Tim Tebow, the Leadercast, and Auto-titles

Apple’s Notes app got me thinking: why is it Apple’s app insists on significant limitations? Evernote has tags, notebooks, and saved searches. Notes only has manual search. Because it seemed so ridiculously stifling and for no clear reason, I thought maybe—just maybe—Apple genuinely thinks this is a great way to manage all of your notes; in one lump sum with very little to help sift through them. Could it be possible that we nerds are just pretentious?

So, I challenged myself: for the next 30 days I would only use Evernote like it were Apple’s Notes app, and see just how ‘genius’ or ‘impossible’ it is to manage all notes without control and organization—full on search mode only.

Part 1 • Part 2 • this is Part 3 • Part 4 coming soon

So, Log of the Challenge: Evernote Like it Were Apple Notes – Part 3

At last weekend’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast I found ample opportunity to take notes during sessions with John Maxwell, Tim Tebow, Marcus Buckingham, and other great speakers waxing eloquently about leadership skills. Notetaking opportunities were through the roof, and I made some important discoveries of how Evernote handles this situation.

Evernote is a smart app. Notes from Apple, frankly, is not. Even though I’m doing my best to stifle Evernote to be like Notes, it keeps breaking the self-imposed rules.

I have chosen not to use the title field on my Evernote notes. Notes of iOS doesn’t use them, so for my test I don’t on Evernote. However, Evernote auto-generates a title for you in the event that it can identify where you are and why you’re there!

So I’m taking notes in Evernote at the CFA Leadercast, and Evernote figures this out because of the location services of the iPad? In iOS? Whatever the case since I was on WiFi in the building hosting the Leadercast, somehow, some way, Evernote knew.

It auto-generated the title for me on each of my notes:

The title is in the red. Evernote knew where I was!

Here I was taking notes of the interview with Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow (great interview, BTW). As you can see, Evernote titled the note automatically and smartly.

Click to enlarge

However, this was not especially helpful when I made multiple notes at the same place and event. I created a new one for each session at the Leadercast, and all of them got named the same thing.

Had I been using Notes, by Apple, this repetitive naming would not have happened. Each note would be uniquely titled based on the first line of text in the note. So, had it been the session for Meyer and Tebow, it would be named something like “Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow Interview – Session 2.”

Another handy set of features I couldn’t resist using at the Leadercast were the format controls in Evernote. I used bullet lists, numbered lists, section and sub section sizes, italics, bolds, etc. These were so applicable to the seminar talks that I simply couldn’t stick to my self-imposed rule that “Evernote ought not be used like it were feature-rich.” Notes doesn’t have those format controls, so to stick by the book, I ought not have used them in Evernote.

But I’m not sorry that I did, because it would have been a waste of time to add the formatting at another time of the future once I allowed myself access to the Evernote format bar once again.

The Take Away

Tim Tebow is a really great guy, and Evernote is more powerful than I would like for my self-imposed challenge.