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5/03/22

My Amplenote workflow

In a my previous post I detailed my review and testing of many different note platforms, and why I ended up with Amplenote(will refer to as AN) as my Task+Note system of choice. This post is going to detail some of the tips I have found or adopted to that help me simplify and maximize it's potential in a daily workflow

I would first like to point that the organization of notes revolves around a tagging system that is defined differently in the AN context: no longer do you place notes in folders, you tag them. (Read the aforementioned link to really get a grasp how tags are intended to be used in AN). I also have written a separate post about my Amplenote tagging structure. The most powerful part of this concept is that traditional tags are not containers, they're designators or attributes. Which means you can designate notes with multiple tags, and thus cross-pollinate data. Let me give you an example:

If I have a note with the tag work/projects that contains some code that I might want to research or write about later, I can also tag the note with research/tech and writing/blog. This enables me to keep content up to date in one note, but then find it from many different contexts. 

The main powerful feature is the Idea Execution Funnel (IEF). This enables me to quickly jettison ideas in my overcrowded brain. Here are the three ways I do this:

  1. If very random data that could potentially become a large thought later on, and thus become it's own note, I just dump into daily jots. I look at it as a sort of a temporary mind journal, and I know that these thoughts might morph into my research of certain topics or become something I file away for later, but I just need to get the inspiration out of my head before I forget.
  2. If however the random thought is more of a clear task, but I don't know how to assign it yet, I will use Android's quick entry feature to place that task into my "Inbox" note. 
  3. If I know the specific note or project this task should go into then I place it there.
Now that I have mental muscle memory for the above three steps, all throughout the day I am just dumping information into AN, but strategically and in places I know to look later. This brings me to the second phase of my productivity system.

I have three notes pinned under the "Notes" view"
  • đź“©INBOX - where I place the tasks I haven't figured out where should go
  • ☑️TODO - where I place the tasks I need to do but that usually don't need much context
  • ⏳In Progress - explained below
  • ♾️Recurring - a list of repeated tasks telling me to review certain notes for tasks or content I need to complete or organize:

As you can see from the screenshot, I have a task to review daily the following:
  • ✅ TODO - đź‘Ąshared between my wife and I
    • This contains tasks we might need to discuss or do together
  • @Isaiah
    • also shared with my wife, so she can drop in tasks relevant to just me that I then move into my ☑️TODO note or a specific project note, such as kitchen remodel
  • my đź“©INBOX
  • and finally cleaning up and organizing my ✏️daily-jots into appropriate note titles and tags
  • other less relevant tasks
Note my use of inline tags. While I could just use @Isaiah as merely a blank note used for grouping and backlink referencing, I also use it as a temporary task holding note for my wife to push items to me. Very powerful and flexible.

I don't schedule a review of ☑️TODO as this is often the note I filter on when in Amplenote's "Task" view, as I need help prioritizing much of these tasks since they are singular, small and without dependencies. If any of these smaller todo items need more time after I start them, I !move to my ⏳In Progress note so to keep them separated from my giant list that hasn't been started. When working on project tasks, I usually just view those tasks inside the note for the context. I can also inline tag tasks with ⏳In Progress as another way of tracking them.

Other powerful items are shared and nested tagging. I won't explain these as the AN team has done a great job documenting these items. But I will say both are absolute integral elements to really taking advantage of the AN platform. I use them extensively.

Unfortunately AN does not have a trash function (was told this was going to be released soon though!). To remedy this temporarily, I think I discovered a workaround I have not seen mentioned anywhere (let me know if this has already been discussed). My workaround is to create a note with all my most important notes (ones you absolutely cannot lose or recreate) inline tagged. Then lock this master note đź”’IMPORTANT DOCS so those links don't get removed. Now, if you happen to delete an important note, for example đźŤşbeer to try, you can use that note link from the master note to pull up the "Restore" dialogue. See the picture below


Sidenote, calendar mode is completely unused by me, partially because the mobile app only has a day view (cannot take a look ahead in the weeks or month). However being completely honest, the major reason I have come to realize is that I don't necessarily want to schedule or look at a list of timestamped small tasks. Most days I am engaging with my tasks and notes on a manual basis when I have time for it. I actually like the idea of keeping my tasks separate from my mail calendar that I use for hard appointments, like the doctor or work meetings. Obviously personal preference for myself here, I know a lot of people like to micro schedule their day, just not for me.

There are many features I am leaving out of this post. Two reasons for this:
  1. First, I really only need an excellent Task+Note system. Not much more, as this is more about my personal daily use and workflow of ideas funneling from my small RAM brain into tasks and notes I can work with later.
  2. Secondly, I don't use many of the features, like Amplecap, Calendar, note publishing, ect.
YMMV, but I hope this helps someone🙂

3 comments:

  1. there are preciously few examples of how people are using amplenote and setting up a tagging structure. this is immensely helpful, THANK YOU!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your nice comment, I am happy it was of help to you! :)

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  2. Recently "discovered" Amplenote and interested to see if i can port my Notion and Evernnote content over to AN, utilizing the PARA methodology. Stumbled across your blog this morning and definitely adding it to my list of resources.

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