We’re pretty sure that no one actually looks forward to doing their taxes. In fact, most of us tend to feel a sort of panic when we realize that we have to go through a year’s worth of paperwork associated with all of our finances and whittle them down into a few spreadsheets. Let’s take a look at how you’re used to doing taxes, and how to do them the Evernote way.
The Old Way
For those of us who are organized, doing taxes means keeping a file folder with all of our financial statements, documents, pay stubs and investments somewhere in our house. Then, come tax season, pouring these documents out on our kitchen table (or our accountant’s desk) and manually plugging in numbers into our tax forms.
This process is tedious for those who are organized, but take folks who keep these sorts of documents scattered in all sorts of places – some on paper, some online, some in the closet, some at the office – and a long night(s) is guaranteed.
The Evernote Way
Invest in an affordable scanner for your home (a Fujitsu ScanSnap or one of our other scanner partners). Connect it to your Evernote account. Then, every time you get a pay stub, bank statement, or information about your investments/mortgage documents, simply scan it to your Evernote account. You can also clip your online statements to your Evernote account. You can drop all of these documents into a notebook labeled ‘Finances’ or even ’2011 Taxes.’ If you want to be even more specific, you can tag each statement with its type (for example: Bank of America, Pay Stub).
When you’re on the go, make a habit of taking photos of receipts (for example: when you’re on a business trip) and tagging these images with a tag like ‘receipts’ to make sure that they’re organized. Check out Trunk partners like Jotnot and Docscanner, which can improve the quality of your photos and make them even more searchable in Evernote.
Come tax time, you can easily find any and all documents that you need in your Evernote account. Once you’ve completed your taxes, save your paperwork in the same folder by scanning it, or simply dropping the PDF into your notebook. You’ll have your previous year’s tax documents in one place for easy reference the following tax season.
Are you doing your taxes with Evernote? Please share your tips and suggestions in the comments.
This post is part of our Makeover Series. Have you used Evernote to makeover an aspect of your life? Please share your story in the comments.