How to Buy an Appliance like an Efficiency Nerd

As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a big proponent of using technology to make life better, faster and easier.

This is especially true when buying, say, a massive chest freezer to hold the 350+ pounds of beef that will be showing up at our door any day. No joke. I digress.

When my buddy and I returned from the Big Box Appliance Retailer yesterday after buying the freezer, I found myself with a small stack of stuff: the manual, warranty information, purchase receipt, extra parts, etc.

I hate stuff like this lying around and I’m always looking for nerdy ways to reduce the amount of crap floating around my life. Here’s what I did with this particular pile:

  1. Googled for the make and model of freezer, plus the word “manual”. Found a PDF of the manual for my new freezer, saved it to Evernote and enthusiastically threw away the paper copy.
  2. Scanned the receipt into Evernote (after tearing off the 14 inches of it pitching me to take a survey or whatever). Made sure the receipt was uploaded successfully, then enthusiastically threw away the paper copy.
  3. Scanned the warranty information into Evernote. Enthusiastically threw away the paper copy.
  4. Collected all of the spare parts I didn’t immediately need, and put them in a plastic bag. Labeled plastic bag with a permanent marker, took a snapshot of it. Put the plastic bag into a box of miscellaneous junk I keep in my office, then created a new Evernote note with a) the photo of the plastic bag and b) the words “this bag is in the crap box in the bookshelf and it looks like this”.
  5. When I talked to the distracted kid who sold me the freezer, he said the extra warranty I was buying came with a free annual inspection of my appliance. He also said that most people do these six months after their purchase date and continue every year on/around that date. Added a task in OmniFocus to schedule my inspection starting 6 months from now and repeat every year for three years.

Oh, and all of the Evernote stuff was tagged with “Garage Freezer” and the OmniFocus task contained a link to Evernote note containing all of the information on who I need to call when I’m ready to move that forward.

So there you go. Gone are the days of keeping track of big stacks of old manuals, paperwork and other such malarky. Between Evernote and OmniFocus, I’m sitting frickin’ paperless and pretty over here.

(Also, if you’re looking to get more into the Paperless lifestyle, my good buddy David wrote an ebook that you should definitely check out.)