Building processes with Evernote Templates

Building a new software company by yourself is all about defining processes that leverage every minute of your time. There's simply too many moving digital parts to track and complete without some way of defining the work as a set of repeatable steps that produce the correct result.

After thinking for a while about the hugely daunting task of bootstrapping DevShortcuts, it really comes down to defining and refining different processes. Processes for reaching out to developers. Processes for coding and debugging. Processes for tracking relationships with my future customers.

So this is my first stab at building my first DevShortcuts marketing process by leveraging a longtime tool I've used for a decade: Evernote. Evernote allowed me to go all-digital about 8 years ago: The only paper in my life is a scratchpad by my keyboard. Everything else gets scanned and shredded.

Creating an Evernote template is now easy - in theory. Just locate the "save as template" menuitem for any note, give your new template a name, and its stored. Every time you create a new note, you'll see a link to Templates where there's two tabs - one for Evernote's stock templates and one for the templates you create.

theory vs. reality

Three problems I see with Evernote templates are that the stock templates suck. They are useless, too generalized to be of any use. Second, when I click on Templates when I've started a new note, I always go to Evernote's tab of their templates and have to switch to mine. A small annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless: put your customers first Evernote!

The last problem has nothing to do with Evernote and everything to do with what I call "Digital Perfectionism". With digital tools what you create is never as good or as polished as you want. So I can waste hours trying to improve something that no one else but me will ever see. Keeping this predilection on a short leash is definitely something I'm going to have to do: unchained, everything I do online - which really is most of what I do - will take too long.

Still, until there's a better way to define digital processes than Evernote templates, they are a "good enough" solution to implement.

My plan is to use this template to define posts destined for this blog and DevShortcuts. Then connect those instances of this template to my actual marketing plan stored in Dynalist which I use for outlining/planning.

I'll let you know how my Evernote templates work out in a future post here.