The Techie Scheky series offers tips and tactics for being more productive and creative through technology (especially with a Mac).
Today’s post is a fast and easy approach for those of us who are constantly battling against a messy desk.
I love Evernote. I hate paper. A big part of my undying love for Evernote is that it has done more than anything else in my life to reduce the amount of paper in my world. While there are many who can get things done with nothing more than a pen and paper, I’m not one of them1. Over the past few years, I’ve looked to rid myself of the stuff as much as humanly possible and nothing has proven as effective as Evernote and my beloved ScanSnap scanner2.
While many use Evernote for a variety of tasks, I use it specifically. It is a repository for all of the paper I accumulate as well as the emails and web clippings3 I would have historically printed and filed away. By using Evernote to store the paper that comes my way during the day, I avoid filing cabinets that quickly become unruly and the piles on my desk that mysteriously seem to multiply.
Over the years, I’ve owned several scanners, but flatbeds and all-in-one models always felt as if they were in the way. It wasn’t until I got something as lightweight and speedy as the S1300 that I was able to make paperless a regular part of my workflows. The ScanSnap takes up little space on my desk, turns on instantly when you flip open the top and can be set to scan directly into Evernote. I also purchased the S1100 for our “cozy” Brooklyn apartment. It lacks a proper workspace, so I needed the smallest version possible, but to be honest, I wish I had gone with another S1300. The additional bulk is marginal and the S1100 can be a hassle with thicker paper stocks4.
Having something close (my scanner sits right next to my monitor) allows me to run paper through the scanner and throw the original in the trash. It doesn’t sit piled up waiting to be batch entered. The scanner is fast enough that I can get it into my computer and get it out of my life without breaking stride. There is also the added bonus that Evernote now enables you to create a link to each note. This means I can scan things I’m currently working on and create a task in OmniFocus that links directly back to files I might need at a later date.5
This setup is a fast, easy and space-conscious way for those of us who are constantly fighting a battle against the paper in our lives We may win the war once and for all!
Come back tomorrow as I will be talking a bit more about naming your files so that you don’t have to bother with things like folders and tagging your notes in Evernote.
- Although those of you who are paper people should check Brad Dowdy’s new podcast The Pen Addict. [↩]
- This is an affiliate link, there will be a few of them in this post. It’s cause I’m shameless and stuff… [↩]
- I use Mailplane’s clipper for email and the Safari Clipper for getting things from the web into Evernote [↩]
- I’ve also heard good things about Doxie for this, but haven’t tried it myself. [↩]
- This is a bit of a manual process right now where you have to copy the link and paste it into an OmniFocus task. If anyone from Evernote is listening, it’d be amazing to have this be a bit more seamless. [↩]