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Information conveniently captured in Evernote; now what?

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Posted by Vincek
Mar 26, 2013 at 02:07 AM


Wow, do I every feel UNDERSTOOD!  Alexander, thanks for taking my original note and turning it into a separate conversation thread.  You have all articulated the challenge in a way that is very helpful and much deeper than I have been thinking.

For shorthand, let me put a 3 part label on the workflow challenge:

1) Capture (I currently use Evernote)
2) Synthesize ( my GREAT BIG HOLE)
3) Produce (I use Scrivener but can see many other possible workable options).

Here are a few excerpts from previous posts that particularly resonated:

* The forum thread about TheBrain and “information thermodynamics” (Alexander D).  Very interesting. I am not familiar with TheBrain.  I’ve downloaded the manual and will review the website.  Thanks.

* “The undertext here seems to be the age-old dilemma whether to use one software for everything or to use a tool-chain of several specialist software. I’m in favour of the latter, simply because the world is constant flux and therefore that one software is destined to become inadequate in relation to the environment and, by wanting to please a lot of common ground, it will include some specialist needs.” (Dr. Andus)

Yes, there are clearly tradeoffs between integration and specialization.  I suspect the preferences here will be idiosyncratic to individual workflow—no right answers. I value integration over specialization, at least as the current tradeoffs seem to play out.

* “What I miss here (and apparently others too) is a way to manipulate the information snippets stored in Evernote, e.g. combine them, associate them with tasks and the like, etc. ” (Alexander D.)

Yes, that’s the biggest problem with Evernote CURRENTLY.  However, since Evernote is a platform, I am hopeful that in the long-term options will surface; I’m willing to be patient; perhaps TheBrain is a good option, particularly is there is a scenario for eventual integration (NOT just interfacing) w/ Evernote.

* “That “synthesis” phase is the missing link to the holy grail. ”  (Stephen Z.)

Yup, that nails it.  In the meanwhile I’m stuck with my own brain doing this part :)

* “I use Evernote for collecting - to be more precise, for dumping info into a storage pile where I later (or while dumping) select the heap the info snippet is to go to.
But I feel terribly incomfortable taking my own notes in Evernote.” (Franz G)

Yes, another challenge with Evernote.

A few perspectives from my personal POV.

* I will check out TheBrain as an option for creating synthesis.  How’s the learning curve here?

* My personal bias is that for now for me the capture part is more important.  Evernote is very good at this.  Having grown up using paper, it is becoming apparent to me that I must transition to a nearly all-digital workflow. I’m 57 and in the grand scheme of the universe very few people will grapple with this challenge.

* However, I’m patient.  The transition from paper to digital workflow is not easy and will probably take years. I recognize that the world is in transition and that new technological capabilities are being developed all the time; I expect Evernote will get better and that as a platform there should be a lot of developers that want to plug into the 55M Evernote userbase.  Over time I expect to see many options for plug-and-play apps that will fill in the synthesis hole in my workflow.

* So I think getting the capture part is essential and primary for now; once in digital format, data can be moved an manipulated.  While I see the value of synthesis, I don’t want to waste a lot of time trying out solutions that have a steep learning curve and don’t have a pathway toward eventual integration with Evernote.  Thus, I tolerate for now the GREAT BIG HOLE (lack of synthesis) but am optimistic long term—perhaps even TheBrain is an accepatable solution—I’ll check it out.

Appreciative for all your insights and thoughts.

Vince Kuraitis

I was not familiar with TheBrain