I'm probably more excited about this than I ought to be, but since I use paper heavily for notes, I'm smiling ear to ear.
August 6th, 2016: The day I finally figured out how to manage paper, permanently.
1. Every piece of paper, write the date at the top. Ruthlessly throw out paper more than a day old.
2. Transfer little action items to to-do list or do them.
3. Write longer ideas into a capture file (I'm using Quip, but Evernote or anything could work).
4. Use iPhone apps "Scannable" for Evernote or "Capture" for Box to store scanned inspirational copies of paper permanently.
5. Set a rule: "zero net paper increase per day" ... occasionally breaking it is okay, but definitely not multiple days in a row. Paper constantly gets digitized goes to zero.
I've been putting each of these pieces in a play gradually, just finally tied them all together. I used to accumulate tons of paper notes that went unprocessed for too long -- no more! A good day. Questions welcome.
A lot of email got you feeling down? I know the feeling. After spending a bunch of time playing around analyzing the root causes of why an inbox gets backed up, and using a few different techniques and tools, I've got a pretty rock-solid way to get your inbox to zero fast. It'll absolutely work for you if you do it.
*Laptop*Comfortable spot without internet access*Offline email: Mac Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook, the Offline Gmail Chrome Plugin, or something similar*Scrap paper and a pen*An elegant note-taking program. I recommend Evernote.*A calendar
If you're an "online email only" kind of guy or gal, I'd recommend you set up IMAP so you've got all your email on your computer. Empirically speaking, internet access is distracting and leads down rabbit holes. The success rate of successfully clearing out the inbox goes down if you're online, and the time it takes to do so at least doubles. If you're a Gmail user, you're in luck -- Offline Gmail for Chrome is quite robust and you won't need to set anything up. I still like using Outlook or OSX's native Mail App better than Offline Gmail, but it's fast to set up.
Understanding the Email Problem
The year is winding down and instead of a fresh post about using Evernote, I wanted to share the five most popular Evernote posts from this year. Combined these five posts had almost 1,o00 views.
Using Evernote to manage your bills.
This tip with reminders, photos, and confirmation numbers has been put to heavy use this month as I've opened a few credit cards for the rewards they offered.
Using Evernote to save passwords.
Like using Evernote to manage bills, this technique has also been used a lot this month. In addition to the Chase, AmEx, and other credit card logins, I've also started to manage my reward numbers for Delta SkyMiles and Marriott Rewards.