I have recently returned from our annual summer vacation up in Maine. It is always fun, and always relaxing, and except for a relatively minor touch of food poisoning1, this year was no exception.
One thing I noticed was that I was less active online for the week I was on vacation–even more so than I usually am when I’m on vacation. I attribute this to trying to live more in the moment and enjoy the time with my family. I wasn’t trying to capture every moment, as I often had in the past. That said, I still have a pretty good record of our vacation, despite dialing things back a notch, and for that, I have Evernote and some automation to thank. So today, I thought I’d share 3 ways that Evernote helped me remember my vacation, without too much of an effort on my own part.
1. Checking in with Foursquare
When we would arrive somewhere that I wanted to remember, I would take one simple action when we got there: checking in on Foursquare. I use Foursquare in the social sense. Instead, I use it to capture where I’ve been. I don’t use it for every place I go. I don’t check into grocery stores, for instance. But if I am traveling somewhere, I use it as a quick way of capturing the places I visited.
I have an IFTTT recipe that sends all of my Foursquare check-ins to Evernote. These notes in Evernote become the basis for the record of my vacation.
My IFTTT recipe tags these notes as “foursquare”, making them easy to find. With a simple search, I can find all of the check-ins for my vacation. For the trip to Maine, for instance, that search looks like this:
created:20140627 -created:20140707 tag:foursquare
This tells Evernote to look for notes between 6/27/2014 and 7/7/2014 tagged “foursquare.” It results in 15 notes for the places I checked-in while on vacation:
2. Add notes to my check-ins as part of my Daily Review
When I am on vacation, I still do a daily review of my notes each evening. One thing I do on vacation is add any additional notes about the trip to the check-in notes. If I learned some interesting fact that I want to record, or if the kids had a certain reaction to something that they saw, I’ll record it as part of the Foursquare check-in. This allows me to have it all in context of the place we visited. Here is one example from our visit to Acadia National Park:
Adding the notes in my daily review allows me to review the events of the day after they’ve happened, instead of what I used to do, pausing in the middle of the action to jot something down. I like this new way much better. It’s less intrusive on the family time.
There are some things we do, or places we go where I don’t check in on Flickr–for instance, visiting a friend or relative. In this case, if there are things I want to remember, I’ll just created a note during my daily review to record to those things.
3. Add links to photos on Flickr
I don’t store my photos in Evernote. I use Flickr. Evernote is a great tool for many things, but for photos, I want a tool specifically geared toward photo management. That said, as you might have noticed in the image above, I include links to the photos I take at the places I check-in in that same note:
This way, I don’t have to go hunting for the photos when I want to see the pictures I took at certain place on our vacation.
I’ve found that doing these three things allow me to focus my attention on what I am doing–to live more in the moment during vacations, rather than worry about trying to capture every instant of them. The result, thanks to automation and a brief daily review in the evenings, is that I have a pretty darn good record of my vacation anyway.
If you have a suggestion for a future Going Paperless post, let me know. Send it to me at feedback [at] jamietoddrubin.com. As always, this post and all of my Going Paperless posts is also available on Pinterest.
Last week’s post: Quick Tip: See Evernote Reminders in a Calendar with Sunrise App.
- It really wasn’t too bad. Not nearly as bad as the case of food poisoning I got camping 15 years ago or so. ↩