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paperless Just finished going "Paperless" at home and work

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OK, so I've just finished the process of going paperless both at home and the office. It was a tedious but exhilarating process. I realize that it's still a work in progress and I will probably have to change a hundred things before it works flawlessly. My three indispensable tools were my snapscan 1500 (I have them both at home and work), Adobe Acrobat X (standard) and Evernote. In retrospect I would say that a profoud understanding of how Acrobat works is absolutely essential for doing this properly. I wasted a lot of time in laborious tasks because I didn't understand some simple tricks that you could do with Acrobat. Another critical issue is understanding all the parameters of the snapscan profiles. This probably warrants several days (or even a week) of scanning test documents at various compression, resolution levels etc before coming up with a few profiles that you will use for your thousands of documents. Another critical factor was understanding which folders you are going to use on your hard drive for this purpose and how you are going to use them. Scanning everything directly into the EN import folder may not be the best way of doing things. In my case, I scanned all the pdf's to an interim holding folder where I worked on them before saving them into the import folder. Lastly, before starting any of this I experimented for months on naming/filing/tagging/searching protocols so that I could locate everything easily by directed searches. For example, before scanning in years of financial data I asked myself what search terms would you use to find what pieces of information in this jumble? Even though I gave this a lot of thought I still find that I got a lot of it wrong and am now having to rename things in a more intelligible manner.

This has not been an easy process but I'm very glad I did it. I'm also extremely glad that I put in the time to learn Acrobat, Evernote and SnapScan before I took the first step.

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idoc, great to read that you've made it through all the hard work to the other side of a paperless world. Just curious, what kind of naming conventions do you use?

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Just curious, what kind of naming conventions do you use?

Naming conventions: I think we would all like to see what others are using. I will stick my neck out and share what has worked well for me. I have twelve main notebooks, many with three or four subnote books inside.

If the notebook has subnotebooks it is listed in all caps.

COMPUTER - inside is a notebook called Code Snippes. The first part of the title of any note within a notebook is the first part of the name of the notebook, in this case: Code for example two notes within this notebook are: Code: Photos in a Document - Table Format. Another note is named: Code: Goodle's Safe Browsing Service.

It looks like this:

COMPUTER

Code Snippets

Code: Goodle's Safe Browsing Service

Code: Photos in a Document - Table Format

Another notebook is called OFFICE: and it looks like this.

OFFICE

Business Card

Business: Auto Masters

Receipts

Receipts: Allstate - Car Insurance

Tax Info

Tax: 2011 - Tax Return

I think you get the idea, this work well for me, I have 1510 notes with about 50 in merge format, so about a total of 2000 notes.

Regards,

David in Wichita

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I use 5 notebooks and tag liberally. For my home affairs the tags are expressive eg: insurance, health, auto, finance, banks, finance, home improvement, travel, manuals, purchases etc. However, I also use Evernote for all my work-related affairs. These tags are all nested under a Master Parent tag called "Work Folder". The subtags here are the 50-60 different vendors that I deal with. I like to do it this way so that I can close the parent tag and not see all the vendor subtags all the time. Most of my notes contain pdf files. The pdf files will always have the same name as the note. Here are several examples to give you an idea:

-Chase Mortgage Stmt 1-2012

-Unum Disability Policy 4-1-2009

-BC JS EOB Welby 1-4-2012......... ( Blue Cross, John Smith, Explanation of benefit, Dr. Welby, date of service 1-4-2012)

-Mercury Pilot stmt 1-3-2011............ ( Mercury Insurance, Honda Pilot, statement, 1-2-2011)

-Boston Clarion Inn 7-1-2012............... ( Boston trip, Clarion Inn, date of stay )

-Boston AA 7-2-2012.......................... ( Boston trip, American airlines, date of flight)

-AAA Plumber stmt sink 5-2011.................... (Plumber's statement for leaking sink May 2011)

-IRS 2007 refund

As you can see it's not an absolutely regimented system but there are usually enough key words and/or tags to allow me to pull anything up pretty quickly.

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congratulations! it sounds like you are

moving along nicely into a paperless lifestyle :)

i like how you named a tag as a folder. lol. that's classic, especially considering the thread complaining about people using the term in the forums and sowing confusion!

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congratulations! it sounds like you are

moving along nicely into a paperless lifestyle :)

i like how you named a tag as a folder. lol. that's classic, especially considering the thread complaining about people using the term in the forums and sowing confusion!

You're quite right to point this out, especially since I was the one that posted that complaint. However, I think that arguably this is a better term that one can use for this Parent or Master Tag as I personally use it (my caveat). It functions, in essence, as a physical folder would in a cabinet . What I mean by this is that my Work Folder will contain a "Bank of America" subtag which will contain all BOA correspondence, statements etc and this subtag will never appear on any other items. This is different to a non-nested tag such as "Insurance" which will appear under health documents, automobile statements, disability stuff, home, condo etc. Therefore, I view "Insurance" as a descriptive tag and "Bank of America" as a specific sub-tag. My auto insurance documents can be brought up by summoning the "auto" or "insurance" or "Honda" tags and therefore conceptually they don't reside in any particular place. Also, to find these notes I will often skip tags altogether and use my key terms eg: Mercury Honda 2005. However, my BOA material can only be brought up by using the BOA subtag. I find it easier to go the Work Folder and thumb through the vendors ie: subtags and open the one that I want (rather than using key terms and searches). Therefore, in my own mind I am using this as I would a physical folder.

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just savoring the delicious irony! no criticism intended at all :)

my personal and professional lives are joined in a

passionate embrace and i wouldn't know

where to start untangling the two. tags are certainly nice, because a note can exist in both categories simultaneously.

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Just curious, what kind of naming conventions do you use?

Naming conventions: I think we would all like to see what others are using. I will stick my neck out and share what has worked well for me. I have twelve main notebooks, many with three or four subnote books inside.

If the notebook has subnotebooks it is listed in all caps.

COMPUTER - inside is a notebook called Code Snippes. The first part of the title of any note within a notebook is the first part of the name of the notebook, in this case: Code for example two notes within this notebook are: Code: Photos in a Document - Table Format. Another note is named: Code: Goodle's Safe Browsing Service.

It looks like this:

COMPUTER

Code Snippets

Code: Goodle's Safe Browsing Service

Code: Photos in a Document - Table Format

Another notebook is called OFFICE: and it looks like this.

OFFICE

Business Card

Business: Auto Masters

Receipts

Receipts: Allstate - Car Insurance

Tax Info

Tax: 2011 - Tax Return

I think you get the idea, this work well for me, I have 1510 notes with about 50 in merge format, so about a total of 2000 notes.

Regards,

David in Wichita

ClutterBGone, I would call your organization style "directory structure". It can work well. Sounds like it's working for you now. This is the kind of structure that I've used in the past. Currently as I finish my conversion to Evernote, I'm changing from this directory structure focused style of organization to a tag style naming system with date as my primary sort. It generically looks like this:

date - tag - tag - tag...

The "tag" is really a key word or words. It might be a short phrase. But these are not really tags. At this time I don't use tagging feature in EN. I use "tag" when describing my naming convention, because when using search terms to find files, they function as tags would. Since I don't currently use the tagging feature in EN, later when I do implement its use, I will be able to add an additional layer or grouping to the way I understand my information.

Examples of how I name notes might be something like these:

2012.04.10 - Federal - Taxes - 2011

2011.12.31 - St Johns - Taxes - 2011 - Donation Receipt

2012.04.10 - Anathem - Provener - Notes

The note "tag" begin with global relevance and become more specific to the note with each subsequent "tag". Also, the number of "tag" is not limited to three. I put as many as intuitively feels right.

At this time, I use one notebook for all my information. All documents are scanned to PDF and OCR'd using Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro. The PDF's are named using the "date - tag - tag - tag..." convention. The PDF name becomes the name of the note when imported into EN.

When creating the name of the note, I choose "tag" information that makes sense. I also choose dates that make sense. I tend to use the due date for bills as the date of the note/PDF. When saving letters that I receive, I tend to use the date of the letter, not the date I received the letter. Likewise for letters that I write, I'll use the date of the letter, not the date I sent the letter. If I really need to know the date I send the letter, then I'll send the letter "certified" and scan a copy of that stub as part of the note. Likewise if I really need to know the date that I received the letter, I'll scan the envelope along with the letter so I have a record of the date stamp and then add a note with the date received.

I look at each type of document and determine the date that is most relavent to me. Then, I maintain consistency with the date type for each document type. This can seem difficult to track but since it is based on what is relavent to me, I really don't have to think about it. What is nice about this system is that it is based on how I think and what I think is important to know or remember. It is related to how I think and yet is flexible so that when I change my thinking, I can change my naming scheme and still find everything that I need because it is all based on how I think, not based on location in a directory where things can get hidden. I just search using terms that make sense to me and everything that I need comes up in the search.

I think the real key to using EN is to use it how you think.

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I think the real key to using EN is to use it how you think.

GHall, you are correct in my directory structure, it comes from 30 years in educational administration. Your last statement if correct "I think the real key to using EN is to use it how you think." Glad to see "we' are all on the same page, Evernote has to be one of the best programs for making life easy.

Regards,

David in Wichita

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