Tips & Stories

The 30 Day Paperless Challenge with Ambassador Jamie Todd Rubin

The 30 Day Paperless Challenge with Ambassador Jamie Todd Rubin

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 14 Aug 2012

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 14 Aug 2012

Paperless Lifestyle Ambassador Jamie Todd Rubin has been sharing his process and tips for embracing a paperless life in his weekly “Going Paperless” series. Today, he’s helping us kick off our very first Paperless Challenge. This fun and useful challenge will help you rid yourself of paper clutter and create a process (and a habit) around digitizing everything from meeting notes to bills.

The Challenge officially kicks off on Tuesday, August 21st and lasts 30 days. Use the next week to get yourself organized, be sure you have the proper tools (Evernote downloaded to all of your devices, as well as a scanner of your choice). We recommend checking out the following scanners in the Evernote Trunk.

Download Jamie’s Guide: The Evernote Paperless Challenge Checklist

To participate in the Paperless Challenge, you’ll need to download Jamie’s guide, The Evernote Paperless Challenge Checklist. From there:

  • RSVP for the Paperless Challenge Facebook Event.
  • Save the Evernote Paperless Challenge Checklist document to your Evernote account — your first ‘going paperless’ task!
  • Start checking off those boxes! Jamie has created a guide packed with his recommended paperless flow, a checklist for getting started, as well as two separate checklists to help you determine what you should digitize.
  • Connect with fellow Challenge participants and Jamie on Facebook, the Evernote Lifestyle forum, Twitter, and your blog (if you have one!) anytime between today and September 19th. Ask questions, share your story, discuss best practices and keep us updated with your progress.
  • Rally your paper-hoarding friends by tweeting: Join me in participating in the 30 day #evernotepaperlesschallenge! Let’s get rid of clutter! #evernotelife
  • Complete as many of the Challenge tasks as possible by September 19th!

Why Join?

There are lots of reasons why you might consider joining the Challenge. Here are just a few:

  1. You’ve been trying to figure out how to cut down those piles of paper in your home or office.
  2. You didn’t realize you could put paper documents in your Evernote account.
  3. You want to try to become a better Evernote user, but need help getting started.
  4. You want to live a greener life.
  5. You want to become more organized.

This community event is open to Evernote users around the world.

Win Prizes!

Over the course of the Paperless Challenge, we’ll select 5 random winners, who will all receive a goody bag of Evernote treats including a t-shirt, tote bag, stickers, and more.

One lucky winner will receive a Canon scanner (similar to the one Jamie uses). In order to be eligible to win an Evernote goody bag or scanner, you must be an active participant in the Challenge on the Facebook event page.

Have an idea for a community Evernote event? Share it in the comments!


Evernote Premium

Upgrade for features to help you live and work smarter.

Go Premium
View more stories in 'Tips & Stories'

17 Comments RSS

  • Tony

    Oh man! I have just finished all this! Even to the point of assiging an email alias on my personal domain that I have forwarded to evernote. I did all this via Shoeboxed integration. Just have two more years of receipts to send (Litterally going paperless) they have done all of 2012 and all of 2009 so I have 10 and 11 left to do. But my office is so much cleaner!

  • Rick Lobrecht

    Great idea, and I’ll see if I can incorporate some of it.

    I wish the checklist was in Evernote format, instead of a PDF. Tough to actually check off those boxes in a PDF.

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      Good point, Rick! We’ll take that into account the next time we do one of these.

    • Jason B.

      Yeah, that would be cool, but for PDFs, there’s always PDFpen! Love that app on my iPad and I use it in conjunction with Evernote.

      The iPad version info is here:

  • Youhani

    Why a scanner as a price? If someone already has moved to a 95% digital life it’s not motivating to participate in a challenge bellonging to the 19th century

    • Julie

      HEY!! Don’t discourage this! I WANT that scanner! 🙂 I have not moved to even a 5% paperless lifestyle yet…but this seems as good a first step as anything I’ve seen so far! Truth be told, I haven’t really given much thought to going paperless BUT I just started a committee for my 20-year high-school reunion and I’m ALREADY drowning in paper, spiral notebooks, index cards, & sticky notes….and we’ve got 11 months to go!! If I can master this, I think I might just be able to stay organized for this thing….AND MAYBE win a scanner in the process! LOL Yep..this 19th century babe is HIGHLY MOTIVATED to participate in the challenge!

    • Ruth

      Oh, I want the scanner too! My printer is also a scanner, but it’s very cumbersome to use. I’m depending on my Blackberry. Can you imagine how hard that is? Though it has gotten easier with the “Add New” button on the Snapshot menu in EN…a LOT easier. Now I can scan a two- or three-page document without making separate notes. Keep the scanners coming! Thank you!

  • pat baker

    What am I doing wrong. I have installed Evernote on my pc, my phone and my ipad. I go to MLS send listing, it goes to pc evernote and opens up. on the ipad it goes over but just shows the opening page with link but the MLS sheets don’t come over. I’m stumped.

  • Mauricio Tellez

    Hi, in the tweet message you want we tweet, the link try to open a non-existing page.

  • Travis

    Minor detail: the photo with big red & white “PDF” is linked to Carley Knobloch’s organization tips. Great concept on this challenge!

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      Thanks, Travis! We’ll update the image link!

  • Mireille005

    I am not on Facebook and cannot “RSVP for the Paperless Challenge Facebook Event”. Does this mean I cannot participate? I have asked this on Twitter but got no answer.

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      You can definitely participate in the Challenge, even if you are not on Facebook. You can also join the Paperless discussion on our Lifestyle forum:

  • Ruth

    A number of people have complained that they couldn’t check off items on Jamie’s checklist…but they can. If you use Nitro PDF Reader instead of Adobe, it is very easy to mark up a PDF. I do it all the time, signing and dating documents, adding comments to business documents, etc. Just install Nitro and set it as your default PDF reader. Open the PDF in Nitro, click on Type Text, then position your cursor, and type in a nice big X over the box. Click on Finish. Then (bonus!) click on the File, Save, and Send to Evernote. It goes directly to EN! You can also open the PDF in Nitro from within EN by clicking on the PDF icon at the top of the note. Hope this helps!

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      Great tip, Ruth!

  • Don Wells

    I have run into a paperless problem. I have started using my Android tablet with a stylus instead of paper and pen. Yesterday I was using Skitch to create a flow chart. When I sent it to Evernote it was so low resolution that I could not read half of it.

    Today i was using Skitch to write some stuff down. I then pushed the wrong button and lost an entire days work. I was hesitant to save it because it could become illegible. I was going to scan it with my phone instead.

    I like Skitch because while drawing you can actually move individual or groups of pen strokes around. You can erase entire pen strokes. You can draw perfect circles, squares, and straight lines. In short it is the greatest thing to draw and write on.

    But it does not save what you are currently working on in a file. If you do save then you save as a flat png file that is of low resolution compared to the original.

    So my work around is apMemo. This app is nice because it never looses anything you have created so far. You can work on multiple pages at the same time. But it does not do the vector drawing, and individual gesture tracking that Skitch does.

    What I have discovered is that if you start a document in apMemo, even blank, save it to Evernote, then edit with Skitch you can save it with the much higher apMemo resolution. I know that Skitch isn’t really advertised as an app to create stuff, rather just annotate existing photos. But I think the usefulness of this app as part of a paperless solution is way under valued.

    I would like to request 2 Skitch Android features. One – be able to save the working vector drawing in a file somehow. Wouldn’t it be great if you could go back and work on a half finished drawing? Two – be able to select the resolution and quality of a saved png file so that details are not lost.

    • Don Wells

      Okay, apMemo was not the right tool for the job of writing stuff on my Android tablet. It lacks some key features.

      Today I tried to create a blank page in apMemo and share to Evernote. Then from Evernote I use Skitch to add content. Every so often I do a save back to Evernote replacing the image. I do that every time I have written enough stuff that loosing it would not be good.

      That worked great until Evernote said something like Image can not be opened. Everything was gone, again. I uninstalled Skitch so I won’t even be tempted to use it.

      But good news, I found Quill ($1.00). It is similar to Skitch, but it saves your drawings. You can work on one drawing, open another, then go back and continue. It does not flatten the vector drawings…ever! When you share your files to Evernote you can share as a vector drawn PDF so you don’t loose detail! What more could you ask for? I’ll tell you: It does an automatic back up of your drawings every 15 minutes!

      Now I know what your thinking: But Don aren’t you afraid you will loose your tablet and all your vector drawings too? Yes, so here is what I did. I also got Dropsync. The free version will sync one folder on Android with one folder in Dropbox…in both directions. So I set it to sync the Quill back up file. If my tablet gets lost or submerged in water I can recover my drawings from the back up.

      *** So here is my paperless technique ***

      I use Quill to replace pen and paper. I share either png flattened files or vector drawn PDFs into Evernote so that they become searchable and available everywhere. If I need to make changes I go back the the original drawing on my tablet change it and then share again and delete the old version in Evernote. My original drawings are safe in Dropbox.