Posts Tagged Brooks Duncan

Multiple Evernote accounts

When you search on the Internet for “how to do” something, do you prefer videos or text explanations? If you’re like, you’ll probably prefer video. When it comes to showing someone how to do something, a video speaks a thousand words, and takes less time to absorb.

Paperless master Brooks Duncan of, author of the Paperless Document Organization Guides, regularly makes “how-to” videos, and they are aimed at the non-geek (that’s me), so the language is super simple and he doesn’t assume you know more than just getting around your desktop, opening applications and checking email.

Here’s his latest. Did you know you could have more than one Evernote account? Did you know it has now become very easy to switch between them? “Why would anyone want to?” you may ask. “This sounds like more work!” you might add.

Even if you just have one free account and think that’s enough, watching this might make you think about the advantages of having more than one Evernote account – to keep your family and work life separate,  for instance.

Multiple accounts has always been an Evernote feature, says Brooks, but only Premium Evernote account holders can have multiple accounts open and switch between them, apparently; free account users must log out and in again to each of their free accounts.

Anyway, here’s the video. (Watch on YouTube to see it in HD.) And if you like this one, consider subscribing to Brooks’ YouTube channel.

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Mac Users! Brooks Duncan webinar on using Hazel to go paperless

Go Paperless With Hazel


Brooks Duncan is the man to go to to learn about going paperless. I highly recommend his Paperless Document Organization Guides which start at $47, but before you buy, do try his FREE 7-part email course on going paperless (sign up for it on his homepage).

Brooks here from DocumentSnap. Just a quick note for you. This Thursday, November 29, I will be doing a webinar all about how I use the Mac application Hazel to go paperless.

You can learn more about the webinar here:

I have received a number of requests for more information about how I use it, so I will be sharing my screen and taking you through my workflow, and of course answering your questions too.

If you can’t make the date or time, not a problem. It will be recorded and you can submit your questions ahead of time.

Thanks a lot. Here’s the link again:

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DocumentSnap tip – are your documents protected and accessible?

Brooks Duncan is the man to go to to learn about going paperless. I highly recommend his Paperless Document Organization Guides which start at $47, but before you buy, do try his FREE 7-part email course on going paperless (sign up for it on his homepage).

Now here’s Brooks’ tip:

What a crazy week here in North America. First we had an earthquake here in British Columbia about 450 miles from Vancouver which caused a minor tsunami as far away as Hawaii sorry about that, and then of course Sandy on the other coast.

If you have physical paper, a natural disaster can be a real problem: the paper documents can become damaged, and even if they are not, you may not be able to get physical access to them if you need to evacuate the area.

This is one area where going paperless really shines, but only if we have a way to get at our files from outside of our home or office. Here are some ideas:

  1. Keep your most important records copied on a USB key, and keep that with your emergency kit. That way, if you need to evacuate and don’t have Internet access, you still have something.
  2. It should go without saying that you need to have your documents backed up, but you want to have at least one of your backups offsite. I prefer online backups so that my data is in a completely different geographic location. I use CrashPlan because my data is encrypted locally, but there are other good ones.
  3. Keep your documents on a file synchronization service like Dropbox, SugarSync, or others. That way they are always local but accessible online and on mobile devices too. If need be, encrypt your sensitive documents.

To be honest, I have not done #1 but I think that will be my weekend project.Do you have other ideas for keeping your electronic documents safe and secure in a natural disaster? I’d love to hear about them. Just hit reply and let me know.

Stay safe everyone.



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Learn How To Go Paperless With Easy Document Tips

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Brooks Duncan, author of the digital Paperless Document Organization Guide, and owner of, is offering an online class for those who want to take action, get started now with going paperless. Cost: $77. Registration required. Registration deadline October 17th.

Paperless Action Plan

Twice over the past year, I held online classes for two groups of awesome DocumentSnap readers who wanted to take action on going paperless. I called the class the Paperless Action Plan.

Due to popular demand, I’m happy to announce that I am re-opening the even-better-than-before Paperless Action Plan today.

This project is a four-module class over five weeks that is focused specifically on helping you create an end-to-end, customized action plan for going paperless, as well as helping you sort out what you need to do to put your plan into action.

Go over to Brooks’ blog post Re-introducing the Paperless Action Plan to find out more. Here’re some key points:

  1. What is it, exactly? ” The Paperless Action Plan has four action-focused lessons over five weeks. Includes live teleclass, downloadable PDFs, recorded mp3s, worksheets, members’ forum.
  2. How much is it? $77

Click here to find out more. Registration closes Oct. 17th.

(Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of, so if you purchase any of Brooks’ products from this website, I get a commission. I have bought and continue to use Brooks’ products and warmly recommend them.

Paperless Document Organization Guide banner

Click to see product details


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10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows]

My posts on One Note vs Evernote are the most popular posts on this blog. So here’s another for y’all.

Brooks Duncan of tweets about the following 10 Awesome OneNote Tips article. Here’s a snippet:

I am going to ruffle a few feathers here by saying that Microsoft OneNote is just as good as Evernote. Evernote is probably more barebones and easier to handle, while OneNote is the digital equivalent of a binder, giving you more organizational control.

The showdown will continue, so for the sake of productivity and peace, let’s say that both are great note-taking apps with their pros and cons. I use both, as and when the purpose dictates it. And I have come to love both because they have made me more organized with my note-taking.

We have covered a bit of OneNote’s capabilities with:

But effective note-taking requires as many tips and tricks you can pull together. So, here for your productive pleasure are ten more.

Read more at  10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All The Time [Windows].

“I use both”! Man, I used both a while back and it was Confusion City when it came time to finding something: did I note it in Evernote on OneNote? I still have some notes in OneNote; they’re probably the ones’ I’ve been looking for in Evernote and thinking, Maybe I dreamed it.

I no longer use OneNote, so I haven’t tested the tips myself, but the article includes lots of screenshots which are vital in any explanation of how to do something, especially for a non-geek computer user like me. Video is even better, but screenshots usually do the trick.

Just glancing thru the list of tips, I can’t see anything Evernote can’t do, but they are all useful things to know, such as encrypting notes with private info, OCR capability, and iPhone apps to capture notes when away from your computer.

Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine

By the way, Brooks Duncan is my go-to man for going paperless. I recommend his variously priced guides to going paperless, but if you’re interested in going paperless and still testing the waters, I strongly suggest you take Brooks’ free 7-part email course on the subject, which you can ssign up for at

You can also subscribe to his blog (which today introduces the amazing Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine)

and his YouTube channel (latest video is storing handwritten notes in Evernote).

A very useful tip in one of Brooks’ recent videos is on how to find all the PDF files in Evernote (Answer – type resource:application/pdf into Evernote’s search bar).

I couldn’t find this in Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials (which I also recommend, and you can read Brooks’ review of it here), but I did find this one which was equally helpful: how to find all your Evernote audio notes (Answer – type resource:audio/* into Evernote’s search bar).

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TEC #025 – Brooks Duncan interview – | The Elephant Channel

The Elephant Channel

The Elephant Channel

The Elephant Channel, an unofficial Evernote tips blog, interviews Brooks Duncanof (audio only, so here’s a pic of Brooks).

Brooks Duncan headshot

Brooks Duncan headshot

Check it out.

“During the interview you will hear some of his secrets on how to become paperless as much as possible, how he uses Evernote and more.”

TEC #025 – Brooks Duncan interview – | The Elephant Channel.

Twitter: @documentsnap

Brooks Duncan is author of a series of “going paperless guides”. Start with the free 7-part email course, then, if you decide to go paperless, I warmly recommend his variously priced guides (NB – I’m an affiliate of Brooks’). Click here to read more about the Paperless Document Organization Guide

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Warning – don’t get Honan’d! logo

Brooks Duncan of just sent out an email to his subscribers with a link to the Wired story of Mat Honan:

In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

Mat points out, “In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter.”

And Brooks suggests some ways to avoid suffering a similar fate. Most of these are tips that Brooks has been suggesting people to use for years, and many are included in his excellent guides to going paperless (Click here to read more about the Paperless Document Organization Guide   Diclosure – I belong to Brooks’ affiliate program; buy Brooks’ guides after clicking through here and you will be buying me a drink.)

Brooks points out, “even though this particular situation happened to a Mac user using Amazon, Google, and iCloud accounts, the hacks involved could happen with any online service.”

    1. First tip: Email.

      The center of many, many hacks is your e-mail account. You might think “I don’t care if someone reads my e-mail”, but that’s not the point — if someone can get in your e-mail, they can generate password resets for other online services that you use. (my emphasis)

      How to solve this? Use a password-generator that can create highly complex and unique passwords for you, and store them securely. I have used Access Manager for years, and am perfectly satisfied with it. It has a free version, but I coughed up for the professional version and find it well worth the money. It requires the Microsoft .NET Framework and only runs on Windows.

      Here’s Brooks suggestions for email security:

      1.  Use a super secure password for your e-mail account. Even better, use software like 1Password (that’s what I use) or LastPass to generate really secure passwords that you don’t even need to memorize.
      2. Use Two-Factor authentication in your e-mail. This is especially true if you use Google services. Macworld has a good article with how to set that up, even if you don’t use a Mac. (Personally, I found this article rather confusing; do you know a better overview of this?)
      3. In this case, because he used the same account for both his Apple and Google password reset accounts, he was extra vulnerable. It might be worth having those two totally separate.
    2. Next tip: iCloud: Brooks suggests that, if you use a Mac and iCloud, you turn off the option “Find my Mac”. He thinks the risk of someone accessing his Mac and wiping out his computer is higher than that of being unable to remote-erase his files on his Mac if he ever loses it. He also suggests encrypting your sensitive files (watch his video on how to do this). One thing I like about Brooks’ videos, as I’ve said before, is that the explanation is clear and doesn’t assume you know a whole lot of computer jargon.
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    3. Tip #3: backup your computer. Brooks has a video on this, too (watch in HD for best results).

He has 3 backups, one local, one off-site, and one in the cloud. Backup tips are included in Brooks’ excellent “going paperless” guides (Click here to read more about the Paperless Document Organization Guide)

If you are thinking of going paperless but have not yet taken the plunge, I do recommend you get Brooks’ FREE 7-part email course on going paperless. You can sign up for this free email course on Brooks’ home page at Try this first before buying any of his paperless guides.

Finally, let’s go back to Honan’s Wired article. Here he points to  a flaw in Amazon’s and Apple’s security systems. If you have any kind of customer account, but especially an Apple account and an Amazon account, you might want to read this:

But what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s. Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices.


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How To Manage PDFs In iTunes – YouTube

Another great public service video by paperless master Brooks Duncan of This one is how to use iBooks to manage your PDFs. If you’re already doing this, then check out the link below the video.  Go to to sign up for DocumentSnap’s free 7-part email course on going paperless. Then, if you’re still looking for guidance, check out his Paperless Document Organization Guides (from $47) for both Windows and Mac users. (Click-thru and buy one and I get a few bucks from Brooks.)

How To Manage PDFs In iTunes – YouTube.

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If you’re already using iBooks to manage your PDFs, then perhaps you want to go further and add notes to your PDFs. If so, then you might want to check out the iPad/iPhone app GoodReader. Here’s a blog post on the subject of notetaking apps for PDFs: Doing Research with an iPad Part 5

And here’s an older (2010) blog post by Brooks on various apps for reading files on an iPad: iPad PDF Reading Roundup. It refers, among others, to GoodReader, which is a very useful tool if you want to markup and scribble on your PDFs.

Interesting post. The novel is slightly different from the movie, of course.  (BTW, the picture in the section on Red Blow is of Max Mercy. But you knew that, right?) My reading group is reading the novel now (and most members have also watched the Robert Redford movie). I’ve been blogging about it here:

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How To Choose A Scanner – YouTube

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Brooks Duncan of has a short video on the key factors to consider when choosing a scanner. Brooks Duncan is author of the Paperless Document Organization Guide, a series of detailed, multimedia guides on going paperless. Check it out (buy it from here and I get a commission).

If you’re interested in going paperless but have not yet taken the plunge, I recommend first subscribing to his free 7-part email course on going paperless. You can sign up for it at

Need some help deciding which scanner to get? Here are 5 key factors to look at when deciding.

via How To Choose A Scanner – YouTube.

Brooks recommends the Fujitsu ScanSnap. If you have this already, you might be interested in this video in which Brooks shows how to use ScanSnap’s software to distribute multiple documents by keywords.

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Brooks Duncan: Make use of OneNote

Brooks Duncan of has a(nother) post about OneNote. This might be of interest to you, as my posts on OneNote vs Evernote are the most popular posts by far.

Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of I promote Brooks’ products because I have found them to be very useful in my attempt to “go paperless”. Brooks’ free 7-part email course on going paperless was what prompted me to stop dithering and take the plunge. Then, once I’d bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap and started scanning, and thought, “Now, what? How do I sort and store my scans so that I can find them again?”, that’s when I bought one of Brooks’ Guides to going paperless, and I recommend checking them out.

More on that later, but first, here’s Brooks’ post about OneNote.

Tip: Make Use Of OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a tool that many Microsoft Office users have, but I’ll bet many aren’t sure what to do with.

It is one of those products that has many raving fans, and I have written about it more than once on DocumentSnap.

If you want to get more out of OneNote, Vivian Manning over at the great Small City Law Firm Tech blog has started a helpful series about how she uses OneNote. Here are the first few entries:

Even if you are not a lawyer, you will find the entries helpful. She really knows her stuff.

Any other OneNote fans out there?

While I’m at it, here’s a plug for a couple of other recent DocumentSnap blog posts which might interest you productivity mavens out there:

After playing with OneNote, I decided to stick to Evernote,  and here’s a recent tip on how to web-clip to Evernote from your iPhone, from the Elephant Channel.  On my computer, I use Evernote’s web-clipper all the time, and the lack of this function on the iPhone limited my iPhone use of Evernote. Now, if there’s a similar function for the iPad Evernote app…

Back to Brooks Duncan’s paperless guides. The main reason I rave about these is that, they taught me the importance of workflows. Going paperless means scanning then filing large amounts of documents. Where should they go? Read the rest of this entry »

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