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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Archive your receipts and account info with PDFs

Mac OSX bases much of its interface on Adobe’s PDF format and opportunities to use and make PDF files are ubiquitous.

My favorite PDF trick helps me create an archived digital receipt every time I make a purchase online.

  1. Create a folder in “~/Documents/” called “Receipts”
  2. When you reach a page that presents a receipt, account information, or other stuff you want to capture for future reference, Select “File > Print…”
  3. Click the “Save as PDF…” button
  4. In the dialog box, surf to the “Receipts” folder you made earlier
  5. Name the file something meaningful to you
  6. Click “Save”

You now have a single location for all your receipts and account info . If you’re really cool, you might want to create sub-directories for each type of item (“Receipts,” “Accounts,” “MySQL Setups,” “Affiliate Reports,” etc.

Nigel Magnay's picture

I read this and thought...

I read this and thought 'what an excellent idea'.

And then I thought 'I have a scanner that I barely use, and I always have a heap of bills that I'd like to throw out, but I always end up needing to check back on at some random time in the future cluttering up the house.

So now I have Scansoft PaperPort - document comes through the door, it gets scanned and thrown away. It converts it to PDF format, and also can do OCR if you need to text-search in the future. It also has a PDF print driver so I can do the webpage thing on my PC. Isn't it odd how everyone talks about how a paperless office would be nice, but never apply the same reasoning to the home.

I must confess, once I thought about it, I've started wandering through the house looking for bits of paper I can throw away! :-)




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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