Tips & Stories

8 Tips to Master a More Paperless Life With Evernote

8 Tips to Master a More Paperless Life With Evernote

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 22 Apr 2015

Posted by Taylor Pipes on 22 Apr 2015

Even in the digital age, paper is still very much a modern reality. Don’t let it be a burden. Instead, manage it all with Evernote.

On the move? Scan receipts, business cards, and documents as they come to you. Or, address a large cluttered pile in a single sitting.

Whatever your approach to paper may be, Evernote’s powerful paperless features let you handle it all with grace.

Here are 8 tactics to help you manage and minimize the paper in your life.

1. Configure your workflow.
Before you begin, it’s helpful to ask yourself a few questions about your paper-based documents and decide what you can do with them. This chart is a great place to start:


2. Don’t stress it, scan it

Scanning doesn’t destroy documents, it allows you to preserve them for generations to come. This is why we’ve built our products to work with paper as elegantly as possible.

We recommend Scannable. Scannable turns any iPhone or iPad into a mobile scanner, capturing the paper in your life quickly and beautifully. Use it (or the camera feature built into Evernote on your mobile device) to collect everything from instruction manuals, the kids’ homework, and bank statements to work documents and meetings notes.

3. Manage business cards like a pro

At any gathering or conference, business cards only get out of hand if you let them. Mitigate the likelihood of losing received cards, or misplacing your own, by picking a pocket for one and a compartment for the other. Evernote Scannable is a perfect app for these moments, allowing you to scan a card in seconds.

4. 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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.30.27 PM

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

Scanning all your documents is just one aspect of your paperless future. There are tons of documents, both physical and electronic, that you can add to Evernote. Perhaps you don’t need to scan them all, but visualize what you need and evaluate your options against your personality type with a diagram like this:

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.49.15 AM

5. Own paperless productivity with Pocket + Evernote

With Pocket, you can grab links, images, and videos and save them for later. Pocket also removes the clutter from the articles and presents them in an easy-to read format. Lots of applications integrate with Pocket, making it easy to send articles and other items. Best of all, you can send items from Pocket to Evernote.

That process looks just like this sketch. Learn more >>

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.20.39 PM

6. Automate Evernote

Start working smarter by letting Evernote do the work for you. For author Jamie Todd Rubin, there are a few tricks to use to get content automated into Evernote.
* A record of all Tweets on Twitter (via RSS and IFTTT)
* A record of all of my Foursquare check-ins (via IFTTT)
* The daily weather (via IFTTT)
* The fiction I wrote on any given day (via Google App Script)
* A daily “almanac” that summaries various metrics (like how much I wrote and how much I walked) (via Google App Script)
* My blog posts (via RSS and IFTTT)
* Meeting minutes for the meetings that I attend

7. Template to the madness

Between meeting agendas, minutes and printed slide decks, each meeting can leave you with quite a stack of paper to deal with. Evernote Business can help you and your team eliminate most of your meeting-related paper. Since meetings tend to revolve around standard document types, use Evernote Business to create templates for these notes. They’ll give your team a pre-formatted structure to save them time.

8. Paperless meetings

Printing slide decks, key documents, or Web pages with important research wastes time and paper. As you’re getting ready for a meeting, attach presentation files and documents directly to your meeting agenda note, and the team members you’ve shared that note with will automatically get access to those files. Clip important Internet research using the Web Clipper, share those notes with your team as well.

Before you get started, make sure Evernote is available where your documents are. Install Evernote for your mobile device or tablet. >>

If you’re using an iOS device, Scannable is the quickest way to auto-magically capture documents into Evernote. It’s super fast, and a beautiful way to archive your content. Download Scannable >>

Learn more about creating paperless meetings >>


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84 Comments RSS

  • David

    When will Scannable be available for Android?

    • Mike

      I use CamScanner for Android and it works fine. Never used Scannable so I can’t compare them

      • Liky

        Thanks for suggesting CamScanner and it works really fine!

      • Chetan

        Once you’ll use Scannable. I think we can’t compare it to any other app. Simply amazing.

    • Sharif Sircar

      The evernote default scanner does a pretty good job as well

    • Tim

      Scannable on my iPhone was awesome. I was super disappointed to find out you don’t support android. Other apps aren’t the same. Can you please make Scannable android friendly 🙂

    • Rui Parada

      Try ScanBot it´s similar to Scannable..

    • JC

      I use the pdf scan option on google drive for my android scanning needs.

    • Adam Teece

      I am really hoping Scannable will come to Android soon. I used Scannable on my iPad and it is amazing but I will always have an Android phone…

  • alain

    What is the difference between scannable and the evernote scanning?

  • Mary Lee

    I used CamScanner too, but just installed Scannable and it blows CamScanner out of the water! Just wow! I was trying to scan a bill with CS and it kept coming out with jagged text. But Scannable shot a perfect copy in a blink. It really is amazing. I use SnapScan with Evernote already, but it is really great to learn about Scannable. What I really want to see is indepth instructions for setting up the perfect Evernote filing cabinet for home and business. I have been using freedom filer, which has been great and some things you can’t scan, so it will still be usable, but it would be nice to get a method like that into Evernote.

    • antoinette

      Their are many, many YouTube videos that can assist. I particularly like dottotech, evernote or evernote scott for resources.

  • Andy

    Does the scanner convert docs to PDF?

    • Jeremy Brand Yuan

      Yes, it does. For more info, our Evernote ScanSnap Edition scanner guide has videos and FAQs:

  • Allen

    Something like Scannable for Windows Phone or Windows 10?

    • Akshay Goenka

      In Windows Phone Scandals can not be downloaded as it not android or IOS VERSION

  • Hil

    Is scannable available for blackberry?

    • Jeremy Brand Yuan

      Scannable is currently available only on iOS

  • Tony Walker

    How can I transfer scanned Buisness cards automatically into outlook?

  • tina

    I use FastScanner for android and it is great.

  • tina

    BTW, what is IFTT? From above… (“A record of all Tweets on Twitter (via RSS and IFTTT)”.

    • Tony

      IFTT (stands for “If that then this”) is an app you can install on your mobile device. You can configure that app to do tasks when criteria/trigger is met.

      • Kathleen

        Thanks! I was wondering about this, too.

    • Jeremy Brand Yuan

      IFTTT is a great service that allows you to connect the internet services you use. Check them out at

  • Con

    Android makes up the largest portion of smartphone users and Evernote cater to the Apple with this scan app, lost my interest right there

    • Alan

      I used the Evernote app on Android for scanning and found it was pretty good. Better than taking a photo and uploading. Give it a try and see what you think. Some folks are suggesting other apps that you could try as well.

  • Ray

    Is there a cost for these apps? Scanable and business card apps??

    • Jeremy Brand Yuan

      Business card scanning is a Premium feature, but every account can scan five business cards for free. To answer your other question: Scannable is available on iOS devices and free to download.

  • Bobby

    I use Genius Scan on my Android and it works well.

  • Bill

    Thanks for the tips, I love Evernote and all you guys do. I’ve worked really hard to increase my productivity and my minimalist personality you are my “go to” place for document storage.

  • sajid

    What will be storage available free

  • Ron

    Still not sure how to automate Evernote. I find it cumbersome and time consuming to open the app, find the stuff I send there and then have to put it in the right Notebook. I stopped using it. If there are instructions for how to do any of that I don;t where they are. Also, I get update notices but the link on the email doesn’t take me to the update. Not a fan.

    • Stuart

      Jon, I agree. Find it a pain when an Evernote Meeting is generated, then you want to edit the content..can’t find a way to open the Evernote info into Word for editing…so don’t use it.

    • Vicki

      Me too Ron – I use it to store notes and things but not for quick accessibility and so I thought I was just a doofus that hasn’t been able to work it out.

    • Sondra

      You might find Brett Kelly’s book Evernote Essentials helpful.

    • Glenn

      Hi Ron

      I found that you need to develop a good organizational structure to start with. Once you identify your workflow you can determine how Evernote can best work for you. I find using tags for each note is key for me and makes finding notes easy. When you mail/forward items to Evernote you simply add the @notebook name to the subject line and add #tag(any of your tags) and the email automatically goes to the right place. Part of our business is managing large estates and with a couple of swipes and taps I can tell my client how many wetsuits and what size they have at the weekend house and pull up the receipt for the purchase. If he needs to know what the serial numbers are for their jet skis I have that in my pocket or if they have a question about the jet skis I simply pull up the manual on my iPad. My clients just look at me and say Really? How do you have that so quick? Simple Evernote…..access to everything you need for a business and personally organized life!!!

  • Richard

    With Android comprising the majority of “smartphones” out there, why would Evernote develop only an iPhone app. Also, there is a lot of buzz out there about Evernote, the company, not doing so well. What happens to all of our stuff in the “Evernote Cloud” if the company goes under?

    • z.

      Interesting question. I am concerned too. I don’t depend on any company that cant match their assets to that of Google, Microsoft, Apple and few other big names. Atlest I know they will not go bellyup overnight. But than anything can happen. I use multiple cloud computing for the very same reason. No I am not crazy but I work in an environment where my company cant loose any single document.

  • Diane Westmoreland

    I downloaded scannable and scanned one item. Now everytime I want to scan something else that same one item is there and I can not scan anything else. Please help

    • Alan

      In Scannable you can either swipe up the previous image scan to delete it, or “shake” the iPhone to start a new scan. Hope that helps.

  • Colm

    On first use Scannable is very impressive

  • Dr. Nicolas Rao

    I have been using CamScanner for years. It works fine and shared both PDF and JPG effortlessly on phone to practically all other media, mail or social media easily. I have not used Pocket or ScanSnap Evernote edition. I use an Android phone. I create pages in Evernote with illustrations and share the link on Google Keep. It works with everything including WhatsApp which is very useful and fast for me.

  • Angela

    I have been using the JotNot app (scanner app) with Evernote for years. Has always worked seamlessly.

  • Patricia Bloom

    OK — everyone loves Evernote, but me. I got it originally to clip web pages so I could reduce my emails and put the info I needed on my hard drive. But, from Day 1, I’ve never been able to either (1) print a clean copy of the clipped web page from Evernote, nor (2) put the clips from Evernote on to my computer. Reminds me of how people developed the old VHS system, giving it all these bells and whistles when people just wanted to turn the darn thing on and record one show. I’ve found that “printing” via Evernote is a misery and I can’t trust it. Hence, have never recommended it nor moved up to a higher option. Oh well, I’ll keep trying. . .


    How can we add copy & past, picture, note etc

  • Ivan Siladji

    I’ve found the scanner within Evernote itself to be more than adequate when scanning paper into the app on iOS. Why would we need to move to scannable over the native app? Benefits?

  • Michael

    IS it available for BlackBerry, convert docs to PDF, cost for these apps, Can I Fax it from Scannable

  • Carsten

    Why would I use Pocket before filing to Evernote. What can Pocket do Evernote cannot? Evernote with Webclipper can grab links, images, and videos and save them for later and it also removes the clutter.

    • Julia

      I use Pocket for the “this looks interesting but I don’t have time to read it now” stuff. I will read it when I am on a plane, in the doctor’s waiting room, etc. It goes from Pocket into Evernote when I have read it and it was useful or interesting enough that I want to save the information for reference later.

  • Laurie

    To bad the app doesn’t work with a Windows phone!

  • jp

    still seems a little much to me- don’t I have to alphabetize the business cards , etc?

  • Richard Perry

    I have a Fujitsu Scansnap iX500 scanner is this the same as ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner apart from bundled software? Is there any way I can buy the software to integrate it with Evernote?

  • david unger

    when scanning business cards into Evernote with the built in camera app and then saving to my Outlook Contacts the address listed is set at “Home” by default, anyway to make these go to Buisness?

  • meagan

    Doxie is great with Evernote. I use it for everything!

  • Akshay Goenka

    Yes Candy we convert docs to Pdf Formater

    • Akshay Goenka

      Yes Candy we can convert Docs into Pdf format

  • Anthony

    I use Genius scan on android. Too bad I wasnt able to load this article into POcket- I had to stop & read it now….

  • Gerry

    “Scanning…allows you to preserve them for generations to come.” Paper lasts for generations, but I’m not so sure scanned documents will. My old 5″ discs aren’t of much use, both because the information decays and because the readers for them are hard to come by.

  • Anne Castle

    This is interesting, but how does one transfer information from say Google Mail into and out of Evernote? There is an assumption of seamless information flow, but this baffles me.

  • jesse

    When will scannable be available for android?

  • richard

    I need to print this off so I can learn how to be paperless !

  • Vijay

    Before we look forward 2016 can you guys at least start supporting Android please. If not just out a disclaimer saying Evernote is for Apple Users.

  • Mina

    No one has answered why the scannable app is better or different than the Evernote in-app scanner. I started with scannable, but why, when the in-app one seems to work just the same…

  • Bill

    Is there a simple way for someone new at this to Alphabetize your notes, or at these be able to find an older note?

    • Taylor Pipes

      You can sort your notes by title (which could serve as an alphabetical sort), or by date created (which would help you to surface notes from the date they were created). You can see how to do that sort based on the device you are using here:

    • mynah

      Alphabetize: I think you’re asking whether the scanned text will be indexed and searchable for Evernote. That is what Evernote does, it reads text from pictures. This is called OCR. I think only Evernote Premium will also read text from PDF, but I think some of the scanners do that too. The business card function tries to pick out the name and address and show it as regular text, if I remember correctly. Anyway, you do not have to type everything out on your keyboard 🙂

  • Tim

    I have android and have used the document picture function to get receipts etc into the correct note. It has worked well, but occasionally have difficulty w/ jagged text. I have been having difficulty finding the best way to handle mileage. I travel a lot and I have not seen a solution through or with Evernote. Suggestions?

    • Taylor Pipes

      Hello, Tim. You could try to snap images of your receipts using Expensify and connect that to Evernote. Here is a link with more information and download instructions:

    • John

      I have been happily using Mileage Tracker from Frank Android Software for years. It has a number of export options that you can use to feed the hungry Evernote beastie.

  • Bill Jordan

    Would be helpful if I could print from Evernote. Sometimes I need a hard copy to give to someone when I can’t give them my phone.

    • Taylor Pipes

      With Evernote you can print using desktop (as well as iOS). Here are the details on how you can do that:

  • Abel

    I will be traveling a lot in my 3 state territory and my company wants RECEIPTS! Could I use scanner to organize my receipts?

    • Taylor Pipes

      Abel, you can use a scanner, or you can also use Scannable (available on Evernote for iPhone). You can also connect Evernote with Expensify which works really well with business and company expenses.

  • Jenny

    This 8 step process would be a lot easier if I could get Scannable for Android….

  • Smarajit Roy

    I have to try CamScanner. I can scan but only way I can learn is by using the technique.

  • mehmet

    hi, is it possible that can we take notes with s-pen or microsoft surface with own pens.

  • Richard McNair

    I have a new windows 10 Lumina 950 cell phone and when I download Evernote it locks up when I attempt to log on, never had any problem with my old W8 phone. Does anyone else have this sort of problem?

  • Valentin Cojocaru

    note sharing linkedin group

  • Aswathanarayana

    Which scanners is suitable for Android mobile phone

  • Kevin Stanyer

    Hello I’m writing you today to ask you a question and I’m just hoping that this is the right place to do so
    so here goes something . . . I’m operating this laptop on a shared family member and I’d like to password protect my “Evernote” , folder so that all that I journal is private and inaccessible to anyone else . Is there a password protect feature for your Evernote and if so could you possibly advise me as how to safely apply this feature ??
    thank you for your time and patience and I hope you or perhaps anybody here in comments could help me keeping in mind please that I am novice at best a rookie at computers so an easy instruction would definitely appreciated
    thanks again and have an Evernote day

  • Mahesh

    Great Tips

  • Lucas

    Can someone kindly explain the best way to divide use between Pocket and Web Clipper? They seem to do very similar things.

  • John

    I have as yet to adapt to file storage and retrieval across different apps, platforms, os’s, and hard ware devices. Why save it if you can not access it later? Until hierarcal files can be user built to suit my style, this is useless, time wasting and emotionally draining for me. Another alluring useless gizmo.

  • Marcos Antonio de Assis Rodrigues

    Muito bom..Uma tecnologia ecencial para aqueles que optam por agilidade