Merlin, The X Factor and Evernote

I’m a bit late to the game on this one, but Merlin Mann was a guest on a recent episode of the Mac Power Users podcast. This was his second appearance on the podcast; it easily could have been made into his second and third appearances, though. That’s because it was over two hours in length.1 But, boy, what a great podcast it was.
Merlin talked about his workflow and some of the things that both he and the hosts2 have changed in their workflows since they last spoke. Anyone who follows Merlin’s work knows that he generally uses simple text editing programs to get his work done, but it was his tagging system that really got my attention.

What Merlin does is put the letter “x” at the end of tags. This is so it can be easily found when doing a search. He explains how it works quite well in the podcast, but he also says how he doesn’t use Evernote to do this. He says that one probably could, but he doesn’t.

I use Evernote. I don’t use it very well (yet), but I use it.3 And I’m going to employ Merlin’s tagging strategy in Evernote to help speed up my searches there.

After all, Evernote is essentially (at its simplest form) a digital filing cabinet. It has a ton of built-in searchability (folders, tagging, etc.) that most text editors just don’t have.4 And since I am nowhere near as tech-savvy as Merlin when it comes to using text editors of any sort (or in general, really), I figure that adopting his tagging strategy in the ever-improving Evernote will work for me just fine.

That said, I won’t be using an “x” at the end of my tags. I’m partial to the “v” for that.

Go figure.

1 Two hours, twenty-six minutes and fourteen seconds, to be precise.
2 Katie Floyd and David Sparks. I have come to really dig David’s blog, MacSparky.
3 Brett Kelly’s superb Evernote Essentials is still in my reading queue. It’s not one I’m going to skim through. Thanks to the MPU podcast, it just moved up a peg or two on the docket.
4 I’ve got an upcoming post on how I organize my files and folders on my Mac in a week or two. Jesse Jacobs recommended I do one, so wait for it…