Now that I have figured out my file naming convention I can get to one of my favourite parts: Making things EASY.
Easy means to me: No need to think and still get the perfect result. One way to achieve this is muscle memory. Can you remember the times when you right-klicked with your mouse to open a context menu, selected the copy entry and… Well – didn’t cmd-c / cmd-v feel sooo much better? With TextExpander I can build the same kind of muscle memory for standardised text snippets. Applying this to file naming standards is only logical.
Breaking my pile of paper down into smaller piles by topic and selecting examples of typical documents in every pile was an excellent idea. I now have a structured overview of what I actually need to scan, file and manage on a regular basis. With that knowledge I can now think about a file naming convention.
People have different recommendations for naming files and I see they make sense each in their way. The key is finding out what would work for me. So here’s my first take.
It’s time to work out the processing phase of my future paperless system.
Quick recap: First, I’ve gotten clear about how I’d actually like to use my stuff once I’ll have gone paperless. I think making sure I enjoy the ways I work makes it more likely for me to keep to my system. Second, from this „how“ I’ve derived my personal requirements for security and convenience – and based on that chosen appropriate tools.
Now let’s dive deeper!
One of the benefits from going paperless is having my documents at hand whenever and wherever I suddenly need them. That’s difficult for sensitive documents because storing these in the cloud is a no go. Since 1Password does not allow (yet?) to view and use files that are attached to secure notes within its iOS versions, I was looking for a different way to store these. Reader Malte pointed me to BoxCryptor which encrypts files on my Mac and/or iOS devices and (here’s the trick) integrates nicely with my Dropbox folder! I’ve installed and played with BoxCryptor now for a while and here are my first impressions. Just 4 words of warning: I already love it ;-) Read more
In my last paperless post I defined 3 layers of security for my data. So next I need to pick the tools that give me the best convenience on each level. I don’t believe much in “one size fits all”. I rather think that specialised products can give me the best user experience on the security level that they were designed for.
Imagine it’s the end of your work day. Imagine you’d like to surprise your loved one with a self-cooked dinner – but have no clue what exactly that should be. You remember she loves scallops. But now what? Drive home – search through your recipe books for a scallops recipe that seems feasible – write down the ingredients – drive back out to the shops?! By the time you’ll be home she’ll likely have ordered Pizza – long before you even started cooking… Well I’ve got a trick for you.
In order to make sure I’ll actually use (and keep using!) my paperless system, I figured out I need to start defining the setup “backwards”. Using MacSparky‘s 3 layer structure that would be backwards from use to capture:
- Start with how I like to use my documents
- Derive the best fitting tools and workflows to process the files
- Make sure my capture machinery supports these workflows
So I’ve spent a day on tackling question #1 and here’s my outcome: Read more
So how should I go about my paperless project? First learn from people who’ve done it before me. Then, start from the end. Sounds odd? It’s not. But first things first. Read more
This morning, thinking about the next steps on my paperless journey I was distracted as I realised I needed to get new milk – and bread – and actually should go for a general resupply at the supermarket anyway. That distraction led me to an idea.
Paperless can start with the very little things: What if your shopping list went digital? Reminding you based on time or based on places you come by? Shared with your partner? Synced?
When the Reminders App on the iPhone was updated with a sharing feature my wife and I got rid of our paper based shopping lists. No regrets.
Yep – talking about a target, not about definitive outcome. I know where I’d like to go but I’ll have to see how things play out. So what are the ingredients to the system I want to implement?
Let’s go systematically. Involved will be: All that paper stuff, also digital stuff, some machinery, programs that make the machinery work, added some logic to make things work my way, a bit of storage, some handy devices to view and use my digital documents – and last not least – a safety net. Right – so that was in non-nerd language. Let’s get nerdy… Read more