Organizing and Reducing Paper In your house

I received such great feedback on my post about backing up my digital content (which you can read here), I wanted to share my other trick with the digital world.

One thing I have to say is I LOVE technology.  I get that from my Dad.  He always had the first whatever…camcorder, or the first car phone, first protection screen T.V. (hi 1981).  Technology is great, but few of us use it to the full extent that it can be used to better our lives.  Sure, our phones are fabulous for texting and writing an email.  They are great for taking photos (did you back them up yet? ) Your phone can do SO much more than you know, to help you better organize paper and the digital content in your life, read on!

One of the apps that I mentioned a few posts ago was Evernote.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Evernote.  I don’t remember how I really got turned on to it.  It turned into a place I just put screen shots of things I wanted to remember (i.e – digital scraps of paper).  Then someone said I should scan my receipts and put them in Evernote. Then all the random post-its with codes and emails ended up being entered.  Then I started collecting recipes, and sharing notebooks with friends, and well.. it snowballed.

Here are my notebooks:

I have 42 notebooks.  Now I don’t have the premium membership and I am not being paid to say any of this.  Evernote is the single best tool in my life.  But what can it DO?  It is basically a handy little app that sits on your phone/computer/online that gives you access to things you needed to look at later.  The ingenious thing about it is it gets rid of ALL my paper clutter!!! I LOATHE paper.  I feel like it’s taking over my life. Everything is backed up.  If your computer bites the dust, all my client contracts are in Evernote.  I can login and retrieve any of my notebooks at anytime on Evernote.  Its like a computer that sits around letting me put things on it, never having to worry it will disappear or die on me.

I have gone through my whole house, taken photos of items too small to scan, scanned the items that are PDF worthy and then THROW IT ALL OUT (gasp). I’ve thrown away every single piece of paper that enters my house.  If I ever need to retrieve it, I go into Evernote where I could print it again or send it via email to the party that needs it.  Do you know how much clutter I’ve saved myself.  I had a whole shelf of recipes on paper, GONE!  Gas receipts, GONE, magazine articles, GONE!

My favorite notebook has to be my recipes notebook.  I save all recipes in there.  My sister linked me to her recipe book.  Now when I am at the grocery store I just pull open Evernote and type “chicken” and three of my favorite chicken recipes are in there. I can hunt for the grocery items quickly, and never be frustrated that I left the recipe on the counter.

The other way I use Evernote is to keep my kids art work  (good bye paper !!!).  Do you know how many projects a 5 year old does every week ?!

I also have a notebook for each of my kids.  My 5 year old has a lot of progress reports and notes about various meetings he’s had (All his EI paperwork is scanned in there) and I can retrieve it at anytime. Not only can I scan it and save it as a PDF,  I can email it to anyone; at anytime. No need to be near my computer! I have it with me!  My 3 month old has his own folder with a photo of his health card, and the Dr. he had to see; in case anyone asks me what his name was.

I also, as I said before, use the IF app to make a digital copy of all my photos once I take them.  If I ever drop my phone before I back up the photos, I have them saved in Evernote.  Piece of mind at its best!

How do you use Evernote?  Leave a comment below!