The Ultimate Note & Research Organization System
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Are you ready to re-engineer the way you work, research or study? Join us on this course for surprising tools, hacks and techniques that will empower you from inside out to make these normally boring and mundane, yet necessary tasks more interesting and engaging.
It is what I consider to be the best-kept secret of our time – it is the key that unlocks you and transforms even the most uninspired and disorganized students into star students. It changes the way professionals organize and approach their workflow. My own clients have thought I have a photographic memory when all I use is a simple presentation slide.
And this all comes from a software program you have probably been using for years and not even realized its untapped potential. It can completely change the way you work, live and play.
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|Section 1: Introduction - The Ultimate Note System|
Welcome to The Ultimate Note Taking System
This is not just a note taking course. It is a course and system that will completely change your workflow and approach to the way you work, research, develop and build ideas, or study if you are a student.
Technology poses a significant problem, in my view. There are so many devices, apps and programs that in our quest to improve our productivity, we actually detract from it.
My quest has been to develop a system that spans and encompasses all devices and operating systems and that can be accessed anywhere there is a web connection (but also offline when need be). I have found the solution using three simple software tools that you are likely aware of, but not using to their potential.
In this tutorial we look at how our brain processes information. Are you a "left side" of the brain type of person? Or are you more "right brain"? What does this all mean?
Don't we all have both? How can we tap into that so that we can learn and process information more efficiently?
Why you should never rely on traditional note taking methods ever again. We live in a multimedia world but many students still resort to the old linear note-taking process.
Let's look at the what is possible with a multimedia learning and note taking process.
If you have kids that find it difficult to sit down and study or work, it is likely because they are bored and not engaged. Let's change the game.
What does your desk look like? Can you even see the desk or table top? How long does it take you to find important documents, notes, files and forms when you need them?
Wouldn't it be great if you had everything at your fingertips so you can access everything with one click or tap?
|Section 2: Your Reference Vault - A Filing Cabinet In Your Back Pocket|
You will find the interface of Evernote quite straight forward once you start to add notebooks, insert notes and tag your files. It is very similar to the traditional Windows Explorer or Mac Finder.
Notebooks are similar to folders on your computer.
notes are similar to files.
One of the many benefits of tablets and especially smart phones is the ability to carry everything with us wherever we go. I remember in the "old days" when I would forget a file, report, or paper at home and my entire day would be ruined.
Never again with Evernote. Just open the App on my phone and there it is.
Many people do web research as part of their student, professional or working lives. How do you save web pages or content that you want to access later? You are likely using the bookmark feature on your web browser if I had to take a guess.
While web bookmarking and reading has drastically improved over the past few years, it is still a "clunky" experience. After watching this tutorial, you will likely never bookmark another web page again.
Let's face it. We are bombarded with a ton of information every day. How many times do you come across a piece of information that you would like to access later and save it, only to forget you even had it int he first place?
Or worse, you know you have that date, but can't remember where you put it?
Put an end to that time-sucking process by tagging all of your notes. When you need to access all your files and action points on that particular topic or subject matter, just sort by tags
|Section 3: Your File Vault - Never Lose or Misplace A Computer File Again|
By far, the most useful application I have ever used in my daily working system and environment. Dropbox has literally saved me countless hours that I can use for better productivity and getting things done.
No more backing up your files on a memory stick and uploading the files on another computer
No more worrying about whether you have the most up-to-date version of the file you or your team is working on.
Who doesn't have more than one computer or device these days? If you do, then Dropbox is a necessity.
Your folder structure is extremely important.
It should be simple enough that you don't get stressed or overwhelmed with a laundry list of folders and files when you click on your folder. Yet, it should be powerful enough to classify and categorize everything in your life.
Take some time every now and then to clean things up. Even if you have the best intentions to keep things organized, things can get out of hand quite easily.
Remember with Dropbox, when you clean up one computer, all of your others are cleaned up as well ... automatically.
By far, one of the most useful features of Dropbox is being able to share files and folders. In this tutorial I give you a brief overview on how it works
Extremely useful when you have a number of people who need to access and work on a file. You'll always have the most up to date version. It is like having a Server in the cloud.
I would suggest you watch some additional training videos and content on this topic area. It would be a good idea to get very well versed on sharing and collaborating with shared Dropbox folders.
Additional study resources are contained in the Course PowerPoint Manual.
|Section 4: Your Idea Vault - Transform the way you capture and study information|
Let's get started with our brand new Idea Vault and PowerPoint.
You are likely very familiar with the interface and may have used it countless times in the past. What I want you to do now is look at it a bit differently.
Look at it as your blank Idea Canvas.
Here is what we are doing - Normally PowerPoint is used to create Presentations for other people. Another way to look at it now is that we are going to use it to present to ourselves.
So simple, yet overlooked.
Did you know that you can insert pretty much anything into a PowerPoint slide? I haven't looked into it but I'm quite sure you can even put the kitchen sink on there! (kidding).
Take a few minutes to go through the Insert ribbon menu on PowerPoint. We are going to be looking at all these insert tools and seeing how they can dramatically change the way you process and review information.
By far, the most valuable tool in PowerPoint is the Shapes function. This simple little button will allow you to insert any type of shape into the Idea Space and annotate it from there.
I use this tool on a daily basis to put my ideas down "on paper" ... I love flowcharts, diagrams, mind maps ... anything that allows my brain to process the concepts in a more visual manner.
Take some time to play with the Shapes tool. Check out all of the useful and creative ways you can incorporate them into your work flow. No more having to jot down little diagrams and boxes on a blank piece of paper.
Do it right in your Idea Space!
If you haven't used images in your study or research process, then you have been doing a disservice to your brain. As we've discussed, your brain loves imagery. It is how it effectively remembers and recalls things.
Combining your new Idea Space with the vast world of Google images, there is nothing you can't do. Stop taking written notes and put some images down. I don't think there has ever been an idea or image that I haven't been able to find on the internet. Google finds everything!
When I first realized the potential of this simple little tool, it literally changed my life. As a professional accountant, some clients literally thought I was a genius with a photographic memory.
Let me assure you, I'm not.
Why did they think that? As we spoke on the phone I was able to pull details from documents and files with the simple click of my mouse. Lease details? No problem. Shareholder agreement clarification? Easy.
This is all possible just by incorporating Dropbox, Evernote and PowerPoint together using the Hyperlink tool.
Hyperlinks are not just for web pages!
Did you know you can take a picture of your screen right from within PowerPoint? Have you ever just wanted to save something on your screen but didn't know how?
Well now you can with the click of one button in your Idea Space.
If you combine this with some third party screen capture software and apps that are out there, it becomes even more useful and valuable.
Think of the possibilities. I use this all the time when I'm trying to learn some new software or master a new technique in a software program.
Wait until you get to the Video tool in this section and combine it with the screen capture tool. You'll be wishing you'd have known about this trick sooner.
It's always a good idea to keep your Idea Space as clutter free as you possibly can. Sometimes there are elements and little notes that you would like to put into your space, but don't want it to clutter things too much.
Use the comments tool to enter little notes and reminders to yourself.
Think of them as little yellow post-it notes in electronic format.
Audio is a big part of the way I process information. I love to listen to Podcasts, audio notes, audio lectures and so forth.
Here's the problem I've had .. I would keep all my files on a folder and then have a hard time trying to find the right one I needed when I needed it. Worse yet, my audio files would be all over the place ... different computers, different files and folders. They were everywhere.
That is no longer the case with Dropbox and the Insert Audio tool. Now everything I need to learn a concept or idea is right on my screen. I can listen to the audio right from my PPT Idea Space.
Think of the possibilities with little tool and how it can help your workflow.
Did you know you could use PowerPoint as a notebook? You can write on the Idea Space the same way you would on a sheet of paper.
This hidden little tool is amazing for those of us who sometimes prefer to write some things down the old fashioned way. If you have a tablet you may even be able to use PowerPoint as a traditional note book
Who doesn't use YouTube? Everyone does. In fact, it is the second largest search engine on the internet next to Google (who happens to own YouTube).
I love YouTube and I do a lot of research there. On everything. Similar to Web book marking, keeping track of videos on YouTube can be quite daunting and inefficient.
So why not just insert them right into your Idea Space?
You have videos on your computer you'd like to use you say? No problem. Upload them into the Idea Space using the Video tool.
Now lets really get creative and completely change the way we use videos in our learning process. That's next.
I am driven to use the best processes, techniques and hacks possible when it comes to teaching, learning and processing any information.
Video is the best "Imagery" tool, but that's not enough for me. I had to find a way to use it as a better learning tool. I found it using PowerPoint.
Here I show you how to use videos in a way you probably never thought was possible.
|Section 5: Tips & Hacks - Ideas and examples to help you on your journey|
In this hack, I show you how you can have all of your research and reference material at your fingertips. I'll give you some examples on how you can combine Evernote, Dropbox and PPT together to have everything you need to absorb the topics in your Idea Space.
This is the best way to gather all of your material in one central vault so that you don't have to go waste time putting things together.
This is a little hack that I use in all my Idea Spaces. I have made it available for you here to download and use for all of your work.
It's simply just a clickable Table of Contents that helps you navigate to all of your material.
Take some time to get creative with your TOC ... especially great for young students.
So how do you get started? It can be a little bit confusing to open up a PowerPoint screen with 2 blank squares staring at you.
Peel over my shoulder as I start my journey into the vast and wonderful world of photography using PPT.
I'm a big fan of the Inbox ... and I don't just mean for Email.
I use inboxes in every facet of my life for my own personal productivity. It's a clearing house for me that ensures I never forget anything. Here I show you how I use the Evernote Inbox notebook in my workflow.
Once you've put together a great Idea Space and personal presentation, you'll want to be able to navigate to various slides and Idea Spaces. You'll also find that it could be helpful to move things around a little bit.
The navigation panel can be a bit clunky when it comes to this, especially when you have a large file with lots of slides and Idea Spaces.
The Slide Sorter solves this problem. Not only that, but it can become a great organizational tool (especially for students)
Not a day goes by where I don't access one of my Idea Spaces for a client or some other type of content I need for my workflow.
In this tutorial I show you my process of keeping notes and files for my clients. If you are an accountant, this will likely change the way you approach your files from this day on. For other professionals, try using my example as an example and figure out how you can incorporate it into your professional life.
One client though I had a photographic memory because of this hack. I don't. It's just a "simple" PowerPoint slide!
Change the way you run meetings forever
For students - Essay writing and research game changer
|Section 6: Conclusion & Resources|
Resources to help you on your new path
Table of contents slide and post-it note slides
Concluding remarks and Good Luck!
Ian DINovo is a professional accountant and Director of SBC Knowledge Systems Inc. He has been practicing accounting and offering independent financial and business advice for over 15 years.
He is the creator of a number of courses dealing with business, tax and investment matters that are designed to make difficult topics easy to understand for everyone.