We are onto our THIRD post in the series!! WHOO! If you’ve missed the first two posts on Calendar Batching and Outlook Rules, make sure you check them out!
I’m Bri Leichliter, owner of B&L Core Group, and I’m here to teach you some ways to make your workdays more productive. Remember, productivity does not equal busy. If you went, hmm…..and had to let that sink in, you should check out this Ted Talk!
So today we’re going to talk about something that has become pretty normal in today’s world but is still hard for a lot of people and that is going PAPERLESS!
PART 3: DIGITIZING YOUR LIFE
Let me tell you something personal about myself. My husband’s biggest pet peeve is clutter, particularly paper clutter. You know that phrase people use, “…and this is why we can’t have nice things”? Well, my husband jokes with me and tells me that my paper clutter is the reason why we can’t have flat surfaces.
Unfortunately, being messy is one of my biggest traits…and not a good one. I’ve had to learn how to master the art of digitizing to be able to get rid of my paper clutter to become more productive and let me tell you, eliminating paper clutter has also helped me unclutter my mind and ease some stress!
If you are used to rummaging through a stack of papers to find something or you end up making piles after piles and then just move them from one spot on your desk to another, then take this as your sign that it’s time to digitize!
Nowadays, there are so many options to go paperless – paperless billing and bank statements, e-mail newsletters, and coupons, and the list goes on and on. But did you notice that just in those examples, there is a similarity?
If we eliminate paper and choose a paperless option, where does all of that info now go? That’s right, straight to your e-mail. In part 2 of the series, we talked about getting your e-mail organized. That is a great starting point.
But what happens when you’re inbox gets full? What then are you going to do with all of that information?
I’ve viewed hundreds of Pinterest pins and blog posts to try to figure out how to get organized. By the way, one that I’ve recently stumbled on that I love is from my friend Christina Davis, called Time For Planning. For years, I used a standard filing system with a filing cabinet and right now, mine is still full of paper as I transition into a completely digital life!
My expertise is in process writing and eliminating waste from processes to become more LEAN. It didn’t make sense to me to go through and set up a whole bunch of Outlook Rules, just to have to go back in and clean house later to get them out of my e-mail.
So what did I discover that completely changed my world?
This free software saved me! Evernote has two options, a free option, and a premium option. For me personally and in business right now, I use the free option. There’s no need to spend money if I don’t need to and since I’m the only one using it, there was no need to pay for it.
What is it about Evernote that is so amazing?
Basically, Evernote is a set of digital post-it “notes” that you can compile into an organized Notebook. You can then compile a bunch of different notebooks and store them in different Stacks. Think of it as a folder and subfolder system. The Stack is the folder and Notebook is the subfolder. Everything that is put into Evernote is searchable, including any documentation that it uploaded to it.
I use Evernote to have a digital journal, make to-do lists, keep tables of easily accessible information, and store digital copies of business cards (you know you have a stack of business cards gathering dust somewhere).
There are two main ways that I use Evernote to organize my paperless files.
The first way is to sync Evernote to a folder on my desktop where I save scanned in paperwork. Even though getting rid of all paper is ideal, it’s highly unlikely. There are many businesses who don’t offer a paperless option, so for those bills or important signed documents, I scan them into my computer and store them in a folder I call “Upload to Evernote”.
Within Evernote, I have created a Notebook called TO SORT in my Daily stack. From there, I set up Evernote to automatically sync to this folder to pull the documentation into Evernote and automatically delete from the “Upload to Evernote” folder. I LOVE AUTOMATION!
Every day, I take a peek at the TO SORT Notebook and put all of the uploads into different notebooks (subfolders).
Easy peasy right?
The second way, and my favorite way to use Evernote is with their Web Clipping tool. It’s a browser extension but it has completely transformed the way I look at digital data.
So, remember those paperless statements I’m getting in my e-mail? Instead of putting it in an Outlook folder to have to look at later, I take care of that document right then and there. Before the Web Clipper, I would have to save the message or download the statement and then save it to a folder on my computer to be able to store it digitally.
With the Web Clipper, I just open the statement, use the Web Clipper and can save it directly to the appropriate Evernote Notebook.
DID THAT JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?
If not, I guess you will just have to try it for yourself!
The Web Clipper can also be used while you’re browsing the internet. If you come across something inspirational, you can clip it! Web Clipper allows you to save screenshots, save full articles, simplified versions of articles and so on. And remember, everything in Evernote is SEARCHABLE!
So let’s take a look at how the Web Clipper just saved us time.
Old way of digitizing paperless statements or e-mails:
Now, the process looks like this:
Can you believe we just eliminated 3 steps from something that seems so simple?
I’ve partnered my Evernote with a NeatReceipts scanner and I also scan in all of my bookkeeping receipts and invoices! The NeatReceipts scanner is portable, I bought mine used on eBay and can carry it in my briefcase or computer bag to always have it handy! It scans both receipts and full sheets of paper as well.
If you would like to try to start using Evernote to organize your e-mails, keep your inbox as empty as possible and digitize your life, I’d love to help!
I’ve created this printable step-by-step guide to start your journey to digitizing your e-mail clutter!
She helps managers and entrepreneurs set a solid foundation for business GROWTH to be able to eliminate redundancy in your processes and get yourself set up for OUTSOURCING or hiring employees.
Latest posts by Bri Leichliter (see all)
- 4 Free Ways To Increase Business Productivity! – Post 04 - April 24, 2017
- 4 Free Ways To Increase Business Productivity- Post 03 - April 17, 2017
- 4 Free Ways To Increase Business Productivity- Post 02 - April 10, 2017