Evernote Love #4: The 2015 Moleskine Evernote Planner

Separately, Evernote and Moleskine are two great ‘Get Things Done’ brands that are unquestionably the powerhouses of the planner / note taking world.Together, they’re a match made in heaven!  The two companies have been collaborating for some time now and have previously released several Evernote Moleskine notebooks and sketchbooks that bridge the analog world and digital world.

evernote moleskine

I’ve been using Moleskine planners for the last 7 years – it’s an annual tradition now; every November or December I buy a new Moleskine, get my color coding tabs ready and start planning the incoming year.

Every year I always get excited to buy my new planner – will it be a daily, weekly or Taskmaster planner this next year? None: 2015 was destined to be an Evernote Moleskine Planner year. For the last two years, I have been using a Moleskine Large Black Daily Diary,  a format which allows a lot of room for thoughts, meeting notes, to-do lists and more.

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At the end of the year, I will be able to determine whether the Evernote Moleskine Planner was a good deal, or if I will go back to buying my regular Daily Diary Moleskine for 2016.

The Evernote Moleskine planner isn’t quite like your traditional Moleskine. Some differences (good and bad):

Evernote Moleskine Planner

  1. The planner comes in a weekly format only. The left side features the week ahead and the right page is dedicated to notes. This is great because you can see your week ahead and at the same time have ample room for notes.
  2. The front cover has an interesting design featuring a pattern of full, half and new moon cycles. I can dig it. The inside turn in and end paper also feature this snappy, yet minimal design.
  3. Included with purchase is a three month Evernote Premium subscription and a little collection of “smart stickers” along with a tiny handbook on how to use the stickers.
  4. NOT INCLUDED: most surprising is the lack of an address book insert, a mainstay for all Moleskine planners. Not sure why this feature was eliminated from the Evernote Moleskine Planner, but I plan to use the address book from last year.

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All of this is pretty cool but where does the Evernote functionality kick in? Since you now have a 3 month Premium Evernote subscription, put it to use!

Each agenda date features a little spot where you can check mark the date and Evernote will send you an email or push notification to remind you on that day.

weekly reminders

I tested this functionality out and it’s not as streamlined as I would want. My input:

  • It would be great to have these captured notes automatically go to a “Moleskine 2015″ notebook within Evernote, instead of going to my default notebook.
  • Also, each captures Evernote Moleskine note should automatically generate a “Week 1″ or “Week of December 29 – January 4″ subject line on the note.

In a nutshell,  having an  Evernote Moleskine planner mainly does three things:

  • Helps you archive your Moleskine in Evernote (always a good thing)
  • Adds Evernote tags to your analog notes (I’m not much of a tag user in Evernote, to be honest.)
  • Sends you email or push notifications for a specific date (granted that you’ve already taken a photo of that week you need a reminder for.)

The problem with this structure is that my agenda is constantly getting fuller. On Monday, my week might look a little sparse, but by Wednesday, the rest of the week will be packed with events. This can be problematic because if my agenda changes, then this would mean that I must take multiple photos of a given page, cluttering up my Evernote with photos of the same week.

I’m going to keep going with this for a full year – in December, I will revisit my decision to see whether I will continue with a new Evernote Moleskine Planner or go back to my Moleskine Daily Diary Planner.

Did you order an Evernote Moleskine Planner? What are your thoughts? Let me know: @CrystiCouture 

Welcome to My Quarterlife Crisis

Be forewarned, this is a long-read post and my main reason for writing this is for posterity. If you actually read this entire shpiel, I owe you a drink. Who knows, maybe you’ll find that you have something else in common with me.

The part of this life that I seem to have the hardest time with is my career. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a great job now that I absolutely adore – I do something that I like, I get to empower people to explore a little more and I get to experience a lot of wonderful things that I wouldn’t be able to try otherwise.

However, there is this little nagging part of me that feels an intense sorrow over not having lived up to my potential.

navy intelligence

In high school, I was in Navy ROTC and absolutely loved it. I was convinced that I wanted to join the Navy as an Intelligence Officer. Then, in my senior year, I became pregnant and my focus shifted to making sure that I could juggle my school work, full-time job and pregnancy with a clear head. I gained a lot of weight – something that I haven’t really had a chance to completely shake off – and was never able to join the Navy because I am still overweight.

As time has passed, I’ve become a single mother and full-time custodial parent. Joining the Navy now would mean that I would be gone for at least 6 months; my son would need to live with his father and I would need to quit my job – would the benefits really outweigh the cons? I decided to shelve that dream and tuck it away to a place that I know I’ll never reach.

Stem Cell Research

After I gave birth, I decided to go to college. Since my Elementary days, I have had an intense interest in all sorts of life sciences, especially microbiology. I decided then that my future was in Stem Cell Research. The new technology was a hotly debated topic in politics at the time and I felt that eventually the tides would change – that the United States would realize it’s error in banning stem cell research and that life-changing technologies and treatments would be possible with the hard work and dedication of stem cell researchers.

The caveat: I am absolutely horrible at math. I knew that my Microbiology major would require a lot of math courses, so I decided to continue the course and learn the math as I went.

Bad idea. My first semester of remedial Algebra was stressful to say the least – algebraic equations seemed to dance on their pages, mocking my stupidity. I quit – I took a look at my abilities and realized that I was never going to understand math and that if I wanted to be any good at my job, math was going to be a major aspect of that.

philosophy degree

I changed my major to Philosophy. Iwas happy in that major, spending two whole years studying Socrates, Plato, Jorge Luis Borges, Descartes and countless other thinkers before me. I really enjoyed these years and felt that I was actually studying something worthwhile.

Then I realized: what am I going to do with a Philosophy major? I spent some time talking to a few Philosophy major graduates who hadn’t found jobs long after their caps and gowns had been stowed away. The few careers that could take off with a Philosophy degree are in law or in Professorship.

I had the crazy idea that I would create a career of my own – I wanted to become an expert in a form of philosophy / psychology / clinical / religious study called Theology Psychology. Studies continued, but my son’s father decided that we should all move to Clovis, NM – well over 450 miles from my home town. I would not be able to continue my studies there or in the surrounding cities – and so it was there that my dream of becoming a Philosophy Professor or expert in Theology Psychology died.

Four years later, I decided that my future was dim in Clovis. Although I met many good friends there, the most I would be able to do with my life was to be a call center employee.

This was not going to be my life. As much as I liked working in technical support, this was not something that I could see myself doing for the next 30 years of my life. The time had come for me to to return to El Paso on my own.

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I came back to El Paso a single mother and I vastly underestimated the financial strains that I would experience. When I returned, I enrolled back into college and found myself a job working for a stock brokerage. The collapse of the Greek bank system, the mortgage crisis and bank bailouts soon contributed to my company laying off over 150 employees. I found myself broke and unable to care for myself or my son. My car was repossessed a few months after, having been unable to pay for it. Those were some rough times – I wrote a blog post about it explaining the situation much more in depth.

Things got to the point to where I had to send my son to live with his father during which time I would get ‘back on my feet’. It was during this time that my actions shaped where I am today. ‘

work

I found a great job and spent my free time writing articles for free for numerous publications – I built connections and added items to my resume all at once. It was through these experiences and connections that I landed the fantastic job that I have now, handling Social Media and Multimedia for Destination El Paso.

That little monster stays perched on my shoulder, though. Constantly whispering “What now?” or “What’s next?” or “Is this what you will do for the rest of your life?”

I don’t have the answers to any of those questions. That’s life, I suppose – a neverending, meandering maze full of unexpected twists and turns. For now, I am embracing what I do now – social media – and learning to become better at my profession.

It would be an interesting thing to look back on this post 5 years from now…

Texas Showdown Festival | Photos For Visit El Paso

I’m totally playing “catch up” here on my blog – life has been full of a steady schedule of work, cooking dinner, cleaning, helping my son with homework, putting him to bed, tending after my boyfriend’s needs, then crumpling into an exhausted heap and starting all over.

I took these photos for my employer, Visit El Paso, while live posting at the Texas Tattoo Showdown Festival back in July. We came to the fest to foster an important relationship and open ourselves up to a new demographic – the young, edgy, metal & hip-hop loving folks.

The tattoo fest was a blast – my awesome beau joined me almost every step of the way: holding my equipment while I switched lenses, taking supplemental phone photos and bobbing his head right alongside me as the bands rocked it on stage.

We got to watch Drowning Pool perform – one of my favorite bands from my youth – but I’ll have to admit that the band sounded a little off with a different front man. RIP Dave Williams.

Keep in mind these photos were taken long before my recent Photography courses. Nonetheless, I’m digging the quality of the pics and I’m pretty sure my bosses enjoyed the results too!

You can see the rest of the photos here:

What do you think? Send me a tweet sometime @CrystiCouture 

Evernote Love #3: Organize Your Statements With FileThis

I’m pretty sure I’m late to the rodeo on this one, but I’m totally in love with this Evernote add-on app called FileThis! It’s like a personal assistant for all your paperwork and automatically collects, files, tags, and organizes your online statements in an easy to use digital filing cabinet.

file thisI created the account, connected all my accounts and *BOOM* just like that, every statement I’ve ever had was automatically imported into Evernote – directly into a “File This” notebook.

What’s great about this is that it’s a ‘set it & forget it’ service that has your back and keeps your documents backed up in one place that you’ll always use – Evernote for me, but if you’re not an Evernote faithful,  FileThis also supports Google Drive, Dropbox and you can even send documents to a file on your hard drive.

bills

This is just one more way to a more paperless office going forward! Now I just need to get myself an Evernote ScanSnap Scanner and I’ll be able to archive all my old paperwork too! Right now, I scan my bills in batches, whenever I have the time to or even use my phone to scan.

Do you have any favorite methods to keep your offline life more paperless? Let me know – send me a tweet @CrystiCouture 

Twitter’s New Business App #SmallGoesBig

I got an email this morning from Twitter announcing that they’ve just released a new ‘holiday app’ specifically geared towards businesses. The app is available now on iOS and on Android and you can find it by searching for “Twitter Small Business Planner”. They tout that this app will increase your content production, engagement and activity – all very good things that any social media marketer is always in need of!

Although I manage social media for a destination, not a small business, I went ahead and downloaded the app to see if it could benefit me. It totally does – and if you manage any sort of brand page you’ll dig this app too!  Twitter

  • When you open the app for the first time, you’re prompted to enter an email address and agree to Twitter’s Privacy Policy.
  • Then, you’re asked to choose a calendar – you’re given two choices: US or UK. What this app does (and I think it’s absolutely amazing) is that it will sync with your onboard calendar and send you push notifications on when to send an update at the most optimal time.
  • Finally, you just need to set up your profile and connect your social media links. Think of this app as a “micro-LinkedIn” – use a professional photo and enter your career title and company name.
  • Twitter will send you a special four-digit password around this time, check your email for it.

Here’s what the app looks like once you open it up. I love the time that Twitter took to really understand its audience and how sensitive they are to folks who may not know a whole lot about social media to begin with.

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The amount of information available through this app is staggering! From white papers, to toolkits, a fully integrated resource center and webinar events, this app is a ‘must-add’ to your social media marketing arsenal. Download it HERE FOR ANDROID or HERE FOR IOS.

Let me know what you think!

A Week In The Life… [6]

It’s been a whirlwind couple of days and I’m finally taking the time to write a little bit. Quite literally, it’s been one event after another and I’m about to get even more busy: I just signed a contract to move into a house by the end of the month! I’m really looking forward to writing that blog post – the property is absolutely phenomenal.

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Last week started out with a visit to the Sun City Craft Beer Fest in Downtown El Paso. This was their second year and it was done phenomenally. The biggest complaint about year one was the long wait lines – this year, wait time for tastings was nominal. Aaron and I had a great time while we were there, even though we could only hang out for a few hours.

As the work week came in, so began a familiarization tour that we hosted in collaboration with the Mayor’s office. I was photographer for the event(s), so I got a chance to practice some of my newfound skills learned from Vaboom Photography:

Fall Fam Tour 2014 (18)

I’ll post more photos about this event later this week, so be on the lookout for that!

Then came time to start really planning for Beto Fest. Although it went off without a hitch, donations didn’t come in as high as we had hoped – we raised $42,000 out of the hoped for $123,000. Still, Beto really enjoyed the performances and we had good turnout at the beginning of the event.

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The next day, as part of the campaign, my boyfriend, his family and I went on a bike ride with Beto, which was actually pretty fun! I got to talk to Beto in a way that I hadn’t talked to him before. We even got to take a tequila shot with him at iconic Downtown El Paso bar, The Tap!

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The weekend ended nicely – spent some quality time with my son: bought him a Halloween costume (he’ll be a ninja this year), got some frozen yogurt at Craze the Yogurt Lounge and took a walk around Chalk the Block.

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What did you end up doing last week? Did you discover anything new?  Need some ideas for cool stuff to do in El Paso this month? Listen to my show, the Official Visit El Paso podcast!

 

Exploring Life. Experiencing El Paso.

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