Use recurring tasks in Evernote to schedule home organization projects and create a simple system for keeping up with your most important tasks!
Sometimes I feel like I have a never ending list of home organization projects that I want to complete… someday.
I look around my house and see everything that needs to be done, but finding the time and effectively managing my organizing tasks can be a totally different story.
I recently decided that I needed to be more proactive about keeping track of and scheduling my organizing tasks, and I found the perfect tool to help me do just that.
Managing My Home Organization Projects with Recurring Tasks in Evernote
I’ve tried a bunch of different strategies for managing my home organization tasks in the past.
You know I love a printable. And that worked for a little bit, but since home organization is an ongoing project, my list would inevitably get tossed in a drawer somewhere and forgotten about. Or I would need to make changes, having to scratch out items and replace them, creating a mess of a list. It just wasn’t as nimble as I needed it to be.
I tried scheduling my organizing tasks on my digital calendar. But since they were scattered throughout the year, it was hard to see the big picture of everything I was trying to accomplish.
I needed a solution that married these two camps– a list where I could see all of my home organization tasks in one place AND a scheduled plan for taking action on said tasks (with reminders so I didn’t forget)!
What is Evernote exactly?
Evernote is an app that acts as our “digital filing cabinet,” helping to capture thoughts, ideas, lists, documents, web pages, emails, and other types of digital records in one place and manage them in an organized way.
Donnie and I have been using Evernote to maintain our digital filing cabinet and go paperless for more than a decade now, and it is also my favorite place to keep everything from grocery lists to blog post ideas to vacation planning notes and more.
We use the Evernote app on our phones and computers, and it syncs seamlessly between the two. We can even share notes and notebooks with one another so we both have access to all of our most important documents anytime, anywhere, with just a few clicks on our smartphones.
Evernote is straightforward and easy to use, and Donnie and I both use it multiple times per day!
I’ve been able to add tasks I want to complete in Evernote for a while now, but I was THRILLED when they rolled out their latest feature– recurring tasks.
What are recurring tasks in Evernote?
Recurring tasks in Evernote are the perfect way to automate to-do items or events that we want to complete on a repeating basis.
The recurring tasks feature in Evernote is amazing for managing things like…
WAYS TO USE RECURRING TASKS
- Medical or dental appointments that repeat yearly, biannually, or on any type of consistent schedule
- Standing meetings
- Birthdays and anniversaries
- Home maintenance tasks
- Family, social, community, or volunteer events that happen every week, month, or year
- And more!
I knew that creating a master document in Evernote using recurring tasks would be the perfect way to stay on top of the home organization projects I wanted to complete. I wanted to share how I set mine up in case this type of document would be helpful for you as well!
How to Set Up Recurring Tasks in Evernote
Step 1- Set up an Evernote account if you don’t have one yet.
If you don’t have one yet, you’ll want to set up an Evernote account. To access all of the features I mention in this post, you’ll want to use the Personal plan or higher. (You can get a free trial of Evernote Personal right here!)
If you could use help making sure your Evernote account is set up correctly from the start, Donnie and I have some free video lessons that can walk you through it step by step. You can get access to them by clicking the button below.
Get started with Evernote and learn our proven paperless workflow for free!
These free video lessons will teach you how to set up your Evernote account the right way from day one– AND how to adopt the paperless workflow we’ve been using for more than a decade– so you can be well on your way to eliminating paper clutter in your home!
Step 2- List the rooms of your house in a new note.
To create your home organization master list, start by opening a new note.
From there, simply list out each room of your house where you’ll be completing organizing tasks throughout the year.
To help each room stand out a little more, I used the text highlight feature to highlight each room in a different color.
Step 3- Add your own home organization tasks for each room of the house.
Next it’s time to add our organizing tasks!
To add a new task, simply click the blue circle with the white plus sign in the upper left corner of the note and select “task” from the dropdown. Then it’s easy to type in whatever task we want to complete.
If you could use some help brainstorming tasks that need to be completed in each space, you can see the list I used here.
Don’t worry about scheduling the tasks at first. Just do a brain dump and list out the organizing projects you’d like to complete in each room.
Step 4- Schedule out each task.
Don’t skip this step! How many times have we made a list, just vaguely intending to get around to the tasks on it “at some point,” and then never actually took action on anything on the list?
So now that we’ve created our list of tasks, we’re going to create a deadline for each item. It can be sometime soon or sometime far down the road!
Realistically, we are not going to complete every single task on this list today or even this week or month. But having a set goal to shoot for will help us hold ourselves accountable for actually completing each task.
Decluttering Idea: I typically do a marathon “decluttering weekend” once each year where I go through every room of my house in a single weekend and declutter as much as possible. This weekend acts as a “reset” for our house and keeps the clutter from building up year after year.
I schedule my decluttering weekend for April, right before our church has their annual garage sale. I can donate the items I no longer love or use often there, which gets them out of my house quickly and easily.
Some tasks will be one-time organizing items we want to complete. For example, under “Entry,” I have the task, “Get a bin for the top shelf of the closet.” That only needs to happen one time. So I will schedule that task for the day I plan to go to the store next, and I’m all set.
Step 5- Make tasks recurring when applicable.
But many other items on our list will need to be repeated. We need to be intentional about keeping up with our organizing systems if we want them to last, and setting up recurring tasks in Evernote is a great way to remember to do that.
Setting a Yearly Recurring Task
So for example, I know that every year before it starts to get cold here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I want to do an inventory of our outerwear to make sure everyone in the family has heavy enough coats and snow gear that fit them and are in good shape.
For that task, I’m gong to set a deadline of September 1st because I know if I get it done by then, I’ll still have time to order additional items before it gets cold if we need them.
Since I want to make sure I do my coat/outwear inventory every year around this time, I am going to use Evernote’s new recurring task feature to set it to show up annually on September 1st.
I click the calendar icon next to the task to add my due date.
Then I pick my desired date on the calendar and click the “Does not repeat” dropdown to make this a recurring task instead. Since I want to complete my coat inventory yearly, I will select “Annually on September 1” from the dropdown.
Then I just click the green “Set due date” button, and I’ve created my yearly recurring task.
Bonus Tip: Add any info relevant to the task at hand.
You’ll also notice that under the “Inventory coats and outerwear” item, I was able to add a little bullet about the last time I completed this task to help me remember when I did it.
I could also add other things I want to remember like, “There are youth large snow pants in the hand-me-downs bin for Caleb” so I don’t end up buying doubles when I don’t need them.
It’s so great to be able to have all of my important info in one spot!
Setting a Custom Recurring Task- Quarterly
I have other tasks that recur at different intervals. For example, I like to do a good pantry clean out every quarter to make sure clutter isn’t piling up and I’m getting rid of expired items.
So on the pantry task, to set my deadline and under the recurring part, I choose “Custom.”
Then I can choose the “Monthly” option and set it to repeat every three months.
I set my reminder, and then every quarter I’ll be sure to follow through on that task in the pantry!
Setting a Custom Recurring Task- 3 Days Per Week
Let me share one more example of how we utilize recurring tasks in Evernote. Depending on what ages and stages they’re in, we’ve had different schedules for how often we’ve had our boys pick up their playroom.
Let’s say we want them to pick up three times per week. It’s easy to add a reminder for this with recurring tasks. I’ll show this one on mobile. Again, we want to click on the little calendar icon to start the scheduling process.
We’ll scroll to choose the date we want for the first playroom pickup time– June 10th in this case– and then click “Repeat” to set up the recurring piece.
Rather than the default “Does not repeat,” we’ll navigate down the list and click on the “Custom…” option.
From there, we’ll leave the “Repeats” at “Weekly” and the “Interval” at “1 week.” Then we’ll click into the “Repeat on” section.
On the next screen, I just choose the days I want to repeat– Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in this case– hit done, and I’ve set my recurring task!
Then I can set up my reminder, and I’ll have an alert on my phone to remind us that it’s a “straighten the playroom” day!
Step 6- Add reminders.
I’ve mentioned reminders a couple times now. Let’s walk through exactly how to add those in Evernote.
I have confessed that I am pretty naturally scatterbrained. Unless I have alerts set up on my phone to remind me to actually complete the tasks on my list, I am bound to forget!
So let’s go back to the coats and outerwear task. I can click on the little bell icon to get into the reminders screen.
Then I can set it up to have Evernote to remind me about it one week before.
That gives me enough time to remember that my deadline is coming up and I need to get moving on the task!
Step 7- Repeat for each task until your master list is complete!
It will take a few minutes to brainstorm items for each room, schedule the tasks, and add reminders, but the beautiful thing about recurring tasks in Evernote is that you just set it up once! Then it will work for you week after week, month after month, and year after year!
Of course, when we think of another organizing project we’d like to do, we can just add it to the list and schedule it out. Easy!
Bonus Tip: See all tasks in one place.
It’s likely that we’ll have tasks in more than one of our Evernote notes. To see tasks from all notes in one place, simply click on the “Tasks” tab in the left sidebar of the desktop Evernote app. (Or navigate to the hamburger menu > Tasks on mobile.)
In this tab, it’s easy to view all tasks in a single list, view tasks by note, or view tasks by due date. You can also view tasks by who is assigned to each one with Evernote Professional.
The key to completing our organization projects is having a plan.
I admit, I have had organizing projects that have stayed on my list for years, and it was because I didn’t have a set plan for actually completing them.
But when I make a plan, give myself a deadline, and set reminders to follow through, I am so much more likely to finish the organizing projects on my list.
And when I’m organized, I enjoy living in my space so much more, I don’t waste time looking for items in the midst of mess and clutter, and my stress levels are lowered, which is always a great feeling!
I hope that creating a Home Organization Master List with recurring tasks in Evernote will be as helpful for you as it has been for me! I love having the peace of mind that my tasks are going to be done and our home will keep running well since it is organized.
Home Organization Master List with Recurring Tasks in Evernote: Frequently Asked Questions
What is your favorite way to use Evernote? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you so much for following along! Have a wonderful day!
A huge thanks to Evernote for sponsoring this post! My favorable opinion of genius apps that make my life easier is 100% my own. For more information, see my disclosures here.