Evernote 102: How I get shit done (the To-Do list)

There are 2 tools I use to get shit done:

  1. My calendar
  2. My to-do list

The digital products I choose to use are Google Calendar and Evernote, both of which I am so thankful for existing to maximize the amount of shit I’m able to get done. This post will focus on my to-do list. I used to use the iPhone “Notes” app until one day I mistakenly deleted my to-do list and had no way to recover it (see this blog post on why I use Evernote). Although ‘Notes’ is easier to use in some ways, Evernote has run the show ever since.

The single most important thing that’s necessary to get shit done is to

check these 2 things every day.

I recommend setting an alarm to go off every day to get yourself in the habit. You will never get shit done, you will forget things and double book yourself if you don’t check these 2 things every day. 

Lets take a closer look at how I structure my to-do list:

What to notice about my list:

  • I choose to call it ‘TO-DO!‘ instead of ‘to-do’ so it will visually capture my attention in a sea of other notes.
  • There are 2 sections – above the line and below. Above the line is short term items, below the line is long term.
  • I use bullets for a clear look.
  • I use italics for errands and keep them at the top.
  • When I have to make phone calls I put ‘CALL‘ in all caps – a way of categorizing.
  • I abbreviate to save mental reading energy – ‘SR’ = Shop Rite, ‘J’ = my husband’s name, ‘FF’ = Frequent Flyers
  • I bold things that are the most important, a way of creating hierarchy.

When you are working on the desktop version of Evernote you can also color code things, but you can’t do this on the mobile version so I tend to avoid it because it makes editing difficult.


I also keep my to-do list in the ‘Shortcuts’ section of Evernote so I can access it as quickly as possible, because I look at it and edit it many times a day. To add a note to the ‘Shortcuts’ section on a mobile device, click on the 3 dots at the top right of your screen:

You can re-order the notes in your Shortcuts by pressing Edit on the top right of the screen:

How to get shit done:

  1. Put everything you need to get done in this list. My biggest trick for having a clear mind is to write down everything I need to get done, and keep it all in one place. I don’t try to remember anything! Sure I may jot something down on paper every now and then, but it must go in my Evernote TO-DO! list asap.
  2. Use formatting to categorize and prioritize items.
  3. Get in the habit (even set alarms!) to check your list every day, starting in the morning.

More on how I use Google Calendar in an upcoming post.

I’d love to hear about what systems you use to get shit done, please comment below!

Happy Listing!


1 Comment

  1. I use Evernote too. I have a to do template that I made to prioritize and categorize to dos. I also try to keep only the 3-5 most important things on my high priority list so I can stay focused on getting them done and not get overwhelmed by a giant list.


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