As a business owner, attending events and travelling are two areas of my life that require being super organized. Standing at the gate of an event or an airport is the very moment that you have to have your information ready and available. Both require that you present a ticket or pass extremely quickly. However in this impatient digital age, being paperless also means you are doing this with a line of people behind you waiting for you to get your stuff together.
I find it stressful.
It was always easy with paper. I printed my tickets or boarding passes or hotel confirmations and whammo, I was prepared with all the information I needed, printed nicely, in my hand. With digital, I stressed that I would be fumbling through my email looking for my boarding pass, or event ticket, or hotel confirmation number.
And then those things happened, with a red face of embarrassment and a feeling of failing my paperless journey. There I was, swiping through my smartphone looking for my information, in front of an impatient gate attendant and an impatient crowd behind me.
Just remembering the scene is making my heart pound.
How OneNote Saves the Day
As I mentioned in previous posts (The Dreaded Notes Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I have selected OneNote as my notebook of choice. I have OneNote on my computer, my tablet, and my smartphone. My notes are everywhere.
So I decided to use OneNote to solve my fumbling-for-digital-information problem.
The first task was to create an organized place for this information that needed to be retrieved on the fly. It had to be a consistent spot, so there would be no frantic searching.
In my personal notebook (called “Lindsay’s Notes”), I created two tabs. One is called Tickets and one is called Travel. Those tabs are synced to my computer, tablet, and phone.
Now I had a place to put the information I needed. But how to get it there?
Filing Tickets and Travel Documents
As outlined at the start of this post, being SUPER ORGANIZED is critical to a paperless existence. So now I needed to have a bullet-proof process for managing tickets and other travel documents. This is what I came up with:
- Purchase all tickets digitally wherever possible.
- Receive ticket or pass in digital form. It usually comes in via email.
- File event tickets into the OneNote tab called Tickets. Each ticket gets a new page with the event date in the title.
- File travel documents into the OneNote tab called Travel. Each travel document gets a new page with the travel date in the title.
- Sync with all my devices.
- When arriving at the event or the travel location, pull up OneNote and navigate to the Ticket or Travel tab.
- Pull up the ticket or travel document, ready for scanning or review.
- At completion of the event or travel, delete the ticket from OneNote. Keep it clean.
So far this month, I have filed tickets for a concert, a photography class, and an arts celebration. I have also filed travel documents in the form of an airline itinerary and three hotel confirmation emails.
My first event was a bit unnerving. I received two ticket confirmations via email for an arts celebration. The tickets had barcodes, so I figured that they would be scanned at the door.
I had two tickets, one for my spouse and one for myself. I added both documents to the same OneNote page with the title and date of the event as the header.
Arriving at the venue, I presented my smartphone and had them scan the barcode. The only extra step I had to take was to zoom the page on my smartphone so only one of the barcodes appeared at a time.
It worked flawlessly.
Once the event was over, I simply deleted the page from OneNote. All clean and tidy.
So as long as I have enough battery life to get through an event, I am good to go.
I also have to admit in that moment in the venue as I quickly moved through the gates, with a smiling gate attendant and the person unfolding their paper ticket behind me, I felt like a paperless superhero.