I had the privilege of working with 4 team members for one of my classes at CSUSM. Below are things that I’ve learned. The background story is that there is no leader, so you need to learn how to communicate and get along. It is quite challenging. Decisions don’t depend on one person. Making decisions are based on democracy. There are many more things besides this that trumped me. Below are 10 of the most important things I’ve learned.

Take the time to learn everyone.

This is when emotional intelligence comes in. It’s essential to know how to speak to people and approach people in their own way to minimize tension and have a cohesive team. In most cases, a cohesive team makes working in a team more enjoyable. Invite your team for a casual fun time and talk about their working style. This goes a long way.

Always validate someone’s opinion.

Part of what we learn is that it’s good to have a diverse team. This is especially true, but you do come across ideas that are absurd or might not work. The best thing you can do is letting them finish without interruption, instead of saying, “No. This is not going to work…”. One of my team members and I worked with did this and everything this person said after the “No” portion nobody listened to.

Don’t take it personally, but also consider people who do.

I also had the dilemma of trying to figure out what you consider personal and not personal. I once had a client who took everything personal in nature, as that is how this person was wired. I never worked with an emotional person before, and I found it challenging. But as I look back, I found it fascinating that I was apparently the emotional one in the team.

Take a day or two to absorb new ideas and come up with new challenges.

I think this is one of the few things that trumped us, and even I wasn’t suspecting it to happen until we formed this group of people with the same skills and education as I. Sometimes new ideas need time to be soaked in our minds. We all learn it differently.  If this is the case, it’s best to wait a couple of hours before coming up with a solution to save a headache in the long run.

It’s ok to be vulnerable.

We’re all human, and sometimes feelings get hurt along the way, if things aren’t said professionally, or if they weren’t communicated correctly. If you get hurt, don’t stop yourself from expressing this privately with the person who hurt you. Take them aside and tell them how you feel.  Tell them it bothers you. The sooner this is addressed, the sooner you can move on. The sooner you can move on the sooner, you can get productive work done.

Praise publicly, criticize privately.

Enthusiasm and happiness are contagious. A little bit of unhealthy criticism can lead to a toxic working environment.

Don’t be afraid to take the lead

If you know what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to stand up and gather everyone. You all have the same goal/s, and you want to be one of those people that can say that you did everything you could to make it work.

Reflect and learn

After everything, reflect on what went wrong, what went right. This will help you in the future and prevent the same mistakes. This will be part of your toolbox. Have the mentality of not taking it personally because it isn’t. After the project, reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Figure out why it didn’t go so well and come up with a solution next time.

Leave in good terms

This is also good for your well-being. You never know when you’ll need their help someday. There is a relationship where people aren’t fit to have a business relationship with someone, but they’re an excellent fit to be friends instead.

Remember, Communication is Key.

I cannot stress this enough. A simple acknowledgment such as “ok” or “thanks” goes a long way. This tells the other person that you received the message and read it. If this occurs during an email, the person sending the information can put “NRN, unless you have questions.” at the bottom of the email. That way, it’ll save people time and energy if the other person received it or not.


Being in a group setting has challenges. I was stressed the whole time, but thankful for the outcome. I ended up leaving the team last minute because I thought I could endure. Perhaps I could have communicated better with the person that drove me to leave, but at that point, I thought it was too much since our preference in communication did not communicate. Therefore, it’s essential to be flexible.


Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels

Last Updated: 9/17/19

In October 2017 I ventured out for a place that will help me with my fitness goals. I was gaining weight due to medications. Let me say that practicing Choy Li Fut changed my life.

What is Choy Li Fut?

As fas as I was taught in White Dragon, Choy Li Fut is a martial art that focuses on self-defense. It’s not as fancy as other martial arts like Taekwondo, but the skill that I’ve learned is what matters. Nothing against Taekwondo or the other martial arts out there. I think every single one of them is equally important and unique.

Choy Li Fut focuses on circular strikes and makes use of both the upper and lower body. Basically, the style is similar to a rock at the end of the rope. We use relaxed strikes to conserve energy. Your fist is the rock, and your arm is the rope. But where do we get the energy? Well, we get it from the ground.

One of the main reasons why I like this martial art so much is because no matter how small you are, you can go against someone bigger than and still be able to defend yourself? How? It’s called redirection. Basically, you get close to your opponent and whatever energy they throw at you, you throw it back. Pretty cool, right? There’s a certain type of training in order to be proficient at this. It’s called pushing hands.

Evernote Snapshot 20171204 182713

The sashes in rank order. Red isn’t really part of the system, it just means that this person is an instructor. 


Every single stance we have has a main purpose. The first one is called the horse stance. It looks like you’re riding a horse hence the name. Legs are bowed out to make sure that you stay on the ground and don’t fall when you get hit by your opponent.

The second one is called the cat stance. I can’t tell you much about it except that it’s a stance where you’re prepared to kick, when your opponent gets close. As somebody who practiced gymnastics while younger, I have a hard time perfecting this. Why? Because I’m so used to walking in a straight line, that

The third one is called a bow stance. This stance is used with striking or striking and punching at the same time. It adds extra energy to your strikes as you lunge yourself to the direction your striking too.


Besides the regular kicking and punching, we have this thing called arm conditioning. One of the instructors in my school particularly enjoys this, so he makes us practice this from time to time during class. At first you’ll get bruises on your arm but eventually your body will get used to it. Basically, in order for your bones to get stronger, you need to keep “hitting” it with other bones or wood. We usually practice this with a partner.

What school do I go to?

The name of my school is White Dragon Martial Arts. I think they’re logo is cool and modern. Their facilities are clean. Tuition is not exactly cheap but it’s worth it. I mean, are you really going to set a price for your health and life?

There are numerous branches in Southern California and the owner (Tai Si Gung Nathan Fisher) learned for Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong, who is part of the lineage. Hence, you can trust their system as they’ve been teaching and practicing Choy Li Fut.

In December 2018 I made Blue Sash. It’s the 4th Sash level and I was pretty excited. I used to think that I will never get there, as I always had an image of a cool martial artist that was athletic which I was far from. I guess, I know what I’m doing I suppose.


Last May 2018, I participated in the Dragon Cup Tournament, and recieved 3rd place in both forms purple sash! It was my first time winning something. I was genuinely flabbergasted.


The close for Form 3: Gung Ji Taming Tiger Form


Switching directions in Form 4: Hung Sing Stick


I have plenty of Evernote notes that I need to organize in my daily life. I also own a windows computer, the latest iPad, and iPhone. I clip articles with ranges of different topics such as digital marketing to WordPress. I get articles from Feedly, or I use the regular Evernote clipper chrome extension. I’ve been using Evernote since 2008, and back then, Evernote was simple. It now has evolved into something I can’t live without as more features are being added. Evernote is simply a generalized notebook system. It’s up to on how you use it based on your needs.

The way my brain works is this: I always have a different urge to organize all the things I have in my life through categories. I like seeing these categories in front of me because I can’t always remember the source of what I need. I can only remember what I’m trying to do if it’s right in front of me. Here is another analogy: There are people out there that if they forget their grocery list, they go through every aisle in the grocery store. That’s just how my brain works.


How I organize Evernote as a whole

I have what I call Main Notebooks. These notebooks are what helps me organize Evernote. These main notebooks consist of:

Categorize (AACategorize) – a place where I dump all new notes and clippings.

Ideas (AAIdeas) – Ideas I have randomly throughout the day.

Templates (AATemplates) – Evernote note templates, printables, excel sheets

To do (AATo_Do) – notes that contain things I need to do.

Each of these notebooks has the letters AA at the beginning so that they shoot at the top of the notebooks list. All these notebooks are in one stack called AAStart Here.

You can name your notebooks however you want.


The Table of Contents Evernote Template

As mentioned earlier, I have note templates that are saved in my AATemplates notebook. One important template is the AATable of Contents template. Each notebook must have this note otherwise I will not know how or why a notebook exists

Here is the link to my Table of Contents Template.

Evernote used to have their version of Table of Contents template, but sadly, they took it down.


Explanation of the Table of Contents

Purpose – usually just one sentence. Examples: To keep all my notes from MGMT 302 in one place.

Organization Method – I put either one of the three: (1)by alphabetical order, (2)by date, (3) by links.

Table of Contents – contains all the important links of the notes.

Tag Information – How I organize tags in the notebook.

Evernote Table of Contents


What my Table of Contents Note Looks like

The title helps me, as it stays up to the top of the list when I put them in alphabetical order. Whenever I search for a note, I search for it on the table of contents to check if I have saved the link or I sort my notes in alphabetical order.


A General Research Notebook

There are times we have to do research on a particular project or have a notebook with its main purpose is to collect articles from all over the internet. I used to have a massive, unorganized notebook filled with articles with different titles which don’t seem to reflect the content for each of the note as they are “optimized” to be click-worthy. In using the Evernote Web Clipper, I edit the title to reflect what the article is about.


My Evernote App Customized View

Like I mentioned before, I may not find what I’m looking for if it’s not right in front of me. This means that there needs to be a considerable amount of things in front of me, but I make sure that I’m not overloaded with data.

Think of it as an entire a bookstore. If you enter a library, you’ll see that each book on the shelf is closed so you cannot see what’s on the inside. If every book were open right in front of you when you walk in the bookstore, would you find what you’re looking for? That’s why, my view only shows the notebook name, date created, and title. This view is called the side list view.

evernote view list

My view is side list, with columns Created Date and Title respectively.

This photo shows all my notes being sorted. Have you noticed that none of the titles have numbers on them? I will tell you why in a few minutes…


Research Notebooks

There are times when I have to do research on a certain project or have a notebook with the main purpose of collecting articles from all over the internet. I used to have a massive, unorganized notebook filled with articles with different titles that don’t reflect the content for each note as article headlines nowadays are optimized to be “click-worthy.”


Organizing Titles

I tend to put all my notes in alphabetical order, so I make sure none of my note titles have a number on it. Leaving notes that begin with a number will shoot them at the top of the list whenever I put them in alphabetical order.

evernote alphabetical order

What it looks like in alphabetical order, without editing the titles. I can’t organize it because it starts with a number.

Examples of Titles with numbers:

3 Brilliant Copywriting Formulas

6 Great Resources to Learn about Social Selling

8 Quick and Dirty Website Persuasion


I usually rewrite them to:


Brilliant Copywriting Formulas

Resources to Learn about Social Selling

Quick and Dirty Website Persuasion


Why do I rewrite them that way? I rewrite them that way to not stress out your brain.


Now it looks a lot cleaner.

Using Stacks

Since part of my job is marketing, I tend to read a lot about it online. I clip important articles using the web clipper and read them later. Below is a picture of what my Marketing stack looks like:

Evernote stacks

I name my notebooks with the stack name, dash, the name of the notebook.

Marketing is the name of the stack. Within those stacks, I have Affiliate, B2B, Content, Copywriting, Email, General, Guest Post Sites, Inbound, Local SEO, Mobile, SMM (Social Media), and Web design. The reason why I put Marketing then a dash is so that it’ll be easier for me to find them when using other applications. Other applications don’t show your stacks, unfortunately.

One instance where this becomes helpful is when I add a note from safari or chrome using my iOS device. Safari and chrome organize the notebooks in alphabetical order, without showing the stack name. The notebooks show up like this:

Evernote Save iPad

See what I mean?

You can, however, put it on the AACategorize notebook if you’re in a hurry.

I hope this blog post helps you organize your Evernote notebooks and notes. If you haven’t gotten the chance to switch to premium, I would recommend that you do as Evernote has helped me organized my life.

Here are their premium features in a nutshell:

  • annotate images/pdf
  • 10gb every month (trust me, this is plenty!)
  • passcode on mobile app
  • share notes with anyone using a link, even if they don’t Evernote
  • sync to all devices
  • clip web pages and pdf files
  • search for text on images, pdf, office documents
  • forward emails to Evernote
  • customer support via live chat
  • scan and digitize business cards
  • Presentation view (with dark mode, and laser pointer)

How do you organize your Evernote? I’d love to learn how other people organize theirs. Let me know in the comments section.