John is a freelance insurance adjuster in the Seattle area. A longtime Evernote user, he recently started incorporating Skitch into his workflow to help him achieve his productivity goals in an industry notorious for paperwork. John shares how he uses Evernote and Skitch to streamline his business.
I use Evernote, Everywhere..
- Android Tablet
- Android smartphone
- Windows Desktop
I use Evernote + Skitch for…
Seamlessly managing freelance client work
As an independent adjuster, I work with several different insurance companies at any given time and take on a number of appraisal jobs from each one. This generates an enormous amount of files that I need to track and Evernote has helped me to keep it all straight. Every time I get a new assignment file, I create a notebook with the file’s number and title. Then, I place a note in the notebook with a checklist of each of the components that I need to complete to close the file. Managing my client work has never been easier; I just search within all my open files and see what still needs to be done.
Documenting damage on the go
Skitch has completely changed the way I document claims. I typically cover auto appraisals and property damage, so I needed to take photos or draw up floor plans to show where the damage was incurred, what was the extent of it, etc. I used to make hand drawings with notes and often would get home and realize that I couldn’t read my own handwriting. Once I started using Skitch, I could easily create a basic floor plan using shapes, arrows and text to indicate dimensions, the location of damage, or take notes on anything else that would help me make an accurate estimate. I could also snap pictures in Skitch and add arrows and text directly to them so I never forget the important details.
Skitch and Evernote also allow me to be completely mobile with my business and pick up freelance work wherever I’m needed. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there has been an enormous influx of assignments as people start to survey the damage to their homes and property. Because Evernote and Skitch travel with me everywhere on all my devices, I was able to head straight to New York and get started on assessing claims right away. When I’m more efficiently mobile with Evernote and Skitch, I can help people begin to get their lives back in order more quickly.
Before I started using Evernote and Skitch, I would lug around about 17-25 pages of claims documents, a hard copy of the insurance policy, and any handwritten notes I took about each assignment. At any given time, I was carrying several hundred pages with me. Now, I only bring my Android Tablet and store all this material in Evernote. I can easily search for any resources I need, as well as capture any new information about a case in Evernote or Skitch while I’m in the field. With Evernote and Skitch, I’ve been able to go about 99% paperless and have given my printer a much deserved rest.
Running my business with my wife
My wife and I work together on my freelance business — she handles my invoicing and billing — and we’ve found a clever way to manage our accounts with Evernote. As I begin work on each component of an assignment, I use Evernote for Windows Desktop’s date/time stamp shortcut to add a finish timestamp to each checkbox. Then, my wife checks off each item as she enters it into the billing system. This way, she can show my clients exactly when I finished each part of the assignment, and she can put together my invoices in no time. Evernote has also helped us manage the business remotely; because everything is in Evernote, she can access my case files and bill my clients even if she’s out of town.
Evernote for Everything Else…
Evernote has been great for keeping track of larger household expenses like hiring contract workers. I recently had an arborist come out to our house to do some work and I took notes about which trees he worked on, as well as the costs associated with his work. When I store information like this in Evernote, I have a permanent record of everything we’ve had work done on. Then, when I want to compare prices, determine what I’ve had done recently, or remember the name of a contract worker I’ve used in the past it’s as easy as typing in the Search Bar.
I also use Evernote as a sort of journal — it’s a special place for me to keep track of my thoughts. I take note of interesting things I hear at church, inspirational quotes, or anything else on my mind. It’s nice to know that I’m able to look back on my notes, and it’s also important to me that they’re private and secure. Evernote provides a safe place to create and store all these special memories.