So you are well equipped with a Dropbox account, a Google drive account, Evernote and a “To Do list” manager like Nozbe. I could have added One Note, Google Keep, Trello, Asana and any number of other applications that are designed to keep your data and present it to you in a useful way.
Having many applications available on your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop PC is great but brings with it some questions like:
- If someone sends you something, an idea, a photo, a PDF file,where do you put it?
- Can you easily find your data?
- Do your applications work together and integrate well with your communication tools such as your email?
- Is your data on your device or in the cloud or both?
It is a very modern data problem.
This is made more complicated as all of the above are data type agnostic: happy to accept text and images. The text could be as a document in some proprietary format such as doc or pdf or an open format such as txt or od_
Those applications tend to fall into categories:
- cloud based data storage: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box
- to do list managers: Nozbe, Todoist, Todo.txt, Wunderlist, Google Keep
- boards and group work platforms: Trello, Asana, Basecamp
- one place note applications: Evernote, OneNote
….but then these overlap in functions and also integrate with each other.
Largely it remains personal preference but I would like to offer some ideas that could be used as a rule of thumb when choosing your own strategy.
- Always keep important data in two or more places, preferably one of them in the cloud
This keeps you independent of individual companies changing interfaces, terms & conditions and pricing changes.
2. Think about the device.
Does the app allow quick data entry on your device, does it enable you to search for your data easily.
3. Think about transferring that data.
Can you send a piece of data from the app where it is to your email or another app? Can it receive data sent from another app?
4. Think about the downside.
Do you make regular backups of your data (what happens if a device goes missing or breaks irrecoverably?
At the moment my main setup is Nozbe for work tasks, Google Keep for home tasks and Evernote for all my background notes, clipped web pages and articles to read, vital reference information. Nozbe and Evernote regularly copied to txt and all data held in the cloud and on at least one device. All other important files are kept on Google Drive, some are duplicated on Dropbox.
This is not a definitive solution and frankly any part of it could be substituted by another app or service. An example of this is that 3 months ago I switched from todo.txt to Nozbe and although I have been using Evernote since it started 7 years ago,I also have a OneNote setup – OneNote just improved their Android app and its REALLY good now.