The Product Files: Keep It Without Keeping It

This is a the first in a series of posts on products I love and help bring calm to my life.  

Today I took some time to file the presentation notes, business cards, conference schedules, and tons of product brochures I collected at the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference.  I love to collect brochures – I don’t know why, but there is something about having that little piece of paper with all that great information I might use someday.

Unfortunately, those brochures can cause some paper management problems: they take up room, they are hard to file, they get lost, many times they do not get used.  Plus, the information I really need is just the website for the company.  So what do you do…toss it?  Keep it?  Could it be possible to do both?

I’m still new to Evernote, but it is a great way to mitigate the downsides of my brochure collecting.  I can gather brochures and then create a note in Evernote with a picture of the brochure or just the company name, website, and anything else I want to remember.  Once the note is created, I can toss the brochure.  The result is a reduction in file time and the amount of paper I have to manage.  With Evernote I was able to reduce the papers I had to file from my conference from a large pile to only two items!

The two remaining sets of presentation notes are much easier for me to manage.  While I still might not use all the brochure information I put into Evernote, it is much more likely that I will delete it from Evernote than it is I will remove it from my files.  I now collect brochures without guilt – if I want to throw them away AND keep them, I can!

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