Mike Dariano


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Using Evernote for Research

After using WorkFlowy in November for managing the things I have to do and starting my Year of Living Better and using Evernote for the things I want to know - I'm starting to get a clearer picture about how these services fit together. I stopped being active on Goodreads and TripIt because they weren't more valuable than other options and I thought the same might be true of WorkFlowy and Evernote. Instead I'm going to try this approach:

Lately the bulk of my Evernote usage has been a holding tank for research about living better and I wanted to use this post to highlight how I'm using it.

The first step I did was to create a notebook titled 1 Year of Change. I included the '1' in the name so that it was before all the other notebooks in my list. Within this I created a notebook for each topic - in my case the twelve areas of my life I'm addressing during the upcoming year. These I also prefixed, but with letters to order them. "A November - Writing, B December - Happiness" and so on. This structure has been really helpful, not just for this project, but for both the larger use of Evernote and life in general. When I know where things go, it's easy to put them there and then it's easy to find them later. Evernote has allowed this in my digital life, now if they'd only expand to a system for children's shoes.

After creating the structure then - it's time to get into the research and for this there have been three essential keyboard shortcuts for me.

My Book Rating System

On Military Dad

As I mentioned in my introduction, I love to read.

I've been reading regularly for as long as I can remember. It originally started out with The Hardy Boys around 4th or 5th grade, but that all changed with two books. The first was Legend by David Gemmell and the second was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. They both blew my mind, and I quickly became addicted to anything that involved fantasy or science fiction. While my tastes have significantly expanded over the past decade (mostly out of necessity since it felt like I had read everything), fantasy and sci-fi still lie at the core of my love of reading and any short stories I write or ideas for future novels tend to dwell in those genres.

At this point, I almost always have three of four books going at the same time. Since I'm usually awake before the rest of the family, I read while I'm eating breakfast. I listen to audio books during my transit to work, and I even read in the bathroom (don't judge me). Asking me to go to sleep without reading at least 20 pages first would be just as strange as asking me to sleep on the floor.

When I moved my blog to this platform, I wanted to incorporate more book reviews.

I've done a few in the past, but they were mostly requested by the authors or publishers. While I certainly have no issues doing that, they don't come along all that often. I also believe that identifying what you like and dislike about certain books helps hopeful writers (such as myself) develop their own style and tendencies. Therefore, I wanted to start including more reviews on my site. Obviously, these are only my opinions, and I've been known to be wrong more than once (just ask my wife).

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