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Evernote -- Help setting up a paperless reference filing system that i can use

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  • Evernote -- Help setting up a paperless reference filing system that i can use

    Hey i just decided that along with my high tech digital tools ie omnifocus i wanted to take it to the next level. Using omnifocus is great but its not really designed for filing and such. My question is how do i set up a GTD filing system in evernote? What are some good practices that could help me go paperless

  • #2
    I set up my DEVONThink file system just like my paper one. Folders in a single DT database one layer or at most 2 layers deep. I name the folders appropriately by subject and they show up on my system in alphabetical order. When I last looked at Evernote there was a limit on the number of folders you could have. If that has been removed then it's easy, just create a file folder the same way you create paper folders and store the documents in side them.

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    • #3
      And no flying cars, either.

      Originally posted by Phidelt View Post
      My question is how do i set up a GTD filing system in evernote? What are some good practices that could help me go paperless
      Paperless, huh? I still have a 90's T-shirt somewhere with a drawing of a guy in a suit, sitting on a wooden crate in an empty room, with a stylus in his hand and wearing big VR glasses, captioned "Virtual Office"... why aren't we there yet?

      I picked up some nice GTD tips from Daniel Gold's book, Evernote: The unofficial guide to capturing everything and getting things done. I think there are some podcasts out there, too, with him describing his system, if you don't want to spend $5 on the book.

      I love Evernote. 9 times out of 10 I'll be looking for something and, voilá, it's there in Evernote. But I HAD to commit to scanning everything that passed through my hands that I wanted to keep. If I didn't do that, I couldn't trust the system.

      As a Connect member, you'd have access to all kinds of Evernote posts, too. And I'm sure there are plenty on the public forums as well. Good luck, Phidelt!

      Dena

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      • #4
        Good Guide to Paperless Workflow

        This was a great reference in setting up my paperless workflow.


        Paperless by David Sparks
        https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pap...20393162?mt=11

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        • #5
          So to set up evernote i need to have folders A-Z

          So from reading the above posts and others i've come to the conclusion that i need to have a filing system designated by alphabetical order, i have no problem with this but have no experience with it either. Say i have a GTD folder that goes in the G part of the filing system yeah?

          If anyone else could help me along with learning this i would greatly appreciate it or is it as simple as listing things in alphabetical order.

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          • #6
            Use tags.

            Originally posted by Phidelt View Post
            Say i have a GTD folder that goes in the G part of the filing system yeah?
            I think A-Z folder structure in electronic reference systems like Evernote is an obsolete technique. Use tags instead. Evernote sorts them alphabetically in the left column.

            Tag all your GTD related notes with a "GTD" tag and then you'll be able to find them easily.

            You can attach multiple tags to one note.

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            • #7
              Although I use Evernote, most of my project support files are in Dropbox, organized by areas of focus. This works very well for me. I use Evernote almost exclusively for reference material from the Internet. It's a bit surprising to me how paperless I am; the only scanning I do is of older published articles to put in Zotero, an article/reference manager.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Phidelt View Post
                Say i have a GTD folder that goes in the G part of the filing system yeah?
                Yes exactly.

                Some people like to use tags. I find them very difficult. Unless you are very careful about how you define tags it's easy to have things tagged with different tags that are really the same.

                For example do I tag stuff related to my livestock protection dogs, dog or dogs? If I use one tag one time and another at a later time I won't find all the correct items when I search. If I have a single folder with the label Dog I can always find it easily even if I am looking for Dogs because it is close to where I am looking.

                The whole singular vs plural is a bear in tagging systems when you get lots of documents. If your filing is fairly small, with not too many items then tagging can work if you think that way.

                Another issue with tags and other metadata types is that they are not very portable across systems. Tags that you spend a long time setting up in one system may not transfer if you upgrade the operating system, change computers or change storage software. I've been caught that way many times so now I try to avoid using things that are less likely to move when I change my system.

                With no recognized standard for basic metadata this is a potential issue especially if you keep archives of data for a long time. Since I just recovered a document that was completed in 1993 I have experience that I can need very old computer documents at any time so I am particularly careful about import, export and file types as well as metadata for anything I keep.

                Before deciding on an approach evaluate your needs carefully and look at what you already have stored and how often you go back and how far.

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                • #9
                  The advantage of tags.

                  Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                  Some people like to use tags. I find them very difficult. Unless you are very careful about how you define tags it's easy to have things tagged with different tags that are really the same.
                  How does it differ from being "not careful" in defining folders. You can have many folders that represent the same topic.

                  The advantage of tags is that you can associate more than one to a note so you can group your notes using different criteria (time, place, people, area of focus, breed of sheep etc.).

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                  • #10
                    David Sparks - Paperless

                    It comes from David Sparks Paperless book. He lays out how to use tags and how to use nested folders in a filing system and discusses the reasons he uses nested folders because of the problems with tags.

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                    • #11
                      Evernote

                      I use Evernote for general reference, as well as for my Larger Outcome lists, checklists, and reference lists.

                      The beauty of Evernote is that it's easy to use, easy to search, and syncs to all of your devices. You don't have to worry about organizational systems, because every word is searchable. Yes, you can use tags (which I do sparingly) and Notebooks (which are useful for keeping things together that you want to see together), but these are not necessary. They are useful options.

                      You can also take pictures of things (wine bottles, magazine articles, etc.), record audio, or use existing pics.

                      It's one of my favorite and most used apps.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zoltan View Post
                        I use Evernote for general reference, as well as for my Larger Outcome lists, checklists, and reference lists.
                        What sorts of things go on your Larger Outcome lists? Are these projects or actions?

                        Originally posted by Zoltan View Post
                        Yes, you can use tags (which I do sparingly) and Notebooks (which are useful for keeping things together that you want to see together), but these are not necessary. They are useful options.
                        I use tags in Evernote as a weekly review/mind dump tool. The latest version makes scanning the list of tags much easier since I can view them in alpha order or by number of files tagged. Love it.

                        Dena

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by artsinaction View Post
                          What sorts of things go on your Larger Outcome lists? Are these projects or actions?

                          I use tags in Evernote as a weekly review/mind dump tool. The latest version makes scanning the list of tags much easier since I can view them in alpha order or by number of files tagged. Love it.

                          Dena
                          My Areas of Focus list & any other longer term goals or outcomes, as well as any purpose, mission or vision statements.

                          Yes, the latest version of Evernote has some great improvements making finding & organizing your things so easy. It's a great tool & app.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
                            Although I use Evernote, most of my project support files are in Dropbox, organized by areas of focus. This works very well for me. I use Evernote almost exclusively for reference material from the Internet. It's a bit surprising to me how paperless I am; the only scanning I do is of older published articles to put in Zotero, an article/reference manager.
                            I use both applications and both made a A-Z reference filing but abit confused which one to use for which. I was going to use dropbox for long term referencing and evernote as a collection reference tool. Is this right? or is there a better way of doing things ?

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