Juggling Life: All that Miscellaneous Paperwork

December 23, 2015

Juggling Life

Ok, Juggling Life is difficult and all that miscellaneous paperwork everywhere doesn’t help.  Everyone I talk to tells me about these stacks of papers they always set aside; I have had them too. This is all the papers, magazine articles, business cards, and notes on scratch papers.  I have to say, this can be the most overwhelming stack as there isn’t just a neat little category in which they fit.

While I no longer have my misc stack to show you, I can explain the process I used juggling life to make the stack disappear.

Tools I Recommend:

Scanner:
You can always use your printer’s scanner like this all-in-one printer OR
you could get this dual-sided scanner that I have been using for almost 3 years or this cute Doxie wand which is also highly recommended.

Evernote:
Now that I am going paperless I have found Evernote (referral link) to be an INVALUABLE tool.  If my paperwork does not contain any identifying private information I keep it in Evernote.  This includes all of the following: warranties, magazine articles, online articles, recipes, any and all home school resources, farming resources and much more.  Because of the volume and the extent to which I am using Evernote I have invested in a premium account.

Google Drive/One Drive
Finally, I highly recommend a secure online storage system.  Since my ultimate goal is to go completely paperless I looked for something that I could feel confident in keeping my family’s private documents.  I originally chose Google Drive (formally Google Docs) for several reasons.  First I was already using it.  Second Google had recently upgraded to Drive which made it much more versatile.  Third, it has a drag and drop feature that I love.   Forth, I could easily share documents with others as needed.  Finally, it met the security measures that I needed.  Not only does it require a password to enter it that expires at least every 30 days per device, but I have it set up with a secondary security features that sends a validation code to my iPhone that I then have to enter before getting into my Google account.  That means if someone were clever enough to guess my password, they would also need my cell phone to get the validation code. I switched over to One Drive for pretty much the same reasons with the exception that since I use Microsoft Office products I got an insane amount of storage on One Drive.

I will tell you, I don’t recommend these tools lightly.  My scanner has become my best friend.  Now that I am putting this stuff in Evernote and One Drive I am actually using it!  How’s that for a concept.  Evernote has an AMAZING search engine.  It will search and find info from my scanned in, hand written notes.  I have tested it.  It will search text in PDF files and in pics.  How I keep Evernote organized will have to be a blog post all on it’s own.

Juggling Life & Tackling Miscellaneous Paperwork

So now that you have all your tools in place let’s take a look at how I tackled this project while juggling life.

Because there are no pressing matters in this stack the only way I arranged it was so that it didn’t fall over.  Yes, my stack was that tall.  Every day after I finished my daily priority paperwork, i would take ten items off the top of this stack and handle.  That’s right ten items a day.  Did it take longer to handle it this way? Yes!  Did it seem manageable to handle this way? Definitely!

Out of those ten items, I pulled the items I knew I wanted to keep and I scanned them.  After I scanned the item, I sent it to either Evernote or dragged it into my Google Drive folder. After it was successfully scanned and sent to the proper program I threw the paper version in my paper recycling sack and deleted the hard copy off of my pc (only if I had sent to Evernote)

Next I would go through business cards.  Some of these I had for years from booths I had visited at different events.  So first I would look up their website and see if the company still existed.  If they no longer existed, I tossed the card. If they did exist I would find the item that interested me to begin with and I would “clip it” into Evernote with the Evernote Web Clipper.  Then I would toss the card.  If the company no longer appealed to me, I tossed the card and moved on.

Next, hand written notes.  If it was a brief note I would just create a new note in Evernote and type in the information.  If the note was long then i would scan in and send to Evernote.  And many times I would just toss it.

The kids pictures they have drawn or colored for me I scanned and sent to Evernote and recycled the original. If I came across any photographs, I put them with my scrapbook stuff.  As I came across recipes I evaluated whether I would ever truly make the recipe.  I thought I would like to make it then I scanned it in (I scanned very few in), if not I would chunk it.

It probably took me two weeks to go through this paper (Monday-Saturday).

How About You?

What are your tips and tricks in Juggling Life to manage all of your miscellaneous paperwork? Please share!

Read the first article in the series here.
Updated post originially posted 9/7/2012

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Patti

    1) I loooooove Evernote. But it never occurred to me to use it for this purpose! I just tested taking a pic of a doc with my phone in Evernote and it worked! The text in the picture WAS searchable. This method is much more likely for me to actually implement because I have a serious procrastination problem when I have to scan things (computer and scanner are in different rooms, etc)

    2) what benefits does the premium Evernote account have that inspired you to upgrade?

    3) Google Drive intrigues me. Did all your former Google docs move in there? I have Google docs and am wondering if that is all different now. Must look into it.

    4) thank you so much for taking the time to write this all up. You have given me some great new ideas. Paperwork is THE biggest frustration in my home management efforts.

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