Going Paperless – The Four Methods I Use to Get Documents Into Evernote
Let me paint you a picture: There is a bin on the kitchen counter that collects every piece of paper that comes through the front door. There is a filing cabinet in the basement office that hasn't been opened in at least 6 months. There are piles of random papers all around the desk in said office, which is where things go when the bin gets too full. It takes at least 20 minutes of searching to find ANYTHING, because you're not sure if it's in the bin, the piles, or by some chance, the filing cabinet.
Does any of this sound familiar? This was how my life was (and still partially is, but I'll explain...) before discovering this idea of "Going Paperless with Evernote."
I am currently on what I would consider to be phase II of my journey to a (mostly) paperless life. Phase I for me was setting up my Evernote account system to get it ready. Then it was going through that bin from the kitchen counter, and tweaking things as I made my way through the stack.
Now I'm onto Phase II, which is taking small chunks of the random piles of paperwork strewn about my office, and scanning and filing them all away.
The amount of relief that I have felt already is amazing. I know my system isn't perfect, but it is WAY better than whatever it was before (I can't really call it a system).
So I thought I'd share with you the ways in which I get all these documents into Evernote for sorting, since that is really the first step.
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Method #1: Scanning Into Evernote
This first method is my most-used way of getting things into Evernote. I have an HP Officejet Pro 8600 scanner/printer that I've had for about 2 years. Luckily, when we purchased it, we knew we wanted something that had WIFI capabilities. This is great now especially because it means I can scan documents into any folder I set on my computer. I set the default to put all documents scanned to go into a folder labeled "Upload to Evernote."
In Evernote, I went to "Tools" and then "Import Folders" and selected this folder to upload automatically. It makes it so simple! I just load the document on my printer, hit the "scan to computer" button, and the documents get automatically uploaded to my "To Sort" folder inside of Evernote. It's amazing!
Method #2: Snapping a Photo
The second method is best for on-the-go things that I know I need to keep, but will most likely lose... specifically receipts. I downloaded the Evernote app on my Android device, which gives me access to an awesome "Document Camera" widget. I click the widget, snap a picture of my document or receipt, and it uploads as a PDF file.
Method #3: Emailing Myself
When you sign up for Evernote, you are given an Evernote email address to send things to. This makes it super easy for when you get emailed something you want to keep, but don't want to take up space in your email storage. Or if it is something that you need to keep with all the other stuff, like business invoices or receipts for purchases. I just email the document to my Evernote email address and it is there waiting for me!
Method #4: Google Chrome Extensions
I use Google Chrome for just about all my internet-ing. I especially love it because of the extensions and applications that you can add on. Evernote has an extension called the "Evernote Web Clipper" that makes it ridiculously easy to save things you come across while browsing. You can choose to save whole pages, or just portions of articles and blog posts. I probably don't use this feature as much as I should!
So that's it! I'm going to have many more posts about the wonders of Evernote, because it is quickly becoming one of my life obsessions. I hope these methods helped you in your journey to a "less paper than you have now" life. 🙂
If you are considering getting Evernote for the first time, you can use the link below to get a free month of Evernote Premium! (and I'll get points toward a free month too!)