EverNote or OneNote

My subscription to Evernote Premium expired about a month ago, so I had to decide what I would do. As an Evernote Community Leader I am a big fan of Evernote and use it daily. But, with the pricing model change and the addition of device limits I had to think about how I would proceed. I have an Office 365 subscription through work so I have access to OneNote. I decided to stop before upgrading from Basic and think about how I will proceed.

I wanted to look at the features and functionality of Evernote as compared to OneNote to confirm my decision to use Evernote with the changes made in the last year. Below is a summary of my decision criteria that I consider and why I stayed with Evernote.

Searching Notes

I find the search functionality in Evernote to be very powerful and easy. I can search through all of my notebooks and find the text I am looking for. I also can search for text that is contained in images (with Plus) and documents (with Premium).

Todo Lists

I make heavy use of Todo lists in Evernote, I take notes and add todo lists for action items that I have from meetings. I also create a note to just keep tasks that I have to complete with todo lists.

Reminders

I use reminders along with todo lists, setting a reminder on a note to go back to on a specific date. This is very useful for my workflow, Flagging notes that I want to review for actions or just to review for further research. Reminders are a wonderful feature.

Sharing notes and collaboration

Collaboration is key to my workflows, I work with many different people professionally and on other projects I am involved in. Sharing a note or notebook is simple, I can send a link to the note and provide them access to contribute. Now, with iOS 10 I an send text messages to include a note. This is a cool feature, I haven’t used it yet but am excited to try it out. I click in my text message and I can have access to my notes so I can choose which note I want to share.

Access on all devices

Devices, we use so many devices and having notes available anywhere anytime is so vital to having an electronic note workflow. Evernote has been available on all devices for a long time and they update the feature set on a regular basis.

Summary

So, I kept my subscription active so I can still use the powerful feature available in Evernote. I decided at this time to go with Plus instead of Premium. I am not sure if I will stay with Plus or upgrade to Premium again. Right now I needed to have my notes all on devices and not limited to 2 devices and also use the search in images functionality often. This alone provide the value for the price of Plus.

I am curious which plan you subscribe to and why? I would love to hear about your workflows and how you get value from Evernote. Please comment below and let’s see how we can enhance our Evernote experience.

Publish to WordPress with Ulysses and Markdown

Publish to WordPress with Ulysses and Markdown

Today I decided to also try out the Ulysses app on my iPad, it is a bit expensive for an app but has some great reviews and I received some good recommendations on it.

Publish to WordPress out of box

Ulysses has publishing to WordPress out of the box, this is one of the reasons that I decided to try it out. Nothing to add to the app, I just setup the connection information for my hosted WordPress site and it is ready to go. My site is configured to accept and interpret Markdown so I will publish Markdown.

Library of sheets with iCloud

Ulysses uses iCloud as one of the cloud services for storing sheets that are written. They are also grouped together for organization. I liked this concept, I don’t have to keep the sheets locally and back them up I can just use iCloud to store everything I write. I also created a group for this site that I will store everything together. I added a goal to this group of 300 words for each sheet.

Add images to posts

Ulysses also provides built in ability to add images to posts using Markdown. I don’t have to upload separately and then get the URL to add the Markdown to my post.

This is the first post with Ulysses to my site. I wanted to write some using Ulysses and publish it to see how the experience is. I will be writing about the experience this weekend to provide a retrospective of the experience.

Markdown, Editorial And WordPress

I have been thinking about using Markdown for my writing for a while and decided to look at some of the available apps for my iPad. I found several that had very good reviews and functionality.
* Editorial
* Ulysses
* Drafts

The idea behind Markdown is to making writing so you can concentrate on text in a readable text format. Files are just text files that can be transformed into many different forms and the language is easy to learn. The reason I wanted to move to Markdown is simple, I wanted a clean interface to write that is available in a small app that loads quickly and is plain text. Markdown provides powerful transformations to can go to HTML, PDF, DOCX and many other formats.

“Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).” John Gruber

I have some research I have decided to purchase Editorial in huge part to the inclusion of a Python editor and interpreter. I can install workflows, build workflows with a easy to user interface or just code them in Python right inside of Editorial. The first Workflow, Post Markdown to WordPress, [http://jasonkratz.com/]I installed I am using right now to publish this post to my WordPress blog.

This is my first post written with Editorial and also written in Markdown. It took me some time to find the option to turn Markdown on, but it was easy once I knew where to look. So, go to Jetpack Settings and select Writing.

Once this option is activated you can then switch to text in WordPress and write Markdown. Or you can use a Markdown editor like Editorial and the Workflow I am using to publish to your blog.
I have to say it was easy to write with Editorial and the text looks clean. Workflows making processing the text very simple. Stay tuned for more information as I used Editorial and work on some custom workflows.

Shaming Addicts

There has been a story on the news and social media about a couple who overdosed in a car with a child in the back seat. A police officer decided to take a picture of the couple and share it. And sadly this story then has promoted many people to shame the couple and addicts in general. Do I agree with the couple and what they did? Absolutely NOT! What they did was wrongs, plain and simple. Many things that addicts do is wrong, they have a physical addiction that most people can not understand or relate to. The need for drugs is so strong it changes the person’s heart and soul and leaves the person as a shell of who they once where.

Addiction can and does take a very caring and loving person and changes them to a person who only cares about getting their next drug. The get physically sick during withdrawal and suffer from this withdrawal more than many people will understand. I don’t understand but I have seen the withdrawal first hand and now how horribly it affects a person. The only thing that helps them is using again, unless they seek or are forced to get medical attention and treatment.

I am very discouraged and upset with the response to this story and many other stories. My personal goal and the goal of many people that I know and work with to fight this health crisis is to help people. Shaming people DOES NOT help anyone. It hurts the child in that car, who one day may see that picture and the comments. It lowers the chance of the person getting the help they need to get clean from drugs.

I encourage everyone to learn more about addiction. Addiction affects so many people, it may not affect you personally but the chance of you knowing someone who is suffering from addiction is high. There are so many people suffering and hiding it that you don’t know who is suffering, it could be one of your loved ones. It could be your neighbor or someone you go to church with.

Please take time to learn about addiction and open your heart to show empathy. I am not saying to enable them in their addiction, but to show empathy. Try to understand and relate to the person and their loved ones who have so many sleepless nights waiting for a call that their loved one lost their battle.

I feel we need to have laws in place like other states that will force a person into treatment and recovery. I know several people who where jailed and that helped them to get clean. They where forced into it and treatment and help was available to them to work through the withdrawal. They where provided with the tools needed to help get clean. Many have to leave and start their lives all over to get clean.

Seeing someone suffering from addiction is horrible and heart wrenching. Waiting for that call and receiving that call is something that is so hard to explain. A young life that was ripped apart, their heart changes as they are conquered by this demon.

Though a mountain of research proves addiction to be a disease of the brain, not a character flaw, the stigma surrounding it is still highly prevalent in society.

…vicious cycle: People abuse substances to cope with shame, and substance abuse is perpetuated by feelings of shame surrounding their addiction. What’s the solution?

Read more…

A few organizations that I personally know and support are listed below. There are many others like these.

129 A Day – Fitness Challenge in August

129 A Day – Fitness Challenge in August

2015-06-05-at-070744_18459458286_oAs many of you know I was crushed with the loss of Amber. She was wonderful and caring person who I loved like my own child. Spending time with her always filled my heart with joy. My children thought of her as a big sister.

My friend Alan suggested a fitness challenge to raise awareness to addiction, recovery and accidental overdose. We have an epidemic in our country right now. This year is expected to have more overdoes that last year which was a horrible year for overdoes. It is estimated that 129 people lose their battle each and every day to an overdose in the United States.

The challenge will begin on August 1st and end on August 31st, International Overdose Awareness Day. I am honored to be collaborating with Alan, Laurie, The Gym Pittsburgh and 129aDay on this challenge.

Please join the challenge by registering at YinzersGetFit.com/129aDay and receive daily challenges beginning August 1st along with a profile from 129aDay.org of a person who lost their battle.

Together we can raise awareness and money to help people suffering from addiction and celebrate people who are in recovery.

I Am Coffee

I Am Coffee

I received this from http://www.addictionpolicy.org/

I wanted to share a short story, which I’m sure many of you have seen or heard online.

The story goes…

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her granddaughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she held the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, “What does it mean, Grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The coffee beans were unique, however. Faced with the boiling water, it changed the hot water, the very circumstance that brought it pain. For the coffee, when things are at their worst, it changes the situation around it. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, it elevates to another level.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?’”

This story reminds me of you, of all of the amazing families that are working to change how we handle addiction in our country —  changing the world even through the hardest circumstances. #YouAreCoffee

– Jess

P.S. Please feel free to share this story and graphic with friends and family.

Yinzers Get Fit !

Yinzers Get Fit !

I am a Yinzer, born and raised and to the heart!

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I have been a coach potato for a very long time. In November 2015 I started on a fitness journey. I have been staying with it and am now down 48.5 pounds! I am very proud of the changes I am making and I am committed to continue on this journey. I am NOT just on a diet. I am trying to live a more healthy life and have a lot of work to do still.

I have eating healthy and exercising regularly. I started by walking and progressed from their.

I am a member of The Gym now and have a personal trainer. She is teaching me what do to in the gym, proper form and guiding me with a meal plan.

I decided to separate my fitness into a separate site. This new site is geared towards my fitness journey and I would like to have others contribute their journeys also. If you are interesting in participating or just following my journey please check it out.

Like I said, I am a Yinzer.

So, I would like to ask you to check out YinzersGetFit.com and let’s change our lives together!

 

Happy Father’s Day

One of the biggest accomplishments I have is being a father. I am blessed to have three great examples of father’s that I call Dad. I am also blessed to know many wonderful men that are both family and friends that have stood up to be a man and be a father.

Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.

Naveen Jain

Being a father is much more than having children, being a father is being there for your children. Being there for all children and trying your hardest to set a good example and be a good role model. Being a Dad is the hardest job that I have and one that I take very seriously and will do anything for. A Dad is not always related by blood, but by LOVE.

Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Dads and to each and every one of you who step up and doing your job as a Dad.

 

 

 

 

Using Evernote For Blogging

Using Evernote For Blogging

I have been using Evernote for a long time. I have my notes available on all of my devices. I even take pictures of hand written notes and add them to Evernote.

Today though, I want to talk about how I use Evernote for blogging. I have tried several ways but found that using Evernote for my blogging is the most efficient for me.

The workflow that I use is not difficult, it makes use of tags and saved searches in Evernote.

As I am sure many of you do, I get all kinds of ideas about blog posts, some never see the light of day and others turn into a published post. Some I have other people involved with and need to collaborate on. I tried using WordPress (my blogging platform of choice) but found it lacking. I installed a plugin called Drafts for Friends and it was useful. It let me share via a link a draft post and get feedback, but didn’t let people edit. I have created accounts for people but some just don’t want to work within WordPress, they may not be tech people who just want to contribute using an easy system for editing, proofing or providing feedback. This lead me to start using Evernote for my blogging. I do NOT publish my notes from Evernote, this is a manual workflow that provides a way of having people contribute and collaborate on a post and also for helping me brainstorm and dive deeper into ideas I for my blogs.

I have a notebook, not a shared notebook called “Web Sites”. This notebook has notes related to my sites, all sites. I have structure in this notebook and other relevant information. Like I said this is NOT a shared notebook.

I make use of Evernote tags by using the following tags:

  • Site Name (Rainaldi.org in this case)
  • Status
    • draft
    • published
    • idea

When I have an idea for a post I create a note in the Web Sites notebook and tag it with the site name and “idea”. This is usually just that, an idea that needs more thinking. It might be a phrase, a picture or event another post that I used Evernote Clipper to send to this notebook. Something I want to respond to or reference. I can do this from any of the Evernote applications that are available, Web Clipper like I said, Phone app, Web App or Windows Client.

I have a saved search that searches within the “Web Sites” notebook for notes tagged with ideas. This will present a list of only those notes. I haveSavedSearch a shortcut saved for this search so I can look at these notes very easily. You can see how I built the saved search and that I am define the search to look inside the “Web Sites” notebook for notes tagged with “draft” and NOT having the tag “ideas”.

I create a note with the idea, add “ideas” and the site name as tags. When I am ready to start writing the post I pull up the note and start writing, I don’t worry about graphics or images. I just focus on the content that I want in the post. I will add images, graphics and links to the note, but not in any order. At the very end of the note I put a collection of these assets so I can reference and use them.

I then will add the “draft” tag to the note an my saved search will make it easy to find so I can refer and edit it as time permits. I can also send a shared link to someone for them to review and contribute to this post if needed. I use Evernote Chat to talk about the post.

ShareNote

I share just the note to the people I wish. They may or may NOT have an Evernote account. I encourage them to have an Evernote account and most do.

 

CopyAsTextOnce I have the post ready I log into my site and copy the text from the note. I paste the note into WordPress as “text” and click on the “Copy as Text” icon in the toolbar. I have found issues with formatting when I just paste the text into WordPress. I like to use WordPress for my formatting as that is the destination and I can make use of the WordPress tools and preview to make sure the post looks as I wish.

I also like to have all of the meta data for the post listed in Evernote. WordPress tags are just listed as a comma separated list, Categories are listed and the feature image is just noted. I have the title in the note so I can refine that as well.

Once I published the post on my blog, I add the tag “published” and remove the tag draft. This will clear up the saved search, I can also just add the filter to the saved search to remove notes with the “published” tag.

Sample

Currently, I am looking at a few templates from fellow Evernote Community Leaders that I like and will be incorporating those templates into my workflow. I follow up with a post once I have that in place.