How To Eliminate Paper Clutter With Evernote


I DO NOT like paper!  I am on a quest to eliminate as much paper in my life as possible.  But everyday new paper finds its way in my life.

Mail, meeting notes, business receipts, maintenance quotes and records, medical records, warranties, bills, statements, school work, flyers, magazine articles, etc.  It can be overwhelming!

The information (overload) age

Fortunately we live in 2012 and some of this info can now be received digitally.  But this creates another challenge.  Where and how to store all of it.

Those things sent via email: should I keep in my inbox and create clutter there?  The info from the web: should I bookmark and clutter up my bookmarks?  The items that are downloaded: should I store them in a hierarchal folder system that is sometimes difficult to search and retrieve quickly?

Aaah….I feel like Puff and Biggie…Mo Paper Mo Problems!  Wait, that is not…never mind.  On to my solution…

My solution to becoming as paperless as possible

I’ve tried all of those solutions in addition to traditional paper filing systems.  It just gets to much, and I feel like things are stored all over the place.

I posted recently about my love of Evernote.  Evernote is helping me eliminate a lot of this paper clutter, become much more organized, and much more efficient at searching and retrieving info when I need it quickly.

With Evernote I can store my paper.  My paper can be organized and filed for quick and easy retrieval.  I am always learning more ways to use Evernote.

Today, I am sharing with you how to get your papers in Evernote, I’m sharing a practical example, and I’m sharing 25 Things You Can Put in Evernote, in hopes to help you Eliminate Paper Clutter with Evernote.  Read on, and apply it to your paper problem!

How to get your paper clutter organized in Evernote

Any document you receive via any format can be scanned or captured with any camera.  Once you take a picture or a scan, you can email it to your personal Evernote email address (Evernote gives you this FREE).  This will save the pic or scan as a note in Evernote.

You can then open Evernote and place the note in a specific Notebook, a Notebook Stack, and you can also Tag the note.  Once you get more skilled in using Evernote you can have this automatically done by placing certain commands in the body of your email.

The beauty is every single word in the note, the Notebook Title, the Notebook Stack title, and the Tag is all searchable.  Even the words within the photo are searchable, as long as they are legible.

You can also use the Evernote web clipper (FREE web/browser app), and “clip” specific web pages, web pictures, or portions of text from the web.  These clips are automatically saved in Evernote.

Whether you are just getting started with Evernote, or have been a long-time user, I suggest buying Brian Kelly’s awesome and very practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, Second Edition.  It is very much worth the money, and worth setting aside a couple hours to work through the 95 pages.  It will save you many hours and even days of learning Evernote, while helping you get the absolute max out of Evernote.

A practical Evernote example of how I eliminate paper clutter

So let’s say you purchase a new appliance.  You want to hold onto the warranty and any other valuable info.

Like suggested above, you can picture or scan it, and send it to Evernote.  It can be tagged with “Warranty”, placed in your “Household Appliances” Notebook, which is included in your “Our Home” Notebook Stack (you can create your own system of naming Notebooks, Stacks, and Tags).

When trying to locate this note you can search by Note, Notebook, Stack, or Tag, for any word, and quickly find the info you need.  No need to keep the paper.  Less paper is good. 🙂

20 Things You Can Put In Evernote

  1. Paper bills received, or any mail worth keeping
  2. Work or school meeting notes
  3. Business cards
  4. Carbon copy sheet you get when you, or your kids, visit the doctor
  5. The “brushing report card” from your kids’ dental visits
  6. Ticket stub from the “big” game
  7. Shot records for you, your kids, or elderly parents
  8. Serial numbers to your electronics and computers
  9. Job reviews
  10. Business expense receipts
  11. A+ papers from your kids
  12. Bank statements
  13. Love note your spouse left in your lunch
  14. Automobile service records and quotes
  15. MLS sheet from the house for sale you are interested in
  16. Recipe you saw in the magazine at the doctor’s office
  17. Flyer or advertisement from your competition
  18. Artwork your toddler or pre-k child created that is replaced on the fridge by their latest masterpiece
  19. Holiday card pics from friends and family that are removed from your fridge or fireplace after Christmas each year
  20. Take out menus from your favorite restaurants
Question:  What system do you use to eliminate paper clutter in your house or office?  Please share in the comment section below.
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Sep 13, 2012