That means, in order to be considered a top contender in my eyes, notes have to be accessible across devices and platforms. This leaves me with three options: Evernote, OneNote, and Apple Notes. Bear Notes & Noteability are excellent apps, but I can’t sync them, at lest not with the methods I’m using.

Mar 14, 2020

And then…the world of education changed. All of a sudden, I’m working from home. And it became more about ME and less about my institution. I really just needed a place to dump my thoughts. And Bear notes all of a sudden came to the top of the list. Why?

• The interface is clean and free of distraction.

• I can add multiple tags such as agenda (for the week) and assignments. After all, this could be the new face of education for awhile.

• Interlinking Notes. HUGE. So easy for me to reference what my honors class was doing previously so I can build upon prior knowledge.

• Markdown. Period.

• Ability to use my Apple Pencil.

• Password protected notes.

And… basically, I just like it. In the end, it came down to what I like. THIS was my favorite note taking app.

Because I’m doing “distance learning” I’ll be posting a lot more blog posts and my YouTube channel will expand from bags (because honestly, my bag collection is super cute, check it out @CarolynNicole YouTube) to at home fitness, remote teaching, et al.

Three Reasons to Try Things 3

family, mom life, Organization, productivity, Technology, to do list

I’m not the most organized person. To look at me you’d never guess it, but I am a disorganized mess. So when something comes along which helps me categorize my life and prioritize my responsibilities it deserves a bit of praise. Enter Things 3.

Things has been around for awhile. I’m assuming somewhere along the way there was a Things 1 & 2 although I couldn’t swear to it. Things 3 is a task manager. Ok, it’s a to do list but it’s like the Chanel of to do lists: Elegant in its classic features, useful, and dependable. Here are the top three reasons I think you should check out Things 3 (three reasons, Things 3, get it?)

1. You Can Turn Emails Into Actions:

This is a must for me. You can take items from your inbox and send them to your Things list, add tags, give them due dates and even add sub tasks. This is probably the feature which is most important to me. For example my SAG-AFTRA dues are up for renewal. I know I have to take care of that this weekend but in the event that it was going to slip my mind, I’ll get a friendly reminder along with the original email and all the information I need to take care of that online. My Dad sent an email weeks ago regarding his Christmas card order (can’t be too early with that) which I safely filed away for a more reasonable date in November.

2. Calendar Integration:

I’m obsessed with planners. I have one app I use for my monthly view and one I use for a daily agenda and a paper agenda. It’s extra. But seeing my schedule one more place doesn’t hurt.

3. Project Completion Circle:

Ok, not sure that’s the technical term, but that’s pretty much what it is. You can create a project with a sub list. As you complete each step necessary to achieve your overall goal, a part of the circle closes. I can’t tell you how much this motivates me.

A Few Issues:

  • Things 3 does come at a cost, so if you’re only into free apps, this one isn’t recommended. Try Wunderlist.

You also have to purchase apps for each of your devices. Apple devices specifically, Androids you’re out of luck. In my defense, I did call this the Chanel of apps, and Chanel does not come cheap and it is not for everyone.

  • Things 3 can’t support photos. Sometimes I need to take a photo, usually a handout from a staff meeting (yeah, they still use paper). Or, I’d like to attach a screenshot for reference. I recently picked up three freelance jobs (well, two, one ended before it started and was one of the oddest experiences) and screenshots would’ve helped.

If you’re serious about managing your time and you’re willing to spend some money to make your life easier, try Things 3.