Archive for category Misc.

Tools of the Trade

There are a few tools that are essential to my workflow.  In the coming weeks I will detail each one of these, but today I’ll provide a quick overview of these tools and why they are important.  From the name of this site it should be apparent that a mac is one of my essential tools, however, some of my key tools are available for both mac and pc.

Evernote Document OrganizationI have tried various software tools for document organization, but I have found none that serve my needs better than Evernote.  This program has built in OCR capabilities (converts scanned images or pictures into searchable text), automatic backups and a powerful synchronization engine for those of you that do your work on multiple computers.

Fujitsu ScanSnap

So how is it that all the paper that enters my life gets converted to an electronic format?  The answer is an amazing little device by Fujitsu called the ScanSnap.  Before purchasing this puppy, scanning anything always seemed such a chore.  This scanner has a document feed and can scan two-sided color documents at a rate of 8 pages per minute.  Each time I use the scanSnap, it continues to blow me away.

Paper Shredder

Finally, what do you do with all the documents you just finished scanning?  Well hopefully you can recycle most of them, but shredding is required for those containing personal information.  I don’t have a recommendation for a specific shredder, but at a minimum I would recommend a crosscuttingone.

In the coming weeks I will provide specific details on how I use each of these tools to keep my paper piles small, so be on the lookout.

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Motivation

About a year ago I found myself barely able to find my macbook on my desk amongst the piles of paper I had strewn about.  On top of this, I had a few drawers filled with files, these were at least neatly arranged due to a habit I picked up the year before after reading the well known Getting Things Done.  But all of this paper seemed ridiculous in a world with computers, scanners and 1 terabyte disk drives.  So on that day I made a commitment to slowly ween myself of all the paper.  Today I have only a small scribble pad on my desk (and my mac) and one small drawer of files, I’m not totally paperless, but much improved.  The goal of this site is for me to share what I’ve picked up over the past year, as well as interesting articles I find and also to learn what techniques my readers are using to remove paper from their life.

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