Simplify With Shoeboxed

You all know how much I preach about simplifying. I also know a good value when I see one. Some folks will look at Shoeboxed and say, “$30 a month? Ouch!”. I used to look at services that way also, but a good friend of mine, Jane Bozarth, likes to remind me about value over price, and breaking down services and products by how much you use them. In addition, I look at how much time, effort and/or stress a service saves me.

Shoeboxed is one of these services.

Shoeboxed Magic Envelope
Shoeboxed Magic Envelope

Here’s my process:

  1. Shoeboxed sends me Magic Envelopes.
  2. I stuff Magic Envelopes with papers and receipts and even kids’ artwork.
  3. I drop Magic Envelope into mail (they include prepaid shipping).
  4. Shoeboxed scans all my docs with OCR.
  5. Shoeboxed sends the docs back (alternatively, you can have them securely shred and recycle your papers).
  6. I access my files online, export expenses to Freshbooks or export everything to Evernote.

Not much to it. I have a ScanSnap document scanner. It works very well. But you know what I found? I never took the time to process all that paperwork. It takes a long time to scan files and organize them, even when scanning directly into Evernote. My time is very valuable to me. So $1 per day to have someone else send me Magic Envelopes and do all that work for me? Sounds like I’m ripping THEM off.

Here’s another use case: last year I was way behind on getting my taxes organized (shocking, I know). I had a bunch of receipt to scan, process, organize and import into my accounting tool, Freshbooks. I simply sent all my 2012 stuff to Shoeboxed, then exported to a CSV file and imported all of that into Freshbooks. That was easy.

We’re all “busy”. But I think we’d be less so if we let experts do things for us for reasonable prices. Delegate, people. It’s ok. You can thank me later. Try them out and let them help you catch up. You don’t have to pay for a full year, just sign up for a free month and send them as much as you can stuff in.

Links for this post:

Focus is Important. So is Living.

I learned how easy it was to hone-in my energy and just focus on one thing. Do that one thing with all my attention, and then it’ll be done! Simple. It’s all a matter of intention, decision, and discipline to follow through.

Focus – How to Get It Done

Tina’s article is full of wonderful tips on focus, productivity, de-cluttering, etc.

Recently, I’ve been trying to focus on accomplishing smaller tasks to achieve larger goals. I have a feeling a lot of you are in the same boat; with multiple projects, families and some kind of social life (online or face to face), we’re all “busy.” We can all use Tina’s advice on focusing and completing tasks, instead of just thinking about them.

That being said, as I finished the article and considered posting about it, I kept going back and reading the last part, quoted below.

“Enjoy this moment. This moment is all that we have. It is only in this moment that Life happens. Treasure it, bless it, thank it, and live it. Live it fully, regardless of what you’re doing.”

That moment for me earlier today was my daughter’s excitement over her music notebook and a new song she wrote. That moment for me right now is the pleasure I get from writing, regardless of who is reading on the other end.

I guess my point here is, like Tina says, “regardless of what you’re doing”, try to make the most of it, and enjoy the small things while they’re happening.

A friend posted this today:

“I challenge all of you to stop for at least 1:56 sometime today and just get lost in something of enjoyment. Even if it’s lying on your back in the grass watching the clouds.”

Be good, people.

Simple Trumps Complete

Simple Trumps Complete

Good stuff. I’ve discussed some projects with some friends, and one thing we always come back to is: “what is the minimum we can do to launch and still provide a great product?”

If I had all the time, money and development skill in the world, I would still keep it as simple as possible, and only add features if it would truly add value.

See Marco’s interview on Rands for more insight into this kind of development.