Google Now is creepy in its usefulness. One thing I had wanted for awhile was tagging a note or two and making it appear in my google calendar when I wanted an action done on it. I don’t do todo lists because I’ve never succeeded at maintaining them. What I do though is to create more detailed lists of things in EverNote which I want to attend to. To date there has been no way of seeing the following workflow:
EverNote -> Assign Event or Date -> Google Calendar -> Google Now
What this does is create a wonderful workflow for me from start to finish or due date. It lets me see the action in a format I’m used to across my mobile devices, my laptop. So how to do this magic you may ask. You need the following tools:
EverNote. Self Explanatory. Get yourself on EverNote.
EventNoted. A free web application which allows you to authenticate to EverNote and create a note or notes in a specific format with specific tags and information in the subject line. If I put something like this:
Remember to look up airline flights to Japan #event 05/30 5pm
In the title of an EverNote note, the EventNoted application grabs that subject and tag or hash and creates a calendar entry in my Google Calendar. Since I sync my google calendar to my Android devices, the reminder shows up in a different color on my mobile calendars but this means it also shows up in Google Now when the due date arises. The circle completes for me and my preferred method of creating reminders from more detailed lists of things to get done now is maintained in the cloud as well. No more complicated remembering . I am not so good at remembering sometimes so by doing something simpler and by registering for a free web service and linking to EverNote, I can create the reminders on any device that runs EverNote.
Sometimes there is a slight delay on my Android tablets to get the event sync’ed. Perhaps like 10 minutes. But after a successful EverNote and Google Calendar sync, there is my calendar reminder entry! By extension, there is my reminder as well in the ultimately useful if not creepily wonderful Google Now as well.
Just an additional word on Google Now. Its wonderful and it does this basic stuff for me without me asking. If I search on a topic like “how to fix ADB on Linux”, I see that search there and it asks me if I want to continue researching it. I can set reminders vocally as well now. I can see the usual stuff without asking like my calendars and if I have events with a map link, I get directions.
To me this is a wonderful thing and really extends the usefulness of the so-called digital companion. I don’t need something in some svelte Siri voice talking to me. I need something more functional and utilitarian that reminds me of things I have not specifically asked for. Its getting even richer after Google IO as well with new updates.
As I noted in a previous blog post, our devices and mobile lifestyle are converging into a more connected reality. You can opt out and my friend Ed probably has at this point. That’s okay too. For me though, the idea of having events, plans, EverNote stuff being integrated into the device de jour is excellent.
Give the workflow a shot if you don’t like what i consider to be the rigid style of TODOs or lists of things which take more work to update than its worth. Particularly useless for me is the whole concept of GTD. I don’t want to get things done when I don’t want to. What I do want is to tag the useful information and have it replicated to me. The workflow constructs for my system or lack of one now completes with free (in beer) approaches.
Most of all if you don’t use EverNote, why not?