Where is Evernote's Singapore office
Evernote, where is development going? - Manuel Marquina
Manuel works at Evernote Switzerland and many people ask him first if he still sorts his apps by color. Yes, is his answer and he also gives an answer to the question: "Why ???".
In addition, he explains to us internals about the company, in the first episode he deals with questions about Evernote and data security in the cloud, in the second episode, which will be released in a few weeks, it's about Evernote Business.
Here is the transcript of the entire podcast and the links mentioned in advance:
You might have missed this
Setup by Manuel Marquina
Ryder Caroll - founder of bulletjournal
Task manager Things
"A Brief History of Humanity" by Yuval Harari
LB: Welcome to the podcast “Productive in digital times”. My name is Lars Bobach, I provide orientation in the digital jungle, so that there is more time for the really important things in life. Today a new interview partner, a super exciting interview partner, from Evernote Switzerland, Manuel Marquina. Hello Manuel.
MM: Hi Lars, hello.
LB: Yes, nice to have you here, I'm really happy. It took me a long time to get someone from Evernote in front of the mike. It really took me, but now I'm all the more happy for it.
MM: Me too, that I can be there, thank you!
LB: Manuel is Senior Account Manager and Team Leader for Evernote Business in Zurich. There he supports companies in the use and implementation of Evernote Business. In his private life he is a productivity freak, which basically makes him very likeable to me. He's issuing newsletters, which he has just stopped, but it's coming back. Will he have something to say in a moment? "You might have missed this." He puts together the best web articles and stories of the week. Then he also worked for the Swiss startup "Niuws" (is that pronounced correctly, Manuel?)
MM: Yes, it's called "Niuws", they now also have a second name, "Scope". The name change is now taking place, that's right, exactly.
LB: You also write about productivity, we will link all of that here in the article. Manuel presented his setup to me on the blog in 2016. That was very inspiring, also a super exciting setup and first of all I would like to say that this is the first part of the interview. We go into Evernote in general today and talk about productivity issues. The second part of the interview will come three or four weeks later. We'll go back to Evernote Business and Evernote for Business in a very specific way. Yes, Manuel, what interests me in advance about your setup, that was so very extraordinary, I'll tell you. Do you still sort your apps by color?
MM: Yes !!! You don't believe how many people keep asking me about it and yes! I still sort my apps by color. It doesn't come from anywhere either, it looks nice, but it's not the central theme. It just makes me faster, more productive. We have so many apps now. I don't even know what the average number of apps is on a mobile device, but we have so many apps that I can't remember the names of each app. I try to sort it incredibly precisely by productivity, by notes, by apps for games here, apps for this, apps for that. It's such a cognitive overload what's going in there. I don't think so, because these categories are somehow drawn by the hair. It is much easier for me personally to just sort them by color. I have practically no utilization myself, I just know the app is green, so it goes into the green folder. I find it again, I'm a very visual person. I usually know that every app has a color somehow and then I find it. If you imagine that, everything is at least two or a maximum of two tabs away from you within the smartphone. Because practically all the apps I have on my home screen, i.e. on the first page of your screen on my smartphone, have space. Because it's categorized by color. So, it's fun, makes sense to me.
LB: That was the most frequently asked question. Many people wrote about it and said that I have to try it out.
MM: It seems to be a problem how to really sort the apps then.
LB: Yes, absolutely. It's really a very interesting approach. But you won't have any apps in such folders either? I take it Evernote? Which still?
MM: Exactly, of course I have certain apps on fast access, I think that's what they call it, right at the bottom of the smartphone. Evernote is in that, then my calendar, my Safari browser and my e-mail program.
LB: Okay. Yes, before we get into the subject, Manuel, tell us a little bit about yourself, what you did, where you come from, what you do now, where you are now and let us share a little in your passion.
MM: Of course. I used to work at Microsoft. I worked at Microsoft for four years as an account manager, similar to what I am now, as an account manager, a bit responsible for growth.
LB: In Switzerland too?
MM: In Switzerland, that was at Microsoft Switzerland, where I was responsible. I got to know a lot of new things and also all this digitization, the ideas of digital transformation, what kind of power is actually behind such a tool. I also learned to use it, but then after four or five years I moved from Microsoft to another company in order to develop myself further, into another area. I had a bigger task to help build something. During this time, the window on Evernote opened. That is, a friend of mine who worked at Evernote. She was in charge of this Evernote business. That was four years or so ago, and that's when the Evernote Business launched. She was responsible for setting up Evernote's business in Europe and then got me on board. I was already an Evernote user at the time. I've been with Evernote for three and a half or four years. And that's how I came to Evernote.
On my private side, it's the topics that interest me privately. That means the topic of digitization and digital in general. Internet, having the world in your fingers, these are all things that interest me very much. And also the benefit of what it can bring you. There is a strong interest in designs, startups, trying things out, and that's where digitalization comes into play. When it comes to productivity, it's hard to believe, but I'm a very lazy person. I like to put off things. Six or seven years ago I really had to accept that it was just the way it was. Out of necessity, I began to grapple with productivity. What can I actually do for myself? I am someone who can help myself well, I then went into the subject of productivity and that brought me to the point where I am now considered an expert at other companies such as Scope or Nuiws in Switzerland. I am giving a lecture on the subject, I am writing on the subject. Of course, it is also wonderful to be able to work at Evernote at the same time.
LB: How many people are you there at Evernote Switzerland and where are you based there? In Zurich?
MM: Exactly. We are based in Zurich, we are 10 to 15 people, with three, four, five people here in development, which means we also work actively on the product in-house and the rest of the team is then business-oriented. From PR, that is marketing, to business development, which I do a little, up to customer service, we have the rest of the group here. And from Zurich we will then manage Evernote in Europe. I actually have to say EMEA, Europe, Middle East and Africa, they all do that from Zurich.
LB: Okay, what are the developers doing? Which sub-areas do they cover?
MM: It is very different. Most of the time you find out where do we want to work on next? How do we outsource these projects internally? Then the people in Zurich also get something. It's actually a self-contained team here, and in terms of the time zones it makes sense that they are here and work together. On the one hand, developers themselves and the teams can then contribute ideas. We do that too, by the way. We're very open and have a great feedback culture within Evernote. An example, a bit long ago, is the presentation mode within Evernote. Of course you know him, the listener probably too! You click a button and Evernote converts your note into a beautiful presentation in a matter of seconds. This mode, the idea for it and the development of it happens in Zurich.
LB: Okay. Great function, I use it very often. So, every week, for example when I do my “Ask Lars” episodes, which I always record on Fridays, then I prepare myself and watch it afterwards in the presentation. Distraction-free and all that, I think it's a great thing. You are now a Senior Account Manager, Team Leader for Evernote Business. What exactly can I imagine by that?
MM: My focus is primarily on Evernote Business, which means that all other people sometimes have a mixed role, in the sense that they are responsible for Evernote products, which are aimed at individual users, such as the Basic and Premium versions, but also for the business version, have a mixed focus. I have a pure business focus, which means I'm a bit responsible for the Evernote business product and the “go to market” of it here in Europe. I have a lot of things under my hat that I accomplish. One is a bit of the marketing side, how can you grow the business? How can we grow within Europe with the product called Evernote Business? The other half of my job is really working with customers. It's very, very exciting. There is a lot of feedback from our customers. We have a very lively community, which is great, and we listen to it too. “With customers” means that there are companies that want to use Evernote Business for themselves. They would like to introduce this or have perhaps already partially introduced it, want to grow and are still looking for strategies. And then I'll help them. That means, I sit down with them or it can also be virtual and we then develop so-called onboarding plans, that is, plans on how exactly should I introduce Evernote into my company? Which existing systems should I replace? Which not? Which are complementary? You can call it a bit of change management, where I support you in this, and then of course then offer account management for the larger customers for the entire period of time. That means, I stand by as a “single point of contact”, I have a lively exchange with them, I make feature requests that we pass on. To really ensure that customers feel the added value of Evernote Business and that their questions and concerns are heard.
LB: Okay, very interesting. Evernote Business, as I said at the beginning, will be discussed in the second episode. We want to leave that out a bit here, too, because we will then dedicate an extra podcast episode and podcast interview to you. But what interests me now about Evernote, where does Evernote stand today? Let's hear numbers, data, facts. How many users do you have exactly? How many employees and and and?
MM: Yes, of course. We have a little over 300 employees worldwide. We have four or five locations. The biggest, of course, is in the US, in Silicon Valley. About 200 people are employed there. This is where we come from, we were born as a company. We recently opened a second office in the USA, where we will then focus on Evernote Business with developers and engineers. Then of course we have an office here in Zurich.
LB: Where is the second one in America?
MM: I just got that out of my head. It has recently opened and is not far from Silicon Valley. I don't remember the exact name. But it's a small office, 15 developers who then focus on Evernote Business. We have one in Zurich, of course. I also like to say that it is the most beautiful office of all. Do i have to say that? That’s in Zurich, where we’re responsible for Europe. We have one in Japan, one in China, and a small one in Singapore. But that's more or less the offices that we have and 300 employees who work in them. Otherwise Evernote, we're fine. We have passed the 250 million user mark worldwide, which is already a house number! 250 million users worldwide every day. And I can say that there are around 60, 70 million users in Europe. Europe is actually the second largest market for us after America. What makes me particularly happy is that 75 percent of all of our customers are outside of the US. That means that we are now a thoroughly international company. We also have to be careful. That's how we are at the moment.
LB: Of the 250 million, do you know how much of it really pays? First of all, Evernote is basically free. Not all of them will use the payment service.
MM: Exactly, I cannot say the exact dates, but we have made very, very great progress. We managed to double the number of paying customers within the last year, which is pretty strong.
Of course, most of the people using the basic version are using the free version, which is okay too. It's such internal organic growth that happens. Of course we don't miss anything.
But, we achieved that last year by doubling that.
LB: Well, that's also a great business model in that you can really test everything for free up to a certain point. And if you really like it and you have tested it extensively, then you can say, okay, now I want to use it really professionally and you have to pull out your credit card or wallet, that's okay too. Is the Evernote business model itself profitable?
MM: Yes, good question. I like to go back there, about a year or a year and a half ago, when Business Inside magazine called us “the first ad unicorn”. It didn't work that way, but the way it is, reality is usually something else. And it was important in the beginning, the first few years, but being positive or profitable wasn't the key factor in cash flow. It was more important to us to show user growth, to show innovation. All of this has brought us to this point in time. And today I can officially say that we have been on-off since autumn 2016, earlier on, but since autumn 2016 we have been continuously profitable. In other words, positive cash flow is not always the norm, even for a company of this size that we are today. We don't have a problem here, we don't want to change that in the future. That means we will stay on this path, also in the future. It now helps us again to focus on innovation. In addition, we exceeded the 52 million user mark in the course of last year. We have doubled the number of paying customers. We brought three petabytes of data to the cloud platform. We have revised Windows and iPhone apps and and and. Well, there is a lot going on right now.
LB: Great! You will have noticed the further development, which would interest me there, this whole debacle about Evernote, this read-along debacle. Where afterwards there was also rowed back. What did you learn from it? Or how was that communicated internally at all?
MM: As I said, we have a very open feedback culture. We communicated this very openly internally. This still has to go back a bit. We have a so-called all hands meeting every week, now every two weeks, which means that our CEO is there in front of the camera, in front of the entire workforce and for people in offices outside the USA, like us, that is recorded. We'll see it a day later. And then he really tells what is going on within the company. We are very transparent about this within the company. We actually always know what the others are doing, where the focus is at the moment. I really appreciate that too. That was also a topic that we even discussed very intensely internally for several weeks. We learned a lot, it was a bit of a debacle. We didn't mean it that way, of course it wasn't as bad as it was received. There was never any mention of us reading along in any way, we don't want that. Security, data and privacy are very important to us. Already with 52 million users who use Evernote for notes, not just for end products, for notes! Where there is really a lot of private information, that must be an important issue for us. And it is, but what we've learned is how to communicate better. We made communication mistakes. We haven't told you exactly what we mean by that in a transparent enough way.It was just clear then, the public and, above all, the press took it up in a way and made a big thing out of it. What we did, we then mastered it very well, we brought it back, officially said via our CEO, social media and through our channels, we are taking it back. We take back the new private law case, we process it and make it more transparent. Well, well timed now, we finished that a week ago. That means, a few days ago a new website went live with us, now everyone, including you and your audience, can view it. It's www.evernote.com/privacy. We'll talk about it there again. There you can read it all over again, it is now written very transparently. The press has already received it, fortunately very positively. That also calmed us down a bit. We learned from it, took it back, what we launched back then, revised it and now brought it out. With the feedback, integrated from our customers, from the press and actually listened to.
LB: You also planned at the time and it was communicated in such a way that you had such a feedback round from users, or you also wanted people to meet regularly, so that the power users could be involved a little more. Has that already happened?
MM: Yes, it has already taken place. Not here in Europe, I can't say too much about how it takes place in detail, but, we did. We have had several sessions in the US and would like to have them in Europe and other parts of the world in the future. People think differently here and there. It is important to incorporate these different cultures as well. So far this has happened in the States. We spoke to users in small groups, obtained feedback and will continue to do so. Apart from that, the community is, we are all part of it, there is also social media on our blogs, on our other pages, with our consultants that we have, freelance people who are also involved with Evernote. This whole community, we listen very closely to that, every now and then organize such web events, also outside of the USA, where we then also do small test scenarios or ask specific questions in order to get answers.
LB: What interests me in general now is reading along, okay, but, in Germany I can say with everyone I speak to and I have a lot of business customers or people who ask me and ask for advice, how can to introduce such a digital workflow in the company? Everyone has the biggest concerns about US cloud providers. I lived in America for a year and I seem to be totally messed up about that. I worry less about it. Perhaps out of naivety I have a basic trust. Surely that has to strike you everywhere? At least in Germany? I suppose the Swiss are mentally a bit worse, right?
MM: I am not saying, but, yes, no, working in my job for business development or with customers who want to introduce Evernote Business, of course, that is a very big topic that is being addressed. There is also a lot of uncertainty, fear that can be felt. Where the customer has to be helped a little to understand that. We take that very seriously, and so must we. At the moment this is the case, the data is stored in the USA. Of course they are safe, we have regulations that we adhere to. They even made specific contracts with Switzerland, because we have a branch here, plus with the European data protection regulations, with which we can transfer this to the USA, so that they also apply there. It then goes into great detail, so I invite the audience to evernote.com/privacy or security, these are two pages that we made especially for where this is very transparent. We even have a transparency report that explains exactly how we do it. Everyone can find out how exactly we as a company handle your and your data. But it is also a goal for us in the future to be able to take a step towards Europe. We are in talks, but we are not ready yet, that is not planned at the moment, but we are looking at it.
LB: So that the data would then also be in Europe?
MM: Exactly, we're looking at that in the future. Nothing concrete is planned at the moment. Of course, we are also very open to further expansion in this area.
LB: And now, with what you say on the website, Evernote / privacy or security, is that also something explicitly about EU law? Like EU citizens, that's my audience, from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, what about the legal side?
MM: Yes, that will also be discussed. I can't quote it now, it's been brand new released in the past two days. We also respond to this in order to be as transparent as possible. We also show how exactly we do it with the European Union and with Switzerland and how these things are transported. How exactly they are encrypted, how that is secured. Every customer has to decide for himself whether it is enough for him or not. What I like to mention again and again is data protection, which we are committed to. We are not a data mining company, that is, we do not evaluate the data, we do not advertise on the basis of your notes and the content. We have no business interest in looking at the data, nor do we do that in that direction. Your data is yours! If you delete them, you deleted them. You can export it, download it, take it out of Evernote, it's not a cage. The data is yours, not us. And third, we protect them. We have all the certifications you have to have and more as a cloud provider. We even go so far that we also look at things in the European Union and Switzerland that we can also transport these certificates. We take this issue very seriously and protect data. These three things are important and will continue to be on our flag. We won't change anything about that.
LB: Then let's put a line under data security here, but we'll also go into that again at Evernote Business. There are really big concerns, especially in the business environment. What interests me, I have to ask a critical question: Evernote is a note taking program, why is it so tedious to format Evernote notes? Please tell me.
MM: Give me a little more info, what do you mean by formatting?
LB: Yes, well, if I work with tabs or something like that, they don't work at all.
MM: We had certain problems with formatting in the past, so we went our own way. We have been gradually changing that for half a year. We have an internal project that has been running for 6 months. It's called the Common Editor and it's going to run even longer. A lot of people are working on it, the goal of this project is the formatting and the Evernote editors in which you write, the formatting has to do with the fact that we unify all editors from different platforms such as Windows, Apple and so on. That more or less the same functions are everywhere, that work the same, that all standards are generally valid. This project has now ended and will now be gradually published over the next updates. That means it should be much better by now. I have no more problems. We used to have some formatting problems internally, we are completely open about that. They are now no longer available, all the others, that will be further discussed in the next updates and should then be a thing of the past.
LB: I can confirm that, it has gotten better. I noticed that too, noticeably better. It used to be completely shot through, now it's gotten a lot better. My theme is also handwriting on the iPad for example. You have your own app, Penultimate, will it be further developed? Is Evernote Still On?
MM: This is this app where you can take handwritten notes, which is currently being further developed. We do not yet have a plan for the future, exactly how it will proceed. It is currently being developed and maintained on a small scale. It will soon be decided whether we will go into it a lot and expand it or whether we will add more functions to the Evernote standard app. You already have the option to take handwritten notes now, which will be shown later.
LB: With iOS 11, which has now been introduced, at least not yet released in terms of functionality, all of the handwriting goes very much into the operating system.
MM: We take that very seriously. Personally, I also use a pencil and an iPad and take notes directly from within Evernote. I'm not using Penultimate now, I'm directly in Evernote and making my handwritten notes there. It is clear that we want to follow this trend as well. Other trends are this voice control and voice interaction that you can do more about language. We are also working very hard on that. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, all of these topics are things that we are up to and that we can expect from us in 2018.
LB: What can we expect in the future? So tangible things? What can we expect now?
MM: I can't give too many details, we do a lot everywhere. A lot of great things are coming. We are currently working on many projects that really focus on creating new innovations and added value for the user. Evernote Business is central, and we'll talk more about that in the next podcast. We have planned a lot of innovations there. The other topics go to the editor area, where we think about how it looks with sharing and collaborations within Evernote. How can you do it better, that's what we're working on. We currently have tests that are already working internally. How collaborations could look new within Evernote. We have already started to initiate things with the topic of voice, handwritten notes and above all the mixture of machine learning and artificial intelligence that Evernote can present the information more intelligently without you looking for it. But in a very subtle way, not that your writing workflow is irritated. You get inputs that it can create added value. These things are coming in the future.
LB: What can I imagine with Voice?
MM: All of the interaction with Evernote is through language.
MM: It's madness when you look at how many, it's publicly available, these statistics from Google, for example, are accessible, 25 percent of all search queries on Google are made via voice. This is published by Google. In our country, i.e. in Switzerland and probably also in Germany, we do not yet see this as present. But it comes very strongly from other countries where it is already common practice. There will be more to come, too, now we have Alexa, all these things that are being tested. They are all still in their infancy, but that's a whole big topic that is to come.
LB: I already do a lot of inquiries by voice, especially on my iPhone I use this very often. Although I have to say, I don't use Siri that often, I really use the Google voice service. I belong to the 25 percent.
MM: I haven't yet, but it's exciting. We at Evernote have to be there, of course. We are over 300 people working on Evernote day and night. It is important for us not to miss these steps, because we can also give our users added value as a note application or as work tools, which we actually are.
LB: I could imagine if I said that I would like to look again at all the bank statements from last year and that Evernote would then present them to me directly. This is how it should be, with the intelligence to the point that it is also understood that way. That would be great. Another question about Evernote itself. There is a lot of talk, reading, and rubbing about the Evernote IPO. You also keep reading about Evernote going public at some point. Do you know anything about this? Can you tell us something about that?
MM: No, honestly, I don't know anything about that. It is an issue and always has been, and it will be in the future too. We do not know that. It is something that normally occurs in such a timeline in the company, i.e. in the time horizon of a company, it comes up at some point. This is a topic that every company of our kind has to deal with. But we're not there yet. That will come at some point, we have to look, at the moment we are focusing completely on our products, we are cash flow positive, we are now concentrating on the innovations and trying to do as much as we can. We'll see everything else when we're ready.
LB: Okay, great. Everything else about Evernote in the next podcast episode, in three or four weeks that will be. Now let's get to the subject of productivity, which is also your subject. You presented that in your setup, that was at the beginning of 2016, when you used a bullet journal. That was the first time that I even read about it, I also watched it. Very interesting, I saw the TED Talk from whoever developed this. I can't think of the name right now, but we'll link the TED Talk, it's also very good. Are you still doing the bullet journal?
MM: Yes and no, part of it. As we put it so beautifully, productivity is personal, personal, that's really true. Everyone has to decide for themselves and find out how to work well. There are certain methods that are general. And there are certain ones that you can steal from and incorporate into your own methods. I did that with bullet journals. I found the concept very exciting that it gets by with low tech. That does not mean to completely do without text. I used that within Evernote and had a notebook called the Journal. Every day I write down notes and things that happen during the day or tasks that come up or things that go through my head. I have an easy way to review my day at the end of the day. One of the central points of Bulletjournal is that you always write things down in the same place in a quick way. I'm always a fan of doing things that don't cognitively occupy you too much, the real world already does enough. I have to neatly put aside and put down every single thing that I think and do. Sometimes it is enough to just make a note for a day and write a kind of diary. That makes it much easier for me to go back during working hours, because I usually know that I did that on Tuesday, so I can quickly go back to this note and copy out things that I have in the individual notes. I still use this part of the bullet journal today.
LB: How do you put that into your complete digital workflow? Do you also use a task manager or Evernote?
MM: Both, I use a separate task manager, you will of course ask directly which one, I use Things for my tasks. I like that getting things done mentality that I swear by, it's perfect for that. But I still have tasks within Evernote with checkboxes that are very project-specific with Summeries and Evernote or in a kind of shared notebook for collaborations and project work. There I have the information inside Evernote. But to remind myself that I then have to look at these tasks within Evernote, I do that with the task manager. There is this personal in there, in Evernote is the whole world, all the information that I then have to work with. That's how I covered the tasks. I covered the bullet journal with my journal. Inside Evernote I have the notebook called the Journal. I create a new note every morning when I get to the office at the beginning of a new day. I write in the date, first thoughts about the day, what are the three most important things that I have to do today, there is something special that I always have with me. Everything that happens and arises during the day, I write in, which cannot immediately be assigned to a specific project, goes into this journal. At the end of the day I go over there again and see if I've finished my tasks. I can debit it in my task manager and have an overview of everything that happened that day. It can contain business matters, meeting notes with companies, but also personal matters, exciting things, online articles with quotes. It's like a diary light, but a knowledge focus. I find that very productive for me, it helps me a lot to stay connected to my work and what I'm actually doing. Instead of having to move too many things around.
LB: In the bullet journal there are symbols that you can insert in front of what you are writing to show that this is a task, a note, do you do that too? Or do you write it down wildly among each other?
MM: It gets a little wild with each other, but I need parts of it.In an Evernote note, I put dots, dashes, commas or minus in front of a new sentence. I sometimes use that as a key to quickly see whether there are still tasks or something interesting that have not yet been processed or what I wanted to research. I use that sparingly, but these are the areas that I learned in the bullet journal and built into my own workflow.
LB: It's a very interesting way to use Evernote, to do a bullet journal in Evernote. Do you have any other extraordinary suggestions for me and my listeners about what else you can do with Evernote? What one does not necessarily think about?
MM: There are so many things, there are the classic things with the reference locations, where passports are photographed and put in, the travel documents, information from the children such as school hours, bills, etc. What affects my personal use of Evernote the most and what is most useful to me there is simple. I read a lot, in books and online, and keep coming across exciting articles or quotes or paragraphs in books that give me the feeling that I want to keep that for later. I'll save that in Evernote. There is a workclipper that can be used to save web pages and content from the web. I recommend that everyone give it a try. Or a physical book or a newspaper article, I'll take a photo of it when I've found something exciting. Evernote also looks for your pictures and finds text in the pictures, then I save it. I have a notebook in Evernote, it's called "Reading", so I put everything in there. From time to time I assign a keyword to the articles or the things that I save. I am consciously quite chaotic. The first one or two words that come to mind on this topic, what the article or book is about, I enter as a tag. Then I save the notebook. I've been doing this for years. When I have a presentation today and I prepare for it and I open this notebook, I see my knowledge in front of me. In this notebook I see everything that concerns me and all the information that I have and have learned about life. I saved that. That always arouses very strong emotions in me, I find very old articles, reread them and find large pearls that I can continue to use. Within company presentations or within other things that I do. If I use the keywords, I can break it down a bit. I have hundreds of keywords within the notebook. It's perfectly okay too. For example, when I have a presentation on the topic of digital transformations, I go into the notebook and have a keyword for it or I search for the word transformation. Usually he finds everything. Then I have a lot of information that I can use and continue to use. This is my personal knowledge depository. My central knowledge, my central knowledge repository is actually there. As well as the information about Evernote, while I read or deal with the, we go in there too. I recommend that to everyone. The second is a classic, creating a notebook in Evernote and calling the Inbox. You probably know that very well, Lars? Others less so. This will be your standard notebook, again cognitive workload, as little as possible. This means that whenever something comes into my head that I have to save, but cannot do something about it right now or have no inclination or time, then I put it in the inbox. It's quick and I'm back to my work and can continue with it without any major interruptions. At the end of the day or week, I go through this inbox notebook and through each entry, I delete or file it, or I put it in the appropriate project notebook. I sort it out when I have time, like a buffer between receiving and processing the information.
LB: I also have Inbox, I put an “@” in front of it so that it is always at the top in the alphabetical order of my notebooks. Great suggestion with the reading notebook while you are putting on the reading notebook, dear "Productive in digital times" community, we would like to thank our sponsor very briefly. Thank you so far. We come to the final questions. I ask for quick and clear answers. What is your most important productivity tip?
MM: Two things, the first is the Weekly Review at the end of the week, going through the week's notes. Actually, going through everything you've done and thinking about it, are all projects up to date, is there anything I have in my head that I actually have to write down or put down within Evernote to go into the weekend in good spirits and to be able to start the next week well. Helps me a lot. The second goes with it, every morning before you go to work, five minutes reflect on what you are actually doing today. What will bring me further personally and privately? Write down the three or four things. The day ends much better. If only two of these things are done at the end of the day, it's been a good day.
LB: What do you do to switch off, Manuel?
MM: Good question, it is not always easy for me to succeed. I have a lot of interests outside of Evernote in productivity and design. There are strategies for switching off, but honestly I believe that every switching off is more or less compulsory because I have two boys, the little one is four years old, the older one is six. They really need attention, which is also great. You want to do a lot with them, inevitably I have to take time for them because that's what I want too. That helps me a lot. I come home, the two children take me over with what they have experienced throughout the day. I'll go into that, we do things on the weekend. If I didn't, I'd have a lot more trouble with it.
LB: Which three digital gadgets can you no longer do without?
MM: Evernote, of course.
LB: Is that not a gadget? Hardware.
MM: My smartphone, it sounds extremely boring, is just like that. A lot happens on top of my headphones, to listen to music, even while at work. And my analog record player at home.
LB: Great, nice, turntable revival, there have been increasing numbers of vinyl records for years.
LB: Which app or which internet service can you recommend to the “Productive in digital times” community? Except Evernote.
MM: I'm not even mentioning that now. Again, I have two, one private and one more business-oriented. For people who make presentations in the company or who talk to their supervisors and customers about topics related to digitality, such as transformations and so on, I warmly recommend using the Google website. One is called www.consumerbarometer.com and www.thinkwithgoogle.com. There is also a German version of this. On these two pages, Google publishes an extremely large number of charts and graphs and demographic content, curves and statistics on the subject of the Internet and digital usage behavior of the population in different countries, all over the world. You can also break down by land. You have ready-made information about how many people use voice, for example. It is always remarkable that you can also find completely different topics there. You can also easily compile your own evaluations by country with this demographic in order to address the demographics. Then you quickly have your own graphics that you can use for presentations or discussions on the subject of digitization and digital transformation, which is very moving for everyone at the moment. I warmly recommend it to you, it is very business-focused, the second is privately focused for everyone who is very interested in culture, but also in music, films, games or entertainment. The site is called Metacritic, which I use a lot. I like to watch films, I also have a lot of films at home, I like to listen to music. I am also someone who does a lot of research. I like going online to find out which movie is worth watching? I used to spend a lot of time on it. Metacritic makes it easy for you. You enter a movie title or a music album or a game. It collects all reviews from trade magazines, newspapers and so on, puts them together into one number. So they give you the average rating of a hundred different individual review sites and magazines on the topic. It is then very easy to get good content.
LB: Which book has shaped you the most as a person?
MM: Good question, I read a lot, recently I came across a book that really touched me. That was the book "A Brief History of Mankind" by Yuval Harari. Insanely exciting, a non-fiction book that deals with the creation of mankind and the story of it, from the beginning, i.e. hunters and gatherers in the forest to where we are today with our densely populated cities. And what happened in between, he tries to break it down a bit to 500 to 600 pages. He deals with the most varied of topics that arise for mankind, why we suddenly settled down, left hunting and gathering in cities, religion, etc. Very exciting. It shaped me because it triggered a feeling in me that everything actually happens very spontaneously. For me personally, there is no single meaning that one has to strive for when looking at the history of mankind, it is utter chaos how everything came about. Problems have again given rise to new opportunities. It gives me a sense of calm, I can try a lot, even something that doesn't work. It is nothing to decide because we are all only a small part of this world. I can recommend it to everyone, it's very radical.
LB: Yes, let's get to the end, dear Manuel, it was super exciting, here again the reference to the next interview with Manuel about Evernote Business. That's at least as exciting. Be sure to listen to that too. How can the “productive in digital times” community get in touch with you and what can you expect from you as a blogger in the future? Can you tell a little bit about it?
MM: Sure, I'll start with the second. I have my homepage You might have missed this, where for years I have summarized the best news, articles and information from the WWW per week and sent them to subscribers as a newsletter. I'm redesigning and thinking about what exactly I want to do in the future. If I start it soon and as a blogger I will focus again on looking for the best content on the web. However, I will then go into more specific topics, productivity and design. There is a big interface, how one can be productive, what are productivity strategies, but also on the design side, it is called use experience design, product design, but also graphic design and what is the interface between the two. I think that's a very exciting thing. Digitization is also a big topic and it will start again soon. How can you or stay in contact with me? Via all possible social media channels, of course. They know me under Manuel or Manolo Marquina is my Spanish name. The links also link or you can write me an email via [email protected]
LB: Yes, Manuel, then thank you very much, then I'll say you have more time for the really important things in life. See you soon, ciao.
One more recommendation at the end:
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