Year in Review – Productivity with Evernote and Todoist



This year I went all in on my productivity. A big goal of mine this year was to get more organized and to get my good friend and assistant, Katie, on the same page. The ability to have the information at my fingertips, available on multiple devices, and available to her was the main reason why I needed to invest in my productivity. I wanted these apps to help us work smarter!

There are 4 main things that keep me and productive and organized – my planner, iCal, Evernote, and Todoist. So let’s go over it in order.

This year I utilized the Happy Planner system and really loved it! I learned a lot about how I need both analog and digital elements to work together to keep my life in order. After using the system for about a year I found my groove with it and figured out how to make it work with everything else in my productivity system. I’ll be sharing my new Happy Planner set up soon so make sure you stay tuned for that! 🙂

The next thing I use to keep myself organized is iCal. iCal is key to keep me on track of my day because I get side tracked really really quickly. As an entrepreneur, I can get pulled in a million different directions at once so I utilize iCal’s notifications feature to notify me when I need to stop what I’m doing and move on to the next thing. I also utilize the travel time feature because I’m notoriously late almost all the time! Yikes, it’s embarrassing to admit! So I input the addresses into my meetings and events so I’ll get a notification when I need to leave to minimize my tardiness. It helps a lot!

Finally, the last 2 items that I’ve implemented into my workflow that has changed.everything.

For long term goals, like yearly or quarterly goals, I use Evernote. If you’ve watched my Evernote videos you’ll see that I mainly use it for long term goals, traveling, anything that needs more of a journaling set up. Take notes? Evernote. Need to create a timeline? Evernote. Have a list of articles I want to read on my down time? Evernote. Planning events? Evernote. It took me a while to get into Evernote because it was so versatile I didn’t even know where to start. If you’ve seen my YouTube tutorial on how I set up my Evernote this was my starting point. I’ve kind of tweaked it just a little bit since then and I’ll be making a follow up video soon so you can see my set up for 2018. Stay tuned for that too!

A few things I’ve learned while using Evernote non-stop this year is:

  1. The notebook set up I used in my Youtube video worked really well for me
  2. The Inbox set up I used changed the game. Thanks to the other fellow Evernote users for the inspiration!
  3. Creating templates in Evernote was a pain at first, but made my life so much easier in the long run

Finally, Todoist is what I decided to use for my short term goals. Trust me guys, I’ve tried almost all of them. But Todoist is by far the best task manager for me. In the video below, I share with you on how I set up my Todoist account.

A couple things I’ve learned this past year about Todoist:

  1. If you categorize your tasks as soon as I input them instead of using the inbox feature I can keep things much more organized.
  2. Keyboard short cuts saved my life
  3. Utilize that recurring task feature, trust!
  4. The today view is my best friend

I’ve given myself a year with the system above and my productivity has increased 10x over! There is still more that can be done and there are still ways I can improve my system (if only these apps could read my mind! ok, that would be overboard and way too scary!) but all-in-all I can safely say that this year has been my most productive ever and that’s thanks to the system I invested in.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these apps aren’t going to change your life overnight. It’s almost like cleaning out your closet – things will get a lot worse before they get better. But sit tight and ride out the storm because when the clouds clear and you have everything in place you’ll do a happy dance!

Work smarter, not harder.


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Year in Review Series – Looking Back Before Looking Forward

I’m so excited to start my Year in Review Series! This week is a hectic one for us Americans – Thanksgiving is here! I’ll be spending time with family, hosting a few parties, and stuffing my face multiple times with turkey! (Of course)

This series is actually part of a 3-part series. This is the phase where I look back and reflect on my year. I’ve kind of been in reflection mode since October but I’ve just been making some mental notes here and there. I like to reflect during the last quarter of the year since I still have time to achieve some goals before the year ends.

I decided that my word for 2017 was “Forward.” The last couple of years have been difficult for me, personally and professionally. I made a decision that 2017 would be the year that I stop standing still. Let’s look back on this year and see if I made steps toward that!

We started off this year in the Philippines! We were at the airport on New Year’s Eve and were in the air shortly after midnight. It was a long journey to the Philippines, but we made it and had a great time! It was so great to see my dad, my Lola, and my family and friends. Not only that but we ate some great food and visited new places on this trip.

While I was out of the country I closed escrow for my very first client without my mom. Real estate has been very busy for me this year. I’ve learned a lot and got a lot of experience under my belt. I can’t wait to take it to the next level in 2018!

Days after I got back from the Philippines I had the opportunity to chat with Tina Malave from ABC’s Eye on LA. She came and talked to me about Ninong’s, it was an amazing opportunity!

This year, I challenged myself to get comfortable on video. Charlie and I started a cooking channel on YouTube – Good Bad Foodie. Stay tuned, I have some plans for our channel next year!

In April I also sold my products with CO Creative Cartel at Jackalope Fair in Pasadena. I also sold my products at Patchwork in Long Beach in June and this past November. This was the first year that I made CO Creative Cartel a priority in my work life and I’ve learned so much about my goals for the business. But! We’re not there yet, let’s focus on reflection first. 😄

In May we got a new car! 🚙

July was a really big month for CO Creative Cartel. We traveled to Las Vegas for a week as I made my first big investment and showcased at Las Vegas Market’s Summer 2017 show. This event was a huge turning point for me and the business. But as I said, more on that later! You can read more about my journey to Las Vegas Market here, here, here, and here. In August we were back on a plane (lots of traveling this year) and went to Australia for my brother-in-law’s wedding and quick stop in the Philippines to visit my dad and grandma again.

Ninong’s has been blessed with a lot of media opportunities this year which has really changed our business in so many good ways. We’ve met so many people this year and it has been so wonderful! We participated in Eat Play Move, LA’s first Filipino Food Festival in Eagle Rock. The organizers asked us to be one of the vendors to do a segment on Fox’s Good Day LA. So much fun!

But the biggest step forward of all this year goes to Ninong’s. After over 9 years in our current location we’re moving to a larger location about a mile away. Days before we left for Australia we put our deposit down on the new location. We’ll be opening the doors to our new location in January of 2018 so stay tuned!

Wow, I didn’t realize how much has happened this year! Looking back is so essential so that I can move forward with appreciation, humility, and a sense of pride all at the same time.


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