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Mat from TX

paperless Questions about how to handle

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I am working on handling my mail as it comes in and wonder how others handle 3 types of mail. I am undecided what the most effcient way to handle in Evernote (or even to try to handle in Evernote) the following situations:

1. Bills to be paid. I generally pay bills online once a week, so in the past I would set them aside on my desk as they came in until it was time to pay.

2. Circulars or other advertisements that come in that I may be interested in, but am not sure at the time.

3. Medical - I get three types of medical items for each provider visit and I am not sure if they should go into separate notes or into one combined note. The three are a. bill from provider, b. insurance company statement showing how much they paid and how much I owe, c. report from provider on the visit.

I will appreciate any recommendations or expericeies with handling these types of mail.

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basically, i think consistent naming will get you most of the way. you could also use tags and notebooks to organize things, but i've found that as long as i name something well, i haven't got any problems. tags and notebooks are just extra work a lot of the time. here are the details:

1. i scan everything using scansnap.

2. i ocr the pdfs.

3. and, i assign them a name in the following format: yymmdd keyword keyword keyword. important papers (1 and 2) would get "record" as their first keyword, followed by maybe the utility type or provider name. the circulars and so forth (i don't keep such things) would get names like "yymmdd circular best buy advertisements."

4. one additional thing i do is to put "to do" things in my daily journal. for example, if my bill was due next week, assuming i hadn't already created a journal note for the day, i would create one in the same format: 120209 journal thursday, and in it i would write "- pay bill for x" and i would insert a link to the note there. because i look at my journal note first thing every day, i have a list of things i need to do, and note links to the relevant notes i need to complete the task. the dates at the beginning of every note title help the notes to line up in chronological order, but they also help me to remember stuff better (i tend to remember when something happened, even if i don't remember where i put the information).

one useful search operand for this is "intitle:keyword".

if you aren't bored yet, you can read some more here:


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Thanks Grumpy. Your response is helpful. Let me give an example of how I think you would handle a visit to the Doctor. You would start a note titled with the date of the visit in yymmdd format followed by medical, dr name, specialty, purpose of visit. Then make any notes based on the visit. Now, I suppose when the doctor sends you a follow up letter you would add it to the note. What about test results, insurance statement of payment, doctor's bill, & payment receipts - do they all go into the same original note or do some go into a new note or all in new notes? What is your criteria for when to put stuff in an existing note or create an entirely new note? Thanks again to you and the others seasoned users for helping us newbies.

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glad i could help. i would put everything else in separate notes, because it is quick and easy. scan the bill, name it following the same rules, and drag it into evernote. organization complete. no need to do any extra work. when i want to review the notes, i search for "intitle:doctorwho" and i'll see everything neatly lined up in chronological order.

if it turns out that this is something important that will need frequent reference, i might make what i call an "index" note. i put the same information in the title, but add the term "index" somewhere. i open the note in its own window (doule click) and drag all of the relevant notes into it. this creates note links in the body of the index note. this makes it easy to see a list of everything in one glance.

of course, i can see all of my index notes by searching for "intitle:index". you could do the same thing with tags. i just prefer to put it all in the title.

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