Planning a trip to England with Evernote

Travel planning with Evernote

I use Evernote regularly in my daily life, both for business and personal purposes. As an Evernote Certified Consultant, I have an Evernote Business Account, which contains information having to do with my organizing business. But I also have a lot of Evernote notebooks – 96 to be exact! – in my personal Evernote account. Most of these tend to contain interesting reference material, scans of family memorabilia, recipes, and so on. (Read my blog here for more ways that I use Evernote in my personal life.) But one of my favorite ways to use Evernote is to plan my travel.

I am lucky enough to have a sister who lives in London; she and her family have lived there for almost 3 years as a result of her husband’s work assignment. This May, I’ll be taking a 2-week trip there, both to visit parts of England I haven’t seen yet and to help my sister (in my capacity as an organizer) get started with the process of moving back to the US this summer. Also, our youngest sister will join us for several days for a much anticipated “sister trip” to celebrate two of our birthdays at a castle hotel in Devon.

I have visited London twice already since my sister moved there, and each time I created an Evernote notebook into which I put everything having to do with my trip. For this upcoming trip, I created a new notebook called “England 2017,” and I’m having fun filling it up with all the information I’ll need. This includes:

  • My flight itinerary – forwarded directly from my Gmail account into my England 2017 notebook using the Evernote email function.
  • Maps of the London underground and bus system (always useful) using the Web Clipper PDF function.
  • Information on a “Street Art London Tour” we’ll be taking on my birthday – I saved the link using the amazing Evernote Web Clipper.
  • The websites for our hotel, walking tours of Devon and some National Trust homes we’d like to visit while we’re staying in Devon – using Web Clipper.

With the Evernote Premium membership, I can also set up offline access to all of my information, even if I am not connected to Wi-Fi. That way, I can review my plans while I’m flying across the Atlantic, or look up walking directions in the middle of a field in Devon without needing access to Wi-Fi – or lugging a guide book along!

Once I am in the UK, I will clip the websites for our favorite restaurants that we go to, as well as other sites we visit. I will also create a daily journal for the trip within the notebook. This way, the notebook not only serves as a planning tool for the trip, but will be a wonderful way to look back on it in the future, as memorabilia as well as a reference tool for others who might want some travel advice.

There’s nothing like Evernote for making trip planning a breeze!

Don’t move that paper – get rid of it!

How to get rid of paper

If you’re getting ready to downsize – whether for a move or just to declutter – and you’ve lived in the same home for many years, one of your biggest headaches will be deciding what to do with all the paper that you’ve accumulated over the years.

Most people keep paper records far longer than necessary (the old “I might need it someday” story) simply because they’re afraid of getting rid of it. However, research shows that 85 percent of the stuff people file away is never looked at again! This is something I can attest to personally, as I have often helped clients go through file cabinets full of papers that they’ve never referred to even once since they were filed.

While it’s easy to let papers pile up over the years, figuring out what to keep and what to let go of can be overwhelming. Here are my tips for getting on top of the paper piles, so you won’t have to schlep them with you to your new home.

  1. Go through your files and shred old bills that are associated with your current home, such as utilities or landscaping. You can keep the current year’s statements if you don’t have online access to your bills through the company’s website.
  2. Do the same for credit card statements (unless you need to keep them for tax records).
  3. If you don’t have online access to your bank and financial statements, you can shred any that are more than 2 years old. If you really want to keep long-term records in paper form, just keep the year-end statements for each account.
  4. Make sure to keep records of any improvements you’ve made to your home since you bought it. Read here to see the difference between repairs and improvements, along with the latest tax laws on this topic.
  5. It’s generally agreed that you only need to keep 3 to 7 years’ worth of backup documents for tax purposes. Here’s a great article that tells you specifically how long to keep your tax backup. Note that none of it has to be in paper form, as the IRS accepts receipts and other documents in digital format.
  6.  If you have access to a document scanner (such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap), I suggest scanning any documents you might need to access in the future, and keeping them in a digital filing system on your computer (backed up!) or in the cloud. (I have helped clients create digital filing systems, including showing them how to scan paper documents and how to retrieve the digital versions.)
  7. Go paperless by signing up for online access for as many accounts as you can. Getting your bills and statements online not only will leave you with less paper to pack and move, but also will reduce the amount of mail that needs to be forwarded to your new address.

These are some of the fairly straightforward methods I use with clients to help them get their papers ready for a move.

Considering a spring move?
Learn how Order Your Life can help you or your loved ones move or downsize.

How the Order Your Life team can help

How the Order Your Life team can helpIt’s been a few months since my last blog post and a lot has happened at Order Your Life since then. We’ve been very busy and I am happy to report that we have added two new team members who have helped further expand the range of services that Order Your Life can provide you.

Shelly Trimble
Shelly Trimble brings her 15 years of banking industry experience to the Order Your Life team, where her attention to detail, natural detailed work flow, and ability to understand and support her clients’ needs, enabled her to excel in her career. In 2015, Shelly began organizing professionally, focusing on home office paper management. She can help you with paper-less office organizing such as:

  • Setting up digital filing systems
  • Automating bill paying and other record keeping
  • Setting up budgeting systems including Quicken and Mint
  • Going paper-less using the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners

Grady Catterall
My husband of almost 29 years, Grady is a Harvard University graduate in Applied Math, a former health care actuary, and the reason I know my way around an Excel spreadsheet. Grady brings his knowledge of finance, health insurance and mathematical analysis to Order Your Life in order to help you with:

  • Health care reimbursement filing
  • Making sense of health insurance claims for tax purposes
  • Bookkeeping and household employee tax preparation
  • Hauling items for donation or to the Montgomery County transfer station
  • Errands and other personal concierge services

Joanna Cady and Sue Crow
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this dynamic duo, longtime contractors of Order Your Life, and all they can do. They can help with:

Move Management and Downsizing:

  • Help you downsize before a move into a smaller home or senior living situation
  • Manage donation or sale of unwanted items
  • Help stage your home for sale using your existing furniture
  • Develop a room-by-room placement plan for your new space
  • Organize the move
  • Oversee the moving company
  • Unpack once the move is complete
  • Arrange items so that you start your life in a new home in an organized fashion

Home Organizing:

  • Declutter and organize closets kitchen, dining and living room, bath and bedrooms, closets, attic, basement and garage
  • Find an appropriate place for the things you can’t keep through donation or sale
  • Edit your space and rearrange rooms to make the most of your existing storage

Penny Catterall
I continue to work with clients both in person and remotely on ways to enhance their productivity at work and at home, as well as set up paperless filing systems using Evernote and Dropbox. I am also available for consulting to your small business to help you improve efficiency and productivity among team members. Please contact me if you need help with any of these services. We look forward to helping you Order Your Life!

Visit our “Meet the Team” page to learn more about our great team members.

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  • Did You Know…

    Getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in an average home? (National Soap and Detergent Association)

  • The average employee wastes $5251 a year in time searching for information. (ARMA International)

  • 28% of adults say they pay bills late (thus incurring late fees and interest charges) because they lose them. (Harris Interactive)
  • 80% of what we file is never looked at again. (The Leader-Post)

  • Employees spend 3.5 hours a week searching for information they cannot find. (ARMA International)
  • Americans waste 9 million hours a day looking for misplaced items.
    (American Demographics Society)
  • The self storage industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States commercial real estate industry over the period of the last 40 years.
  • As of year-end 2014, of the approximately 58,000 self storage facilities worldwide, 48,500 of them are in the United States.
  • Almost 9% of all American households currently rent a self storage unit (10.85 million of the 113.3 million US HHs in 2013).