Today, I’m going to show you how to set up your weekly review in Evernote. If you’ve been reading along with this series, you’ve already set up Evernote, created a review stack with 3 notebooks – a Daily Review notebook, a Monthly Review notebook and a Weekly Review notebook, and come up with a list of items you want to include in your weekly review.
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Today, you are going to work on two items – setting aside time every week to complete your weekly review and setting up your weekly review items.
1. Create a Recurring “Weekly Review” Event on Your Calendar
To be successful you must commit to your new system. The best way to do this is to create a “Weekly Review” recurring event on your calendar. Remember, once your system is in place this review should take less than an hour. Make sure you pick a time when you know you will most likely not be called away to other commitments (kids, phone calls, work, etc.). My review is scheduled for early Saturday morning when I have the house to myself.
Remember, once your system is in place this review should take less than an hour to complete.
Make sure you pick a time when you know you will most likely not be called away to other commitments (kids, phone calls, work, etc.). My review is scheduled for early Saturday morning when I have the house to myself.
Don’t worry if you have to skip your review for a week or two (or occasionally more) because your kid is sick or you’re going out of town or another of the plethora of unexpected events happens in your life.
That’s just life.
You already have the framework in place so you can easily pick up where you left off next time.
2. Create Folders for the Items in Your Weekly Review List
Once you have your day and time set, how do you carry out your review?
Well, you’re going to need a lot of folders. I’m talking about both digital and paper folders.
Digital folders will be kept in Evernote and are saved as Notes and Notebooks.
Paper folders will house all those paper piles that have been accumulating dust in your home over time. Yes, finally they will have a place to call home!
Buy some colorful or fun folders to help you out. These are the ones I use because I’m a dork and I like to color code everything.
I also keep these folders near my desk on the wall so they’re easy to access. You can use something like this wall mounted folder organizer to store them.
So, let’s get started creating a home for your weekly review items.
To make this easier for you, I’ve included a sample review list below and added a description of where it’s housed to help you determine which folders you need for your system.
Remember your review system is going to look a little different than mine depending on what you’re reviewing during the week.
However, there are some items that I think all review systems should include. I’ve added an * next to those items.
*☐Current Projects (add to calendar or next actions as needed) (Projects and Goals stack):
You need a current projects folder to keep track of all your current projects. My folder is digital – it’s a notebook called “Current Projects” that I’ve created in Evernote. I keep it in a notebook stack called Projects and Goals, along with my “Future Projects” and “Goals” notebooks mentioned below.
Current projects should include personal projects, projects for your spouse and projects for your kids. It can also include volunteer and work projects if you’re using your system to organize both your personal and work lives in one place, as I do.
Some things I have in my current projects are school projects my kids are working on, home organization projects – like organizing the kids’ rooms, birthday party organization, courses or classes I’m taking, and church or other volunteer projects. And if you’re a crafty type of mom (sadly, I am not) then all of your craft projects, etc. will also be listed.
Make a list of all your current projects and create a note in current projects that list out each of your current projects and where to find the project in checklist format.
This allows you to go item by item tp review each current project during your weekly review. I keep separate notes for many of these projects in my “Current Projects” notebook but sometimes I have the project kept in a project box in my closet.
*☐Future Projects (add to current projects/next actions as needed) (Projects and Goals stack)
I use the same process for future projects as I do for current projects. Sometimes my current projects get pushed back to the future projects notebook if I find that I don’t have time to work on them at the present time.
But I review my future projects list that I keep as a note in the “Future Projects” notebook and then keep some notes with future projects I hope to work on someday.
☐Bible/Spiritual Study (calendar weekly tasks) (Bible/Spiritual Study stack)
This is a completely digital folder. I review the Bible/Spiritual Study notebook stack I created in Evernote.
My notebook stack only has two notebooks but you can have as many as you need. I have one notebook called “Current: Book/Bible Studies, Quotes, and Notes” and another one called “Archived: Book/Bible Studies, Quotes, and Notes.”
I keep a note that lists all of my current book and bible studies with dates and other pertinent information for the study. Then I keep a separate note for each study to keep my notes, scripture, quotes or any other information I want to jot down. For completed studies, I move that information to my archived notebook and eventually create a PDF of the note and save it in Dropbox.
☐Writing Development (calendar weekly tasks) (Writing Development stack)
This is a notebook stack that is unique to me as I work on my writing development but I want you to think of other folders you can create – digital or paper – for your unique situation. If you are in school or have a hobby or other personal development project you are working on that may need to be kept separate than your other current or future projects, you may want to create a separate line item and digital or paper folder for this project in your weekly review.
☐Kids’ Weekly Activities (prepare) (binder/dropbox)
I like to review weekly activities to do with the kids. Plus it reminds me to plan weekday activities for us to do at home since my kids are only in school half-day. We love to have art, science or other projects to keep us busy at home.
☐Weekly Meal Planner/Recipes (prepare in Paprika)
☐Weekly Grocery List (prepare in Paprika)
☐Other Shopping Lists (add to next actions list)
The items listed above help me organize our weekly meal and shopping planning. I meal plan a week ahead. We love Paprika in our house for creating our weekly meal plan but also for creating our weekly grocery shopping list.
I also sort and clean out our declutter box each week. This is just a big wicker basket that I keep downstairs on our kitchen counter as a gathering place for all of those miscellaneous items that show up in your house during the week. I highly recommend having a declutter box if you don’t already have something similar.
*☐Scan Items in Scan Folder
*☐Review “This Week” Folder
*☐Review “Soon” Folder
*☐Review Each Family Member’s Folder
The items listed above are paper folders that I review each week. I have folders labeled “Scan,” “This Week,” “Soon,” “Bills” and a separate folder for each family member. For now, just create these folders and next time I’ll talk more about what you do with each of them. For bills, I also keep a note of all bills to be paid so I don’t miss anything – many are automatic but I include those, too.
*☐Goals (revise as needed)
I also keep a notebook called “Goals” where I list out my goals in about a dozen different areas. This is something that I constantly revise but it keeps my goals top of mind each week so I’m always thinking about what’s important in my life. For now, create a “Goals” notebook and, later on, I’ll discuss some goals you can keep in this notebook.
Your ASSIGNMENTS for Step 3:
- Create a Weekly Recurring Event called “Weekly Review”
- Create Digital Notebooks and Paper Folders
Some Final Thoughts on Setting Up Your Weekly Review in Evernote
This part may take a little time so break it up into 2-3 sessions if you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Once this is set up, I’ll walk you through an actual weekly review so you’ll know exactly what to do each and every week.
If you get stuck on anything, leave me a comment below and I’ll see if I can help you out. I’d also love to hear about your progress!
I’ll see you in Step 4.