Some time ago I set my mind on making Magic Iain a paperless business. Printer ink was £35+ per pack, stamps 60p each and the technology to make it happen surrounded me.
The key to my paperless office is an online notebook program called Evernote. It works on my PC, my tablet and phone, as well as being web-based so accessible from any computer with an internet connection.
I was originally using Evernote to keep lists in one place, but, after reading a few blog posts from their ‘Paperless Ambassador’ Jamie Rubin I soon came around to the idea that I could ditch all paper from my work process and home lifestyle.
Here’s roughly how I do it. All my business receipts get scanned and converted to pdf using Camscanner, a free app on my phone then stored in Evernote. I stopped sending paper confirmations and invoices to my customers and email them instead. Those emails get forwarded to my Evernote and stored in my ‘Forthcoming bookings’ notebook.
As far as stuff that is not business related goes, I’ve opted for the ‘online only’ option for bank statements and utility bills, I store instruction manuals in Evernote and use Evernote whenever I need to write a shopping list. After all, I’ll always have my phone on me when I go shopping.
Paperless is great. Any information I need is probably in Evernote. Any information I’d like to keep gets put in Evernote. Any paper-based information is scanned, put in Evernote then shredded. Tidy and efficient.
Yesterday, however, I craved a notepad.
I’d sat down to put together some ideas for teaching magic to children. I took my copy of Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic (500 pages, published 1975, an essential for any budding magicians, young or old) off the shelf and started flicking through.
Picking out bits from the book, I started to make notes in the Evernote app on my Nexus 7 tablet. Only I wasn’t satisfied. A screen interface just wasn’t cutting it. I wanted to scribble. I wanted to draw lines connecting ideas. I wanted to make a visual representation of some of the stuff I was writing down. I wanted a notepad. A big, blank pad. And pens. And pencils.
It was then I realised I can’t be 100% paper-free.
Going paperless is great for my business as a children’s entertainer. It’s brilliant for all the boring stuff that home life throws at me. It’s not, however, any good when I want to scribble, doodle and draw. Ideas can’t always be jotted down using a keyboard. Not yet, anyway.