How to Create a Paperless Office With Evernote

Tips & Stories

How to Create a Paperless Office With Evernote

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 25 Feb 2015

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 25 Feb 2015

Is 2015 the year you finally go paperless at work?

For effective team collaboration to work, you need a central place where everyone can quickly store and locate documents. Historically, this has handled by isolating paper files and documentation into metal filing cabinets or, more recently, putting digital files onto shared servers that are a challenge for colleagues to access.

Consider Evernote an alternative to the dark, hidden recesses of giant metal containers and the cumbersome path needed to navigate across firewalls and network access privileges.

Evernote travels with you. It’s on your desktop, laptop, smartphone, and tablet so you can instantly find any document or asset you or a colleague have created.

Here’s four steps to creating your own paperless office with Evernote.

Learn more at our upcoming webinar. Connect with our experts and learn how to maximize your Evernote Business workspace. You’ll get tips and tricks and learn best practices.

1. Set your structure

The first step toward maximizing productivity is to set up a clear, consistent structure for your team’s digital files.

Consider a naming structure for team notebooks in Evernote. Ideally, that will mirror your company’s current digital and paper file storage systems. This creates consistency across all of your platforms, making it easier for everyone to get comfortable quickly with the new process. Once team notebooks are set up, you can begin migrating all your paper and digital files into Evernote.

2. Bring paper into Evernote

Many offices still handle paper in some capacity. Focus on reducing the sheer amount of paper. By bringing paper into Evernote, you make its content searchable and easily shareable with your team.

Before you start the process of making your current paper documents into notes in Evernote, you’ll want to first take a pass through your paper and discard anything that is no longer needed or relevant.

Beforehand, you may want to scan your recently-completed documents. Once you’ve completed those, then go through your paper file cabinets and scan one file at a time. You may choose to do this all at once or work your way through it over time. Review your company’s document retention policy to determine whether and how to dispose or destroy the old paper documents.

Once you’ve selected which documents to collect in Evernote, it’s time to get scanning. With Evernote’s mobile scanning app, Scannable, it’s easy and fast to migrate paper documents into Evernote. Once you’ve downloaded Scannable onto your iPhone or iPad, you can swiftly capture and save into Evernote everything from receipts to business cards and contracts.

Learn more about Scannable >>


After you’ve approved a scanned image, save it to Evernote and organize it into the notebook of your choice. Single scans will be dispatched into Evernote as images or PDFs, depending on the original document type, while multiple images will be batched and saved as one large PDF. Make sure to take a moment to title or retitle your notes containing your scanned documents so that you can easily identify them later.

For the larger scanning projects, Scannable was designed to work in concert with the ScanSnap Evernote Edition Scanner, ideal for teams that have to deal with larger scanning jobs.

3. Collect your digital files

In addition to paper documents, your company likely has digital documents and files scattered across a plethora of personal computers and shared drives. Collect them in Evernote so everyone can find the files they need and collaborate with the team.

You don’t necessarily want or need to move every file into Evernote. Instead, think of the files and identify documents that are regularly shared among the team, or ones that multiple people could benefit from accessing.

Evernote Tip: Good candidates for files you may want to move into Evernote are ones related to specific projects, company policies, product reference information, sales tools, and so on.

In this example, we’ll bring in the files related to a recent newsletter redesign project. Start by creating a new business notebook, and title it “Project – Newsletter Redesign.”


You now have a spot to collect all the files related to the project. Evernote makes it easy to just drag and drop any existing files on your computer to move them directly into Evernote. In this example, we’ll open the folder that contains the design ideas, research, and other work that’s been done on the newsletter redesign project.

Moving them into Evernote is as simple as dragging them to your new notebook.


Evernote automatically creates a new note for each of the documents.


All the original documents still live on your computer in their original locations. If you’d like, you can use the version that’s stored in Evernote as the “official” version, a benefit to your team because the latest version of the document will always be automatically updated across your devices – computer, smartphone, tablet.

Evernote Tip: You can open and edit the files that are stored in notes, and any changes you make will automatically be saved. This makes it easy for everyone on your team to be sure they’re working on the correct version of a document.

4. Share with your team

Once you’ve completed the process of moving paper and digital documents into your team’s Evernote notebooks, amplify your team’s collaboration by sharing them with anyone who needs access. You can easily share individual notes or entire notebooks via Work Chat.

Learn more at our webinar, Creating a Paperless Office with Evernote Business. Register Now >>


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7 Comments RSS

  • Sandra G

    When is scannable going to be available in the android market?

    • Alex

      It should be out now

  • meagermind

    Scannable is very good for quickly scanning documents to Evernote.

    However, it’s completely ridiculous that Evernote didn’t include the ability to add tags to scans that Scannable saves to Evernote.

    This should have been one of the first features implemented.

    • Jure


  • Alan

    I’d be interested a few small things to improve task management. First, tasks vs. reminders (I need things tagged by date, not by time, and I don’t need a reminder). Secondly, tasks with priorities (1, 2, 3). And the ability to sort by due date/priority. This would help a lot.

  • CathyL

    can you add files in excel and word formats to evernote?

    • Ronda Scott

      Hi Cathy,

      Yes, you can add Office files to Evernote notes using drag-and-drop or by tapping/clicking the paperclip in menu bar in your note. If you’re a Premium user, Evernote will even find keywords within those files whenever you use the search feature.