Going Paperless Quick Tip: Using Mail Filters to Automatically Send Email Receipts and Other Messages to Evernote

There are certain types of email messages that I like to keep in Evernote because I find it useful to have them there. Receipts from places like Amazon or Audible, or instance, or travel itineraries are a few examples. I get weekly email reports on my FitBit activity, my cloud backup status, or my productivity as measured by RescueTime. All of this is useful information to have as part of my timeline in Evernote. But it would be a pain to have to take the extra step to add this to Evernote myself. Fortunately, there is a way to automate this process using mail filters.

Now, you could simply sign up for these services using your Evernote email address, but I don’t like that idea. I don’t want other services having that address. So I sign up for all of these services using my normal email address, but then create mail filters that forward messages of certain types to Evernote via my Evernote email address. Here is how it works.

Ingredients

  • An Evernote email address. If you have an Evernote account, you have an Evernote email address. If you don’t know what your address is, you can look it up in your account settings.
  • An email system that can filter messages. I use Gmail, but you could use Outlook or Apple mail, or whatever application suits you.

Here is an example of how I send my Audible receipts to Evernote.

Example: Sending Audible receipts to Evernote

I listen to a lot of audio books. Each time I order books from Audible.com, I get a receipt emailed to me. I like those receipts to be stored in Evernote and so I’ve created a Gmail filter to forward those messages to my Evernote email address.

1. Create a new Filter in Gmail.

2. Specify the conditions of your filter. For my Audible receipts, my conditions look like this:

Evernote Email Filter

3. Specify the action for your filter. For my Audible receipts, my action looks like this:

Evernote Email Action

  • I check “forward it to”
  • I select an email address to which I want to forward it. In this case, I’ve selected my Evernote email address (which is blurred out in the image).

In Gmail, you need to validate the email address you are going to forward it to by adding a forwarding address. So if you haven’t already done this with your Evernote email address, you will need to click on this option first before the Evernote email address is available for you to forward to.

If you are using some other email system, like Outlook or Apple Mail, there are similar filtering functions that you can use to forward messages to another email address.

The result is that my receipts still appear in my Gmail inbox, but they are also forwarded to a note in Evernote. Here is what the resulting note looks like:

Audible Receipt

I use other filters to send other receipts or other types of email to Evernote. I collect travel itineraries, shopping receipts, backup reports, activity reports and lots of other standardized notification email messages in Evernote in this manners. This allows me to get the receipts or message into Evernote without having to take any action on my part beyond setting up the filter.

Processing the notes

Forwarding the messages put them into my default notebook, which is my Inbox notebook. I refile or tag these notes as part of my Daily Review every evening. This helps ensure that I actually see the note, but it also gives me the opportunity to put the note where it belongs and keep my inbox clean.


If you have a suggestion for a future Going Paperless post, let know me. Send it to me at feedback [at] jamietoddrubin.com. As always, this post and all of my Going Paperless posts is also available on Pinterest.

Last week’s post: Using the Drafts App to Quickly Add Common Notes to Evernote.

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4 thoughts on “Going Paperless Quick Tip: Using Mail Filters to Automatically Send Email Receipts and Other Messages to Evernote

  1. One nice addition, if you really _dont_ want to see the receipts and have to manually file them: You can use Zapier and their “Gmail” source and “Email” destination to add the @notebook #tag stuff to the end of the subject line, allowing the emails to be automatically sorted!

  2. So my question is similar: If the Gmail filter can be set up to send notes to a specific Evernote notebook. I’m fairly certain that it can’t; at least not yet. I’ll look into the solution that Lex pointed to, though I’m not crazy about the idea of relying on a third-party script.

  3. Really great post I do something similar with filters in gmail. Quick question though, I’m trying to figure out a quick way to add the expenses up — looking into shoeboxed but not sure yet.

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