1. Money

Organize and Tame Your Selling Records

Using a paperless office application like Evernote can cure lots of headaches

By

Organize and Tame Your Selling Records

Don't let your selling life turn into yet another pile of unmanageable, incomplete paper records.

Image: Bill / Fotolia

Record-keeping is one of the things that successful eBay sellers know how to do. The goal isn't just to stay on top of orders and taxes, but to handle eBay selling like a business, knowing what has been sold, to whom, for what prices, and to have official documentation of these for all possible contingencies.

Using the records kept by PayPal and leveraging them with a spreadsheet like Excel is a good start, but there's only so much that can be tracked in Excel, and more to the point, records kept in Excel are incomplete and unofficial.

Some sellers keep paper records in filing cabinets, the same way that businesses have done for generations. But eBay is an online marketplace and eBay selling is an online business. Surely there's something in today's high-tech world to make filing cabinets full of records obsolete?

Use Filing Software

The first and (for many) best candidate for maintaining eBay records is the free, cloud-connected filing application known as Evernote. Evernote has taken the world by storm in recent years and bills itself as a note taking or personal organization tool, but for those that need to keep business records, it can be much, much more.

Evernote offers capabilities that make it a great stand-in for a filing cabinet full of data:

  • It can store printed or paper-sized documents of all kinds

  • It can hold Excel spreadsheets or other kinds of data files

  • Everything in Evernote can be keyworded

  • Most documents in Evernote become searchable

  • You can use Evernote to add notes and annotations to documents, or to link multiple documents together into one record

  • Browsing files in Evernote is much faster than doing it from folders on your hard drive

  • Evernote's cloud-based storage means that your files and notes are automatically backed up

  • With a consumer-priced sheet scanner like those from Fujitsu, paper records go in easily and automatically

All of this adds up to a killer replacement for a filing cabinet system that can incorporate your paper records, your spreadsheets and financial data, notes about particular transactions, tax records, and more while also making them all searchable and allowing you to organize them effectively with keywords.

If this is starting to sound good to you, read on for some tips and tricks to help you to get started and make sense of Evernote's features as an eBay sellers.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.