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About PaperlessBrian

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  1. I use a series of rules in Hazel on OSX.. I have two different sets of rules in Hazel. One set is tied to FileThis which will deliver the statements automatically to a folder on my laptop. These rules generally just match the title of the file and snag the date. The other set is for scanning for which I use a separate "inbox" folder. These rules are a little more complex as they need to match the contents of the file which often changes. The maintenance can be a problem because sometimes statements/bills will change their format. In either case, I use AppleScript to push everything into Evernote and tag it.
  2. I have been storing in a folder system in parallel so I can compare the two systems. i definitely don't plan on doing it forever. Unfortunately, using hierarchical tags doesn't really replace the folder structure. For example, tags cannot share names and therefore you'd have to make everything unique. Not really the same but there's certainly a way to simplify with a hierarchy. So far I haven't found a single vendor who will email my statements. Thanks for the tip. OSX has an amazing search feature with Spotlight so I don't really need Evernote's search feature. Were you asking me, DTLow?
  3. Hey folks! So I've been using Evernote for my paperless office for 60 days now and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts. I'd like to get some feedback from you all as well. Before I get into some of my challenges, I'd like to share my current process. Input files come from either FileThis, scanned paper or emails direct to Evernote. Pre-processing is done by Hazel which sends to Evernote with the correct tags. Notes that cannot be automatically tagged by Hazel are put in Inbox for manual processing. So this works pretty well for much but here's the issue. First off, FileThis, as a service, is getting pretty unreliable. The guy who runs it no longer response to emails and as sites add more and more multi-factor authentication, connections keep failing to work. This means that more and more of my files need to be scanned manually. This brings me to the first challenge: what do I save? When I had FileThis working, it was pretty much "free" to download and save all my bills and statements. Now it's a nightmare. I'll need to start getting my bills/statements sent to me in paper again. I'm definitely not going to download them one at a time. I would love some advice on what to save and what to "shred". My second issue is with tags. I have three notebooks in Evernote: File Cabinet, Inbox, and Secure (local). I have about 45 tags answering three questions: "What is it?" i.e. correspondence, statement, bill, etc; "Who is it for" i.e. pets, people, etc; and "Why is it important?" i.e. tax year, legal, etc. This worked REALLY well when I had like 20 tags but now it seems to take forever to manually classify notes and frequently I end up failing to stay consistent. I've been storing all my notes on my computer in a folder system in parallel so I can compare the two. And I have to say that the folder system is SO SIMPLE and CONSISTENT. So, I'm actually thinking about just ditching Evernote and going with a folder system, but here are the features I will really miss. Adding comments: Evernote allows you to add some comments to the notes (rather than just dropping files into a directory). This is useful if I need to add context to some kind of tax-related receipt. Email to Evernote: It's very easy to email things to my Evernote inbox when I'm out and about (receipts, licenses, etc). Also, my folder system is useful in cases where I have an active worksheet describing tax info or perhaps home improvements. Generally I don't like to include this stuff in Evernote. So there's the added advantage of 'keeping everything in one place' with folders. Any thoughts/advice?
  4. Sorry for the delayed response. Got very busy. So this change did the trick and it worked like a charm. BUT.. It sounds like you've been using EN for a long time and you already use my current model with date first? So far, it's not terrible for me - I just see a date followed by another date and then the file name. Have you found your naming scheme to be usable in the long run? Thanks for you help!
  5. Hello everyone, I've made the leap to Evernote and after importing over 1000 notes, I've realized that the filenames I used with my file system (YYYY-MM-DD filename) is not very readable as a note title. Essentially you get the look of a Creation Date followed by another date and finally the name of the note. In many cases I'm sending notes over email without any date in the name and so I'd like to create an AppleScript I can use from the Services menu to move the date to the end of the note title. The only issue is that I don't know how to get the note title so I can then manipulate it in AppleScript. Any advice? Here's what I have so far... I suspect that when I "set noteTitle to title of n" that I'm not actually getting a string but perhaps something in HTML that I need to first convert to a string...?
  6. Hey one more thing... Do I actually need EN Premium to search inside the OCR'ed pdf attachments in EN? The license seems to imply that.
  7. FileThis basically connects to websites (such as your bank, gas company, etc) downloads your statements and then it can send to EN, store on its own site, download to your computer (via a small app), send to dropbox, etc. This is very nice IMO since it eliminates much of the need to scan or manually download statements. I use the download option since I like to run some rules on the files before moving them. I haven't tried importing into EN but I suspect that it may create notebooks corresponding to accounts. (That's what it does with the download - create folders corresponding to the account). Hazel is a Mac app which allows you to create rules that automatically apply to one or more folders. The rules can be based on the file name, its metadata, or its contents. It also has a tokenizer so you can name or tag the file based on what text you match. Pretty amazing. I currently use this to grab files out of my inbox and subfolders (where FileThis drops files) to rename, move, and tag (OpenMeta) files. Yep is a Mac app that integrates with Spotlight (Mac's amazing search engine) and OpenMeta (the new open tagging standard) to allow you to view all kinds of files in your filesystem in a tag-centric way. I stopped using this when it when to version 2, but I used to limit Yep to look at one folder (where all my pdf's are) and use its tag cloud to quickly locate files. In many ways, Evernote really isn't that necessary for me. The issue is that I really need want a good tag-based viewer for my files but Ironic Software (makers of Yep) seem to have abandoned the software. Given that version 3 doesn't really need much more love, it bothers me.. What if it has a bug? The lock-in factor is nonexistent though, so it's not a tremendous risk (except for the $30 to buy it).
  8. Great response! Thank you, csihilling, Ill have to see if EN offers that on the Mac. If so, that pretty much addresses my main concern. On Mac Spotlight is pretty powerful so I don't really need EN for its search engine. I also want to avoid losing my OCR so I probably won't use EN for that either. Having everything is one place is useful, however. On a side note, you might find FileThis.com useful for your process. I think you get 5 connections free and it can drop files right into EN.
  9. Hello all - first time poster here... I've been banging my head against the wall trying to define a paperless process that is going to hold in the long term and I've been suck in this darn analysis paralysis loop. I'm hoping you smart folks out there can shed some light on Evernote so that I can better make a decision. Several years ago I made a concerted effort to go paperless using Ironic Software's Yep product. My process was to scan in pretty much everything (all receipts, statements, bills, etc) using my ScanSnap S510M, give it a date-based name, put in a folder (same folder for everything) and then use Yep to assign and manage tags. This worked out fairly well until I tried to upgrade to Yep 2. World turned upside-down. The product was complicated and I found its filing system awkward and inflexible. For those of you who don't know, Yep basically allows you to tag files regardless of where they are in your filesystem. At the time I had considered Evernote, but I was too worried about security to embrace it. So, I read David Sparks' book Paperless and started a new process. In this process, I would rename files (mostly automatically using Hazel) and carefully place them into folders and subfolders. This got, shall we say, tedious... I still have nightmares about this. Needless to say, I was unable to sustain my efforts. Since then, I've accumulated boxes of "to be scanned" whilst redefine my processes. I generally think my two biggest mistakes where: (1) not focusing enough on the process and (2) not clearly defining what to keep and ditch. So... My new process will be as automatic as possible. I'm going to have a set of rules for what I scan. I'm also going to use a combination of FileThis.com (an AMAZING service btw) and Hazel to prep my scanned/downloaded pdf files (name them, tag them, etc). What I'm not sure about is how to do the ongoing management of those files. (re)Enter Evernote... My on again off again love affair with Evernote and its sexy features could be a dramatic "one that got away" Lifetime movie. Ok, maybe not. I've dabbled with it for note-taking purposes. I've read almost every article there is about it. I've done everything but put it to the test. Here are my concerns.. I'm hoping you experts can help me address them (or validate them). Evernote isn't for everyone. Security - I'm a little concerned about security at rest on Evernote servers. I know they don't encrypt data on their servers. Easy fix, right? Just make a local notebook for sensitive information (such as taxes, legal stuff, etc). Well, I've read some posts that suggest that Evernote might get rid of local notebooks. Any truth to that? Lock-in - Let's face it, once I get 20,000 pdf files in Evernote, I'm pretty committed. But what if I need to leave Evernote? (Let's just say something changes some day and I no longer want to use it.) What then? I know you can export notes, but what if I just want all my pdf files sent to a directory? I've seen the way that Evernote stores attachments on a Mac and it would take some scripting to get all the files out - not to mention their tags. Trust - I realize this is something that I just need to get over, but I've read that occasionally Evernote, through some bug or strange corner case, has misplaced a note or two. Can I trust that Evernote won't lose notes? I would plan on doing backups, but with 20,000 notes you may never realize you even lost the note. For example, I make lots of physical donations for tax write-offs. At the end of the year, I would just search Evernote for the "charity" tag or the "2015 Tax" tag. If the note isn't there, I'll never know it was lost, backup or no. One thought I had was to add a backup of the file using Hazel. I.e. Before I use Applescript to load the file into Evernote, I could copy the file to a backup location with some OpenMeta tags. If I do this, I could easily search using Finder. Then what would be the point of Evernote? I don't care much about the sharing feature for my paperless files. I do love the email-to-Evernote feature, but I could live with out it. I could even resurrect Yep (now version 3) and use it as a file viewer/tagger since it supports OpenMeta, though I still find Yep unnecessarily complicated. Again, Evernote is pretty sexy... Decisions decisions... ;^)
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