Often the most unpleasant part of a business trip is calculating your expenses when you get back. But a simple note-taking tool can ease the burden of tracking expenses and even help you fill out that expense report form.
You may already know you can use Evernote (News - Alert) to jot notes, create to-do lists, save webpages, manage passwords and record audio. In a nutshell, Evernote helps organize and manage personal notes as well as synchronizes them to a Web-based server, so you don’t lose anything. But you can also use Evernote to take away some of the pain from tedious tasks, like expense reports.
The first step is to create an Evernote notebook for a trip’s expenses, which works kind of like a file folder for notes. Evernote’s impressive searching capabilities means you can search by date or content. But the really helpful thing is Evernote uses OCR scanning on all your images, and it will even recognize printed or handwritten text in photos and images.
When you are on the road, simply take a photo of every receipt you want to log for your report. Evernote will automatically upload your snapshots to the Evernote server, creating an archive. Evernote’s OCR technology means you can search for text on the receipt itself. Or you can tag (News - Alert) the note for easy searching as well.
Now you are back at the office, and instead of a wallet full of receipts, you’ve got an electronic record of the trip on Evernote. What you do now depends on your company’s expense reporting procedures.
Evernote partners with related applications, so if your company uses something like Expensify, you are in luck. The apps can work together, so once your receipts are in Expensify, you can add them to a report, add comments and immediately send the report out for approval.
If your company has a standard expense report template, you can create an Evernote note with that document in it, giving you quick access when you are ready for it. You also can edit the report document right in Evernote. Then simply email the finished report to your supervisor. Voila!
The free version of Evernote gives you 40MB per month for uploading. For $5 a month or $45 a year, you get a 500MB/month allowance, priority OCR, better security features and support.
Edited by Alisen Downey