Going Paperless with Evernote

Imagine 30 years of notes, files, academic papers, articles and other miscellaneous paper. Imagine the drawers of filing cabinets and boxes piled up in the attic. Imagine the receipts and paperwork that accumulated just last year with almost 85,000 miles of air travel and over 100 nights in hotels.

Imagine 30 years of notes, files, academic papers, articles and other miscellaneous paper. Imagine the drawers of filing cabinets and boxes piled up in the attic. Imagine the receipts and paperwork that accumulated just last year with almost 85,000 miles of air travel and over 100 nights in hotels.

Now imagine it all gone. In three weeks. Not a scrap of paper left except what you just can't throw out like birth certificates and the like. Imagine that thousands and thousands of pages are indexed and retrievable in seconds. Imagine that its all stored in the cloud, backed up and safe.

Thank you Evernote

evernote logo square 150x150Three weeks ago I purchased the Evernote Scansnap desktop scanner. Evernote has partnered with Fujitsu to create their own version of the ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner. The software is built for Evernote integration, so when you scan a receipt, it goes to receipts. When you scan a business card, it goes to business cards, searches LinkedIn for their information and creates a link for you. This scanner also works wirelessly - so you're not tied to your desk! (Sitting in my favorite chair with piles of paper and a scanner was actually kind of fun! The above picture is about 1/2 of the load).

Thirty Years on Every Device

Probably one of my favorite features of Evernote is that every note, scan, voice memo, drawing - whatever I put in Evernote - is always available on every device I own. That means that when I take a picture of a receipt after a meal, moments later its available for my admin to process via a shared notebook. When I scan an itinerary, its available on my iPad or phone moments later - or when I'm standing at the hotel desk ready to check in.

2011 10 07 mac 128Thirty years ago I started my first of two masters degrees. I was the only student on campus with a portable computer (the original 128k Mac - no hard drive but with a carrying case!). Even with the computer, everything got printed and stored in folders. Three weeks ago, the course materials and my notes took up four drawers of a large filing cabinet. Today, every word - even my handwritten notes - are available and searchable on my phone, iPad, laptop and desktop.

(One note: You do need the "pro" version of Evernote. Even then, I had to purchase two syncing upgrades of 1GB each to get this done - a whole $10.00 extra).

Goodbye Paper

This past January I taught the "Technology in Education" course at Kingswood University. I emphasized the idea of a paperless classroom - which is really hard to do, but achievable at the older grades. I suggested the combination of Google Apps and Evernote as the primary delivery tools for assignments, papers, pdf's etc. The idea was actually new to some of the students. By the end of the course, we had achieved exactly that - not one shred of paper had been printed or produced by me or my students. (The school insisted on printing the syllabus - oh well).

When I travel - everything goes in digital notebooks and my TripIt app (something else I can't recommend enough for frequent travelers). Every receipt gets scanned immediately via the Evernote app.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not a fanatical environmentalist. I'm a realist (or at least I try to be). Printing needless reams of paper is a waste and now, completely inefficient in many cases.

So, thank you Evernote!

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So, what do you think?