Raise your hand if the following gets under your skin:
1) Scrap pieces of paper strewn about.
2) Unfiled documents clogging up your workspace, bookshelf, bed side table, etc.
3) Manuals for each and every appliance you own, but you can never find them when you need them.
4) Searching for important information that you know you’ve written down somewhere.
5) And many similar situations.
All those documents, receipts and plethora of other papers are important; they cannot be thrown away. On the other end of the spectrum, finding a filing system that works for you is a daunting task. I’ve had so many suggestions from so many people, and none of them worked for me.
Besides the headache that these scenarios can cause, just spare a moment for all the trees that die every day so we can get our statements in the mail.
There is a solution; I like to call it paperless productivity, a trend that is making headlines. I’ve mentioned Evernote before, the application that took efficiency to a whole new level.
Let’s consider a few suggestions:
- Many companies give you the option of receiving statements, invoices and the like via electronic mail, as opposed to snail mail. Not only is this option eco-friendly, it also means less paper for you to deal with. Create a folder titled Statements, or Accounts, and upload all the attachments to it.
- When you purchase goods, scan the receipts into Evernote and throw the paper copies away. You can do this for appliances that have a warranty or even your day to day groceries shopping. When you need a receipt for a return, simply print it from Evernote.
- Further to the above, warranty information, guarantees, etc. can also be scanned into Evernote. If your warranty comes with a yearly inspection of your appliance, you can create a task and set a reminder with all the relevant information and Evernote will remind you when the time comes.
- Google the make and model of all your appliances, and include the word “manual” in the search. Most appliances’ manuals can be downloaded in PDF format. Save to Evernote and throw the originals away.
- Some folks scan photographs, newspaper clippings and other personal momentos to keep track of nostalgic times.
- Magazine and newspaper articles of interest can be scanned into Evernote, and the magazines discarded. I used to have stacks of magazine everywhere, earmarked with post-it’s sticking out the edges. These days, everything is scanned into an appropriate folder. Recipes, Craft Ideas, Work/Career and Family/Health are just some of the folders I utilized for this purpose.
- I even have a folder titled Pets. All veterinary related documents such as bills, notices of future check-ups and nutritional information gets stored there, with a recent photo of each animal.
These are just a few of the suggestions I have to offer, with some thought I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with many more uses for Evernote. Who needs stacks of paperwork, receipts and manuals in our modern day and age?