My Longest Running New Years Resolution

January 5, 2015

Even though I don’t typically set New Year’s Resolutions (read here), there is one New Year’s Resolution that has stuck around for the past five years.

With my resolutions, I’m lucky to make it through January before I forgot what I was trying to accomplish. Not here. This one has gone in fits and spurts. And never accomplished.

Going Paperless

Five years ago, iPad in hand, I decided that paper was my enemy. I lost most of it. What I kept I could never find the right piece. Paperless was the answer. Digitally store everything I needed in a single location, easily searchable, and available on my desktop or mobile. People like Jamie Rubin make it look easy. Here is a summary of five years of failures:

Year 1

*iPad and *Penulitmate. I’m going to write everything on my iPad. I’m going to mark-up documents on my iPad as well.

I can’t actually read my handwriting.

Year 2

Upgrade my writing utensil to an Adonit. I actually love writing on an iPad with this.

But I still can’t read my handwriting.

I get a printer/scanner to scan in as much as I can. But the scanner is too darn slow.

Year 3

I found this service, 1DollarScan that I mailed all of my documents to. So instead of standing next to a slow scanner, I throw everything in an envelope, wait for it to be too heavy to mail and send half of it to be scanned.

I type notes directly in to Evernote. It works, but typing on an iPad is much slower than typing at a real keyboard.

I signed up for FileThis. This was a huge success. FileThis takes all of my electronic invoices/bills/etc from all of my banks and service providers and files them in Evernote (or other services). Small victory.

Year 4

2014 was a big year. I bought the Evernote ScanSnap scanner. It’s fast. It does double-sided scanning. Another small victory.

I also decided that I should be writing notes in a notebook with a pen and paper and scanning them in. It works in the short-term (I scan the notes in a timely manner) but fails in the long term (I’m currently months behind scanning them in).

Year 5 — This Year

I’m back at it today. My focus for this year is solving some of the smaller problems I’ve had:

  • Losing the paper before I can scan it in.
  • The best organizational system.
  • Automating as much as possible.
  • Getting the right documents/information into Evernote.

I have a feeling that this resolution will come back in Year 6.