I just experienced a seismic shock to my love/hate relationship with Evernote, thanks to Tiago Forte's article "How to Use Evernote for Your Creative Workflow"[1]. The love for Evernote has consistently come from the ease of capture and the satisfying feeling of browsing old notes, the hate consistently from trying to develop precise supporting systems and workflows using it. I keep using Gruber's "Untitled Document Syndrome" as my framework for Evernote's purpose, but then I'm torn by how poorly it fares against the alternatives for things like quick-access to facts, project support materials, and collaboration.

But I still keep wanting to use it and now I know why: as a scaffold for valuing my own interests and whims, which is all too easy to skip in favor of more externally measurable goals.

In other words, don’t pursue goals; instead create systems that encourage attractors to emerge on their own. With such a system in place, the more chaotic your environment, the more randomness and uncertainty you are exposed to, the faster you will be propelled to interesting places, as long as you’re open to wherever that may lead.

  1. The article is way better than the title sounds. ↩︎