I think you’ll all agree when I say that paperwork is one of the biggest clutter culprits in most homes. ‘Going paperless’ is a semi-regular series on eliminating paper from your home in order to save time, reduce clutter and benefit the environment.
Step 2: Digitising
I make a lot of notes. And not pretty scrapbook-worthy notes like in the above photo by Oh Hello Friend. We’re talking scrawled scraps of paper all. over. the. house.
Not only is it clutter-producing in the extreme, it’s also not even very effective. I know I wrote down the address for the party / that blog idea / Mum’s birthday present idea somewhere. Is it in one of my (many) notebooks? Is it on a post-it note hidden under a pile of papers on my desk? Is it on a piece of paper stuffed in a handbag? (Sounds like a not-very-successful children’s book.)
Since life doesn’t have a ‘search’ field, I had to work out a better system.
I started using Evernote a couple of months ago and I am loving it.
I’ve set up a handful of broad categories (‘Stacks’) including Akimbo, Atypical Type A, Inspiration, Orgainising, Personal and Finances, but you can organise it in a way that makes sense to you. Within that I’ve created sub-category ‘Notebooks’, for example within Personal there’s Travel, Parties, Gift ideas and Recipes.
From there you just create individual notes from your preferred device. I like the fact that it’s cross-platform and -device so if I’m in the studio I’ll jot dwn ideas using the desktop version, if I’m on the couch I’ll reach for my iPad and if I’m out and about I’ll use the Android widget.
I mainly just type in notes but the I’ve found the photo note function on the phone version quite useful too (there’s also audio but I’ve never used that). I have no idea how I lived without the Web Clipper tool – seriously it is so handy to be able to save articles for later, all with the original URL intact. The image previews are great for visual browsing.
Gawd, I sound like an ad, don’t I? I promise I’m not being paid to say any of this, I’m just really digging the product and wanted to share it with you.
It’s a really powerful tool and I’m quite sure I’m only using 10% of its functions. I’m still trying to break the lifelong habit of writing paper notes so I’m currently in the transition stage.
I’m definitely keen to dig further into it, but for now here are some ideas on how you could use it to reduce your paper clutter in your life and work:
- Articles to read
- Recipes (either favourites or new)
- Business cards
- Blog post ideas
- Gift ideas
- Crafts to try
- Places to visit
- Books to read
- House projects
- Home references
- Work ideas
- Things to buy
- Items lent/borrowed
- Meeting notes
- Activities to do with spouse/kids
- Instruction manuals
I’ll be talking about a few of these in upcoming posts (next up: Manuals & warranties).
Do you use Evernote or some kind of digital note-taking system? I’d love to know what you use it for. Let’s discuss more ideas in the comments!