Keeping track of my travel expenses / receipts was a torturous task before I started using Evernote as part of my system. Noe everything is more organized, and easier to find. Here’s the system I use to track my work and personal travel expenses with the Evernote app.
It’s easier to use Evernote web or desktop program for these steps.
☆ Create a Notebook for Travel – eg. “2016 Work Travel” or “Vacations”. This will be the notebook stack under which all your future trips will be housed.
☆ Create another notebook with the name of your travel destination eg. “Champaign, IL” 0r “2016 New York, NY”.
☆ Stack the travel destination notebook under that first one. You create a stack by dragging the notebook you want to move underneath the one you want to be top dog. Eg. drag Champaign IL underneath Work Travel.
During the Trip
☆ When you get a receipt, open up the Evernote app on your phone, click the “+” button, select the camera option, take a picture of the receipt, then name with the trip name, place name and/or descriptor eg. “New York, Shell” or “New York, Shell Gas”. Then select the notebook in which to save … and save.
☆ Another way to do it is to just take a picture with your regular camera app and then share the receipt to Evernote. Name the receipt, select the trip notebook and save – as above.
☆ That’s it … keep taking pictures of your receipts, and saving to Evernote under your trip folder.
☆ ALWAYS take the picture within minutes of getting your receipt. Try not to wait until the end of the day unless you have to … there’s no telling how hungover you might be! Accumulation of paper receipts is the enemy!
☆ Toss the receipt afterwards – no sense in keeping clutter. Yes, you may want to keep it “just in case” but it’s really not necessary.
☆ Including the trip name in the name of the receipt makes it easier to associate it with a particular trip – even if, for example, you stopped for gas in a different town from your destination.
☆ Either include a description of the location in the name of the receipt – or add it as a tag. Eg. gas, food, hotel, gas, car rental. I use tags.
☆ Don’t forget to check the notebook in which you save your receipts – before you save – although it’s pretty easy to go back and move things around later.
☆ For work travel, I don’t immediately save my receipts in the trip notebook. Instead all receipts remain in my default folder named “GSD” until I start working on my expense report. Then I move them as I process each one.
For vacations though, I’ll just save the receipt directly to the trip notebook, because I don’t have to go back and do anything.
☆ In addition to receipts, I’ll also screenshot hotel and travel details / confirmations and add it to my trip notebook so everything is together in one place and easily accessible.
☆ I have a “Vacations” notebook stack, and then underneath I’ll name each trip notebook with the year and destination, eg. 2016 New York, NY. That’s because I don’t take that many vacations each year, so it’s easier to keep multiple years in one folder.
☆ For work travel, the notebook stack is named with the year eg. 2016 Work Travel, because there are more frequent work trips during a year.
☆ I use 1 tag with each receipt as a descriptor of the purchase, eg. Gas, Food, Hotel, Flight. I’m very careful with my use of tags in Evernote in general to keep it useful and specific.
This system can be adapted for pretty much anything. When I’m way more organized than I am today, I can see it being used to keep receipts for “big ticket items” and items that have warranties for starters.
Do you keep digital copies of any receipts?