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You probably read that post title and thought, “WHAT?!Abby, you are the queen of binders and paper lists!Tags and OCR is how you’ll recall notes in the future.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed once your documents have been scanned and are in Evernote. I tried to duplicate physical folder structures into digital notebooks within Evernote. Lets say, for instance, that I scanned a 1099 MISC from Google for some Adsense Income.

Would I put the document in the financial or taxes notebook? With physical documents these are the decisions that you have to make, but with the power of tags in Evernote you never have to decide to put something.

To get your paperless system set up, you will need to: It wasn’t until I bought my Fujitsu Scansnap that I was able to go completely paperless. I think it’s the perfect compromise between the pricier but faster ix500* and the s1100* without a paper tray. If you want to be super cool you could always go with the co-branded Evernote / Fujitsu scanner.* I will say that I’ve been more than happy with my s1300i!

* There are lots of other scanners out there; some are okay and some are downright bad, but I wouldn’t even look beyond Fujitsu. You can save yourself the frustration of organizing your now-digital documents in some little file/folder structure on your computer!

You can see in the picture above that I have 15 documents in my Inbox.

That’s 15 items that I need to process (tag and then move into the File Cabinet). The best feature of Evernote Premium (/month) is the OCR (optical character recognition) search feature. I could spend days flipping through Evernote trying to find the thing OR with OCR I can just start typing in the search box and Evernote will search not just tags and titles, but also the body of the document!

Once a document has been tagged, I move it from the Inbox into the File Cabinet for future retrieval and use.

The goal is “Inbox Zero.” The Inbox is a temporary spot for notes and documents until you can tag them and move them into the File Cabinet.

Notice below that one of the Scansnap options is to scan directly into Evernote. I have it set up so that all I need to do is plug the scanner into my Macbook, load some paper, and push the flashing blue button.

Then magically all the documents end up my Evernote inbox.

Ideally, all of my worldly possessions would fit into a It’s easy to understand the benefits of going paperless, but the hard part is actually making some decisions and setting up the system.

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