Tools to organize all those notes & loose papers.

Ever handwrite notes and then let them accumulate in stacks? Or go to a conference, gather a bunch of information that you want to save for ‘someday’ but are not actively using now? Or store a bunch of stuff in paper files that you would prefer to be electronic?

I have found two tools recently that help me organize in situations such as these. As always, no kickbacks are coming my way.

  1. A scanner that is designed only to scan. Not a printer that also scans (and does so slowly while destroying 50% of the pages). I bought the ScanSnap ix1500 for work having really no idea how much it would change my life. (Yes, I could type notes like I’m sure most of you do, but I just like handwriting). It is not cheap, Amazon is currently selling them for $399, but now that I know the value I would strongly consider making the investment just for personal use.
  2. Evernote. Evernote is software designed to store ‘stuff’ so that it is easy to find (because it is easy to search – if you design it to). I have the free version so far, and I am no expert in it’s use or understanding all that it can do for me, but so far I am really liking it. The relevance here is that I can take a picture (of something like a business card or brochure, or even notes) and save it in Evernote with a title that will allow me to find it again in a search. Done. Recycle the paper, and move on. As long as Evernote exists, I have a copy should I ever want to refer to it.

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