Task Management in Evernote

Slowly but surely Evernote seems to be getting better. They have just introduced a task management feature which seems really useful. As well as being a task management system, it picks up any checkboxes as well in all the notes.

I am experimenting with just using Evernote as an all in one productivity system…

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I am very puzzled by this Roam-essaye fashion to put tasks everywhere in notes apps: Craft, Evernote… they will always be inferior to dedicated apps. Shouldn’t these apps try and be the best at what they do - notes? With linking, knowledge graph, and so on? Only the Obsidian devs seem to have truly understood this.


I’ve tried twice to use Evernote as my Task Manager. Each time I return to OmniFocus with a new found appreciation of how it works.

Much happier with the distinctions: OF is for task management and Evernote is a repository for notes and ideas. Not blurring the lines helps me use both tools better. As does contextual linking between the apps.


Agreed 100%. The current fashion of integrating everything seems like a huge organizational mistake to me – and I’m doing creative work, where the limits between content and task are naturally blurred.


The only time having a task manager made sense to me was when I was working on a storyboard and I had the script pasted on Bear app. I added a checkbox on each sentences so I know which frames I still need to work on. Besides that, I didn’t find any use for having a task manager on a notes app after that.

There are some use case for it but not as a full task manager. I imagine can be useful for having your outline on your notes where you can have a checkbox to remind you what you still need to write or insert. I do this a lot on Ulysses but with a “note to self” comment feature.

Since I’m still on Evernote which I only use as a storage, this feature has no use for me.

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Evernote writes that

Please note that certain features will be limited to specific Evernote plans when Tasks is officially released.

without explaining these limitations and future cost of accessing the Tasks feature(s).

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yes. part of why I went back to Mac Notes.

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I’ve basically come to the same conclusion. I drank a bit of kool-aid with Obsidian, which I like. The recent introductions of Obsidian and Craft prompted me to experiment with my workflow. I have come to the conclusion that a Swiss Army knife approach is not ideal (for my workflow). So, I have decided to use the best tool for the job, which for my purposes are:

  • Craft–all notes and short-form writing.
  • Scrivener–long-form writing meaning thousands of words in multiples sections or chapters
  • Obsidian–research related study and conceptual linking
  • OmniFocus: Project task management
  • iCloud for document storage with DEVONthink used to index files for when I need sophisticated features like file conversion and complex searches.

I think I’m settling in.


I’m following quite a similar thread. I currently have

  • Craft for notes, short articles and Zetteling (although I’m still looking at Obsidian’s feature set, and the next months of development of each will probably tip me one way or the other)
  • Scrivener for long form writing and production
  • Day One for intimate reflexion and thinking
  • Mindnode for outlining and building ideas
  • Drafts for capture
  • OmniFocus for tasks
  • DEVONthink for admin and document repositories
  • iCloud for file storage.

I also using Drafts for quick capture and MindNode for brainstorming presentations and writing projects.

Craft may also serve well enough for conceptual linking. The only drawback is that Obsidian’s Kindle plug-in is great but I can easily use Bookcision to extract Kindle notes and paste them into Craft. I may give that a go–I’d prefer to reduce the number of apps and I really don’t care for electron apps. :slight_smile:

Edit: In fact, I’m going to use Craft to test the linking/thinking effectiveness for a project I’m working on: a white paper on CRT. This should be “fun.” :thinking:

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I have never been happier with my set-up since I moved tasks into Obsidian. So, if everything (else) you have is in Evernote, putting tasks there too may be great for you.

Getting rid of the task management app has two invaluable benefits for me:

  • The tasks are where the work is. No swapping between apps to log actions and ideas when in the midst of something. Federico Viticci explains this so well on Connected episode 344 (starting at 1h4m)
  • Infinite customizability in terms of what you include in a task, including metadata. I’m always frustrated by the limited conceptual model apps like OmniFocus put on what a task is. (I don’t know how well this applies to Evernote’s solution—it looks like it imposes some ideas about task metadata on you.)

So, my list is a lot simpler than @Bmosbacker and @anon85228692’s, hah…

  • Obsidian for thinking
  • Obsidian for writing
  • Obsidian for journalling
  • Obsidian for outlining
  • Obsidian for capture
  • Obsidian for tasks and project management
  • DEVONthink for RSS, read-it-later, and file management
  • Bookends for citing and referencing
  • OmniGraffle for visualization

For what it’s worth, I had already abandoned the other task managers and was trying to build a task management system in DEVONthink (using custom metadata) when Obsi came along. So, before this it was iA Writer for a lot of the above.


@ryanjamurphy While I’d love to think that a consolidated system such as you describe would work, I suspect that it depends on the complexity of one’s responsibilities and tasks. I have no idea what you do and your responsibilities may well be broader and more complex than mine but with that caveat, I don’t believe I could implement such a system effectively—though I’d love to think I could. :wink: Here’s why.

I have to manage a large number of relatively complex projects across multiple departments, I don’t see how a simple task system like one in Obsidian can handle that complexity. For example, I need to be able to defer, repeat, tag, and flag projects and tasks on a ongoing, evolving basis. I need to send emails into my task manager as a way of adding tasks, accountabilities, etc., to projects. I also need the ability to look at the present and into the future for tasks coming due by me or others in a bird’s eye view and be able to filter those views by person, project, urgency, etc. OF gives me those abilities through perspectives, tags, forecasts, etc. It may be that I don’t understand the possibilities in Obsidian or a similar program but I don’t see how Obsidian can handle that complexity. Even if possible, it seems to me to require substantial tweaking and customization to make a note app work as a task manager whereas OF (and other task managers) is designed specifically for that purpose. The beauty of a program like Craft for projects notes is I can highlight a heading with its tasks and share those to OF. OF keeps that structure in place and I have a link back to the note in Craft. Everything is integrated but I have the power of OF at my disposal.

What do I have wrong in this assessment? I’m an minimalist at heart so I’m genuinely interested. :slight_smile:


I’m sorry, I don’t understand. How did I measure anyone? I intentionally noted that his work may be broader and more complex than mine, implying that he may have found a way for Obsidian to work for him. I was attempting to acknowledge that my needs may be relatively simple compared to his. That was intended as a compliment, not an assessment. So, I’m confused. Can you clarify? If I need to apologize I certainly will do so readily.

@ryanjamurphy I want to apologize if what I wrote came across differently than I intended. I was attempting to communicate that I was not assuming my work is more complex than yours and that I was open to learning from you how you are able to manage complex multiple tasks with Obsidian. If what I wrote gave any other impression please accept my sincere apology. That was not my intent at all.

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I’ve been thinking about this as well and even considered moving my task system entirely into Obsidian, just as @ryanjamurphy did.

I was first inspired by the way Noteplan allowed for task filtering and then by the use of Obsidian’s Dataview plug-in. (Evernote’s implementation looks a lot like what Noteplan has with its review filter, so I don’t feel like this message is hijacking the post topic)

While the experience of trying was actually very enjoyable for those same reasons Ryan pointed out, it did not stick and I reverted back to my Things setup with links back to the corresponding Obsidian notes.

The main reason was the lack of fluidity on task filtering and the whole process of tagging and processing that was built into Things and I took for granted since using it from v1.

That said, one of the things that I brought back with me into Things was the habit of using more the note field to capture details of the decision making involved in the action and into the project itself.

That is definitely not ideal, mainly because of this:

That was really something to have. But it didn’t last long with me as I deeply missed how projects, tags and statuses (today, scheduled, anytime, someday) are laid into Things and how easy it was to navigate it.

Having tasted that I even tried the filters and even Ryan’s (awesome) Review plugin, but in the end I found out the filtering and processing of Things indispensable to my workflow.


No apologies needed! It’s a very interesting topic to me. See my overthought response in that brand new thread.


That has been my experience as well. I’m using Craft and OF together. I like the ability to connect my notes with my projects. In Craft I select the follow-up list and share to OF and here is what I get (I suspect the same is true for Things).

Craft Note

OF Result

@ryanjamurphy Thanks, the last thing I want to do is offend. I’ll check out the new thread. This is an interesting topic. I genuinely wish I could use one “app” as you are doing but I suspect your computer skills are more sophisticated than mine!

If I could extend this concept a bit, I think two of the really big factors in where people manage their tasks are where the work is and where the work starts.

For example, take email. For many workers, their work starts in email: they get tasks delegated to them from their boss, they get partially done work from colleagues for them to do then next step on, they get finished work from subordinates for review, etc. This explains why so many people use their inbox as a task list (despite how ill suited email is for that). Throw in the fact that for many managers email is also where the work is and the compulsion to use it for task management becomes almost irresistible.

On the other hand, take someone like Federico Viticci. His job (especially between WWDC and the iOS release date) is to do research, take notes, and write. Since he likes to do his notetaking and writing in the same app, there’s a big payoff to integrating his task management into that app. So odd as it may seem to many, it makes perfect sense that he’s commissioned custom Obsidian plugins to integrate ToDoist into his writing environment. @ryanjamurphy, based on your other post I suspect your situation is somewhat similar.

Similarly, for many people, meetings are where the work starts, which explains why so many meeting-oriented notetaking apps (Agenda, Noteplan, etc.) have built-in task management.

A somewhat less extreme version of this is to use a separate task manager, but to streamline capture from where the work starts. This can be particularly appealing when where the work starts and where the work gets done are not the same place (someone gets new tasks via email but does their work in a code editor, for instance). The near-ubiquity of email as the source of work tasks is why so many task managers have built-in methods of capturing tasks from mail messages. It’s also why I’m seriously considering writing some sort of automation to capture tasks from my meeting notes in Noteplan and automatically add them to Things.


You may have a more sophisticated solution in mind but I “think” that I’m doing this from Craft to OF. It also looks like Craft is setup to send to Things as well. Is what I show above what you have in mind with Noteplan and Things?

It’s funny because I certainly would not want an integrated system (despite being very alluring for my OCD). I develop in the other thread but I live and work in two vastly different worlds: the regular one of tasks and clear outcomes, where GTD reigns; and the other of creation and chaos, of intuition and Mystery, where emergence reigns. Keeping both those worlds separate allows me to stay sane. (… somewhat.)