How to use @evernote, @IFTTT & @dropbox to never lose a receipt & make your Accountant love you

In a recent productivity drive I have been looking for ways to improve how I track and record ‘stuff’ and also eliminate as much clutter (especially paper notes) from my life.

In doing this I have created a process where photos of receipts are instantly upload to the web where my accountant can access them and they are also backed up. This system can be created, used and maintained for free.

The tools needed are:

 The process:

  1. Create accounts with all the above services.
  2. Within Evernote create a notebook (Please note: an Evernote notebook is essentially a folder) called ‘Expenses’.
  3. Tell you accountant to create a Evernote account.
  4. Share your ‘Expenses’ notebook with your accountant. This will allow him/her to view all entries into it (i.e. your receipts).
  5. Login in to your IFTTT account.
  6. Via the dashboard within IFTTT link your Evernote and Dropbox accounts so all evertries into your ‘Expenses’ folder are automatically uploaded (and in turn backed up) to your Dropbox account.
  7. Every time you get a receipt take a photo of it and upload it your ‘Expenses’ Evernote notebook via your phone. This will then allow your accountant to see it and in addition to this it will also be backed securely to your Dropbox account.

 (Optional advanced extras:

Add extra sub folders or tagging to your Evernote folder e.g. year, month, personal, business etc )

Please note that the free Dropbox account does have a limit of 2GB space, but Box and Google Drive can also be used if required.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions – I can shoot a screen cast to make this easier to follow if required.



Rewiring the brain for happiness & productivity in 21 days – Interesting video

As a chemistry graduate I have long believed that emotions both good and bad are just chemical reactions, and although not easy to control, they can be controlled.

Habit is also something that I find interesting, and the video below (at 11min 5 secs ish) looks at getting in the habit of being positive and all the benefits that come with this, including being better at learning.

The 21 days program ( 2 minutes a day) suggested in the video includes:

1. Every day write down 3 new things you are gratfeful for.

2. Journalling about a postive experience you have had overthe last 24 hours

3. Exercise

4. Mediation

5. One act of kindness – write a positive email or tweet thanking them.

Information overload – putting everything in one place with Google Reader

Just a quick post, if lots of people are interested in how to do this (leave a message in the comments of you are) I will write a full post with step by step ‘how to’ instructions.

I have got to the point where I am at information over load so I have dusted off my old Goggle Reader account, and started to stream line the information I get thrown at me on a daily basis so I can:

a) Capature everything I need to read

b) Organise myslef so I can read and respind (or action) at the most approiate time.

c) Read more

Google Reader is essentially an RSS reader and aggregator that allows you to arrange feeds into set folders.

Most blogs and websites have an rss feed button that you can click and it will then prompt you to add it to your google reader, in addition to this, to subscribe to twitter feeds and youtube channels you can manually add the following url (added the required specifics you need)

  • Twitter account –!/USERNAME (This is a useful way to add users of a similar subject matter in a folder within Google Reader to monitor)
  • Twitter search term – (this is useful if you want to monitor what veryone on Twitter is saying about a specific keyword)
  • Youtube channel video – (Useful to make sure you see all videos posted).
  • + much more

There is loads more you can do with Google Reader, including sharing, but getting organised with your incoming info is a good place to start.

I hope this helps, if you nedd more help with this please post in the comments and I will write a more detailed post.