We all know what is waiting for us at home. There is not only a pile – or piles – at home to go through and spread all over the house, but there is more coming in the daily mail!
What does going a mobile life mean to me? For one thing, it means I don’t have papers all over my house. Another benefit is that I may, in some minuscule way, help the planet. But the biggest reason of all, is that I have immediate access to any paper in my life, past and present, at all times, from wherever I am.
If you think about being able ‘to put your hand’ on any document, picture, article, reference item at any time from anywhere, if you just let that roll around your brain for a bit, you may feel the bliss! I can find things now that I couldn’t when I had papers all over the place!
How did I do it? Evernote. Wanting to go paperless in 2015, I loaded all my documents and important papers into this wonderful cloud-based system and since then I have lived ‘in the cloud.’ Now I have access to every document I own (identity papers, notes, thoughts, audio memos, pictures, etc…). I highly recommend this to anyone interested in having full access over the internet, to all your documents, at all times. There is a free version of Evernote which you can use for everything. But I have chosen to pay the $45/year fee to this hard-working and important company. With that I get full document search, including in images! This let’s me take photos of things I’d like to remember, and the photos are searchable!
So how does it work? Any paperwork I receive (that is not already on the web like bank or utility statements) such as important documents coming by mail or paper receipts from stores get scanned immediately into Evernote. I open Evernote, add a new note, and hit the camera/scanner button to scan the document, then I throw the paper into the recycle bin! For my personal accounting, I use Banktivity (IGG Software) on my phone, and the corresponding Banktivity app on my Mac, rather than a receipt, I add the transaction right then and there so that I keep my accounting up to date. If I don’t want to add the transaction at the moment, and if it’s available, I ask for email receipts so that I can add it later, but not have a paper receipt.
For note taking, Evernote is the best. You can capture images, text, audio clips, web clips, and even pen drawings to your notes. You can even use Moleskin notebooks, which can scan directly into Evernote and be automatically tagged for you. In a future posting I will talk in detail about how Evernote works, how it is organized, and how you can tag (or not tag) your notes. For now, just believe me, it’s intuitive and easy to use, the app is free, and the service can be free with very large limits on how many notes you can add.
As for drawing, sketching and mind mapping, I use an iPad/iPhone app called Paper by a company called 53. It is a cloud-based service that I use on my iPad with their Pencil. This is a truly wonderful app for sketching out ideas, words, thoughts, journals and anything else you would want to use your hands to create rather than your keyboard. Here is a wonderful short video on Pencil, really great.
Between these 2 applications, I can live a completely mobile life. There are tons of books on the subject which I recommend highly. Just go to YouTube and search on “paperless life” and see what might work for you. I love Dottotech, here’s a great webinar on the subject.
Now, I know that right now (November 2018) there are some concerns about the health of the Evernote company, a recent top-level exec walk -off, and the apparent lack of any meaningful updates, but just hold on. At least I’m going to! My whole life is there! I’m going to give them through the spring of 2019 to get their act together. By then, if they have not rescued their situation, there will be more players who we can turn to. I’ll keep you posted on this. But with 225 million subscribers, I have faith that it will all work out.
If you would like to talk about how going paperless could work for you, feel free to contact me and we can hash out the issues and get you started on your path to clutter-free brain and life!