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timfg

paperless First steps to a paperless home...

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Hello guys

I've been lurking around here for the last couple of weeks, to help inform my thinking about taking a leap towards the whole paperless thing. And there's a remarkable collection of expertise in here, which I guess I shouldn't be surprised about! You've given me the confidence to get started - so though I might share my thoughts on the first steps. Please feel free to tell me where my thinking might be awry!

timfg

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Hello guys

I've been lurking around here for the last couple of weeks, to help inform my thinking about taking a leap towards the whole paperless thing. And there's a remarkable collection of expertise in here, which I guess I shouldn't be surprised about! You've given me the confidence to get started - so though I might share my thoughts on the first steps. Please feel free to tell me where my thinking might be awry!

timfg

Hi. Welcome to the discussion forums!

Thanks so much for sharing. It looks like you have mastered this paperless stuff. That is quite a post you have there, and I will have to give it a slower read later. I didn't come across any online backup service. It seems to me that you have pretty securely locked down your computer, and of course, Evernote has locked theirs down as well. You have that disk as an off site backup, just in case. But, I was wondering why you do not use a service like Cryptonite to back everything up as well. I don't use it myself (they know why), but with your concern about security and backing up, I thought you might want to consider it.

Also, I would recommend backing up versions of your drive. I use Time Machine on the Mac, but it looks like you use Windows. There is software for that too (Altaro Oops! Backup, for example). This is helpful if you accidentally mess up a note in May and decide you want to go back and rescue the data. It doesn't happen often, but there have been times when I've dug into my Time Machine and been happy to have earlier versions available.

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It's worth mentioning that buried under the paperless discussion (heh) you have a very cogent and well thought out security regime that works for your own purposes, your own assessment of your risk level. I'm sure others have stuff to add, but you thought it all out well. I'm sure further searches of our braintrust here would net you tactics on *how* exactly to keep that flow of paperless activity into your EN account organized and functional for as long as you're stuffing stuff into it.

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Also, I would recommend backing up versions of your drive. I use Time Machine on the Mac, but it looks like you use Windows. There is software for that too (Altaro Oops! Backup, for example). This is helpful if you accidentally mess up a note in May and decide you want to go back and rescue the data. It doesn't happen often, but there have been times when I've dug into my Time Machine and been happy to have earlier versions available.

Actually I tried out the trial of Carbonite the night before I wrote the post. I have two issues with online backup: 1) The fact that something is always churning away in the background monitoring and uploading, which just displeases me in an aesthetic performance control freak kind of way and 2) I have yet to find one that will let me back up from my central NAS device without charging me a fortune for it.

There are several machines in this house and they all sync in a variety of different ways to a pair of 1TB Raid1Drives in a NAS device hanging off the router. The NAS has about 400GB of data on it, as it contains copies of every machine's data (+ images of most of the machines with a clean build of their OS). Most important datasets are synced to more than one machine, so if you count the NAS as 2 copies, there are anything up to 6 copies of key data around the place. This strikes me as reasonably resilient :-) But all the data's in the house, so no protection against the place burning to the ground or some scrote breaking in and nicking all the stuff that looks shiny. I can't find a reasonably service that will allow me to sync from the NAS box, so I back the whole thing up on a 500GB drive once a month and take it back to work with me. It's not perfect, but it's extremely cheap and doesn't take a moment to do.

I use Allway Sync for all the shifting data around and the backup process, utterly brilliant tool. And I use Dropbox between the various user desktops.

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It's worth mentioning that buried under the paperless discussion (heh) you have a very cogent and well thought out security regime that works for your own purposes, your own assessment of your risk level. I'm sure others have stuff to add, but you thought it all out well. I'm sure further searches of our braintrust here would net you tactics on *how* exactly to keep that flow of paperless activity into your EN account organized and functional for as long as you're stuffing stuff into it.

Thanks - I'm heartened by the absence of people saying 'Ah, but you haven't considered THIS!' And I'm so sold on the concept now I've taken first steps, I don't think dealing with the incoming is going to be a problem at all. It's just the history that may be a challenge. eg I just remembered I have a carrier bag full of handwritten letters in the attic of various bents of romantic... well, heck, how could I not chuck them all in Evernote, I might actually read them at some point then...

I suspect I may be in for a long few months. Fun!

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Thanks for sharing your blog post, timfg. I'm in the process of doing this myself, and some of your ideas on client-side security were very helpful.

I too have decided to go back retroactively through my old files, and thus I am currently spending 1-2 hours per night after the kiddo goes to bed feeding the scanning beast. :-) I have a strong motivation to avoid procrastinating - I'm moving in 5 weeks and I am determined to not lug all of this paper to yet another house. I find the process cathartic, as I've gotten to the point where I can sit there and feed in the documents and mostly keep my brain free to think about other things.

One strategy that's sped up the process for historical stuff is that I tend to create larger PDFs which combine multiple documents of a similar theme, instead of scanning each of those individually. For instance, an entire course's worth of graduate school notes go into one PDF. All of the documents relating to a car I no longer own go into one PDF. The search is good enough that I can find what I need without too much hassle. For current stuff (e.g. my current car maintenance records), I'll be scanning them individually as they're generated, but I couldn't see any strong reason to do my backlog of files one document at a time. As long as I kept the PDFs reasonably small (I try to limit a single PDF to 100 pages or so), this approach seems to work well. Since part of my workflow is to rename the notes before they are uploaded into Evernote, this means a lot less stopping to type and a lot faster processing of the retroactive historical load of paperwork.

Thanks again for sharing your experience!

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Actually I tried out the trial of Carbonite the night before I wrote the post. I have two issues with online backup: 1) The fact that something is always churning away in the background monitoring and uploading, which just displeases me in an aesthetic performance control freak kind of way and 2) I have yet to find one that will let me back up from my central NAS device without charging me a fortune for it.

There are several machines in this house and they all sync in a variety of different ways to a pair of 1TB Raid1Drives in a NAS device hanging off the router. The NAS has about 400GB of data on it, as it contains copies of every machine's data (+ images of most of the machines with a clean build of their OS). Most important datasets are synced to more than one machine, so if you count the NAS as 2 copies, there are anything up to 6 copies of key data around the place. This strikes me as reasonably resilient :-) But all the data's in the house, so no protection against the place burning to the ground or some scrote breaking in and nicking all the stuff that looks shiny. I can't find a reasonably service that will allow me to sync from the NAS box, so I back the whole thing up on a 500GB drive once a month and take it back to work with me. It's not perfect, but it's extremely cheap and doesn't take a moment to do.

I realise I am slightly necrothreading here, but I do feel this might help future searchers: Crashplan offers unlimited backup of up to 10 computers for between 9 and 14 bucks a month, depending on subscription length. Little under half that for a single PC.

 

You can run the crashplan headless client on most Synology NASes. It's easier on the Intel, but it'll run on the ARMs. And yes, you *can* then back up your entire n TBs of NAS to crashplan. Eventually, at least. Does take a while.

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