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.