One of my biggest goals in 2017 is to go paperless. I tried to go paperless in 2016, but I didn’t commit to it as well as I should. 2017 will be different. Going paperless has a lot of benefits, and it’s immensely helping my writing. So today, I want to break down how going paperless can help your writing.

How Going Paperless Can Help your Writing

My two main tools in going paperless are Evernote (get a free month of premium) and my scanner, the Doxie Go Wi-fi. I use my scanner to obviously scan paper into my computer and the scans go into Evernote, where I’ll process and tag them to organize my book series.

Reason #1: Going Paperless Cuts the Clutter

How many times have you written down an idea on a sticky note, only to lose it later? I know I have. So now, when I write something down on a sticky note, I take my phone and snap a picture. Evernote’s camera can recognize post-it notes, so there’s another win. Now that I have the sticky-note in Evernote, I can get rid of it and not worry about losing it.

There’s freedom in being able to throw away a piece of paper and knowing that you still have it else where.

Reason #2: It’s Easier to See All Your Notes for a Book at Once

I will admit, I do have a few paper binders that I keep, including a story bible for The Cassie Morgan Series, which includes character sketches, important plot details, and other information in them. While I love having all the “official details” in there, I don’t actually have all the ideas. I do have paper notebooks that I use for that, but I rarely reference them anymore (all the notes are in Evernote).

With tags and/or notebooks, you can essentially see every note you have about a book at once. All it takes is a few clicks and there are all the notes. No more looking for that one note you can’t find on your desk.

Here are all the notes I have for Double Played, all on one screen.

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Reason #3: You Can Carry Your Ideas with You Everywhere

With the ability to sync across devices, you can carry your ideas everywhere. As I’m finishing up Justice & Lies, I’m finalizing details for Hit List, the next book in the series. Last month, while I was at church, helping prepare for Christmas, I had a great idea for what would happen to Cassie at the beginning of the book.

In order to make sure I didn’t forget the idea, I pulled out my phone and in two minutes, the idea was saved into Evernote and I was able to give myself permission to forget it – because Evernote won’t forget it.

Reason #4: Paperless is Disaster-Proof

As much as you don’t want to admit it, there is always the possibility that something will go horribly wrong and you could lose all your work. I back up my laptop to an external hard-drive every week to be safe. What if there’s a fire and you lose all your paper notes?

It could happen. It’s scary, but it could happen. By having a paperless copy, you won’t have to worry about what happens to your writing. That will take one worry off your mind.

Reason #5: Collaboration is so Much Easier

Whether you co-write books and need a way to share notes, or you’re working one-on-one with a beta reader or an editor, Evernote can work for you. My editor and I use Evernote to go through edits. She likes to print out paper copies for editing. With her phone, she can take a picture and add that picture to Evernote so I can see it.

If you’re looking for templates to help you get information into Evernote, check out my Evernote templates here.

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