Friday, February 11, 2011


I've always been a nut about trying to be organized but the last ten years or so it's been a little more challenging to maintain that discipline.  Through the years I've used yellow pads, day timers, scraps of paper, Post It's, a PDA, and a mini tape recorder just to name a few.  Each of them fell by the wayside when it was replaced by the next system that I thought would really keep me organized.

A few years ago when I was contemplating getting a Vespa I discovered Steve Williams' wonderful blog Scooter in the Sticks.  One of his posts featured a manual organizing system called The Hypster PDA.  Using a series of 3X5 cards clipped together a person could easily and logically keep track of all their important information in one easy and inexpensive setup.  I was intrigued by this and began using it.  Unfortunately, like all of the other methods of arranging personal information, it too fell by the wayside.  For the last few years I've tried to be diligent about keeping all my information on my company issued Blackberry.  For the most part it has done well but there are things I'd like to tweak.  Then I discovered Evernote.

My wife Amber got me an iPod Touch for Christmas.  For about the next five days I had a hard time putting it down.  While making a note in one of the apps that I had downloaded I was asked if I wanted to upload it to Evernote.  I might be the last guy on the planet that knows about these note keeping Websites but my eyes were opened to a whole new realm.

For those of you who don't know about Evernote or any other notetaking suite, it's an online server designed for notetaking and archiving webpages, photos, voice memos, and even handwritten notes.  Just about anything that can be copied, pasted, or uploaded can be stored and kept securely in one convenient location.  All of it can be updated or edited via a computer or mobile device.

I've been using Evernote for about six weeks and I think it is a great way to keep notes and information organized in one convenient location.  I'm using the free version and finding it handy that everything is accessible at anytime from my Blackberry or iPod.  For a small annual fee more storage is available with even more security than the free version.  By the way, I have no stock or stake in Evernote.  This mini review is purely from the perspective of a new user.

I still use a spiral steno pad for daily quick notes as the day progresses. I can get a call at any moment from a customer who is ready to give me information I need to write down.  From this pad I can easily sort things out on Evernote if I need to.  At times there's no substitute for a good old fashion note pad.

Since this blog is about thinking and riding and maybe I've covered somewhat of a thinking segment, I thought I would throw in a few images from this week.

This afternoon on the way to the jail.

 (Monday - Vancouver, WA)
Looks like an alien spaceship just dropped off a motorcycle.

 (This morning - Oregon City, OR)
No matter how hard I try, this time of year it's hard to keep it clean.  I'm not complaining because some can't ride due to snow and ice.  

 (Monday - Vancouver, WA during the alien thing)
May your kickstand be in the up position this weekend!

God's speed.


  1. Great info - for when/if I get an Ipod/pad....
    Love your last line - may YOUR kickstand be in the up position this weekend!! ;o)

  2. Stacey,
    Thank you. I hope you're feeling better. One day maybe you'll have a kickstand. I hope it's in the up position a lot! :)

  3. THe wonders of modern technology, can be a mravel or a complet pain in the b...., andway great post. And I also love the last comment.

  4. I use Evernote as well. In addition to the iPod/iPad/iPhone clients, I also use it on my laptops as well. Another good tool to supplement Evernote is Dropbox. Anything I'm currently working on is in Dropbox and synched among all of my devices.

    Great writeup.


  5. Roger,
    Yeah, modern technology is one of those things that's hard to live with and live without. I can't imagine life without it though. :) Thank you!

    I'll have to check out Dropbox. I use Evernote on my laptops too. I like that it's so accessible. I found another app today along the same lines called "To Do". Thanks for the tip!

  6. The cell phone has become the computer/notepad/navigation/music player/contact management and also makes calls :-)
    It's a great app and available on iphone/android/blackberry ;-)

  7. George,
    The advancement in communication and information technology in the last five years is amazing. Makes one wonder what's next! Thanks for your comment!

  8. My boss got an ipad this year, and it's been his favorite toy. No one, and I mean no one is more disorganized than my boss. I don't think he uses it for organizing though.

    I use a small spiral, a printed calendar, and the calendar in MS outlook...and lots of scraps of paper.

    Great pics from the week. It's especially nice to see the rain splattered BMW badge. BMW's look best with a little dirt. I'm glad you didn't get carried off in the mothership!

  9. Kari,
    I use Outlook too for work plus a scrap of paper here & there. I guess it's hard to go completely paperless but the techno stuff has a fun side to it. BTW, your boss is a big follower of my blog. He wants to see you in his office Monday morning! :)

    I guess a dirty bike looks like it's loved because it's being used but a shiney one looks good too. Thank you!

  10. Judging by your pattern of adopting something as great and then dropping it, I'll check back in 6 months. If you still think it's great then, I'll check it out! :)