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... ;^)