Using Evernote to Streamline Loan Applications in 5 Easy Steps

Written on May 12, 2014 by , updated on September 2, 2014

evernote-featureAs landlords, we wish we could buy all our properties with cash.

But that rarely happens. So, you spend years building seemingly useful relationships with bankers, hoping it will pay off later.

The Typical Process

If you’re lucky, you are able to secure a few mortgages, but then you find that the rules of the game change with the wind.

Despite knowing everything about your financial situation, your broker still makes you run the gauntlet when applying for a loan.

For example, your broker will often give you multiple lists of documents to submit, only to ask for the same documents a few weeks later just because “the underwriter needs it.” Oh well.

“The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry” John Steinbeck

Your broker won’t make any guarantees for a closing date, and will secretly hope that the underwriter is having a good day when reviewing your application.

Obviously, this is an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Nonetheless, keeping track of everything is difficult. Email is useful, but sometime it feels like you’re searching through a bottomless pit.

Evernote, A Better Solution

I’m going to be completely honest with you. This system is going to take about an hour of work on the front-end to set up.

However, once you have the system in place it will allow you to scale your real estate business and never have to worry about aimlessly searching through your email for documents again.

“Losers have goals. Winners have systems.” Scott Adams, Creator of Dilbert

Step 1. Get an Evernote account

Download it everywhere – your computer, phone, iPad, etc.

evernote-db-gdIf you think you can do the same thing with G-Drive or Dropbox, you’re wrong. You can’t. To be clear, G-Drive and Dropbox are awesome and I use them both. However, you can’t use these apps dynamically.

As my friend Bradley Chambers says, Evernote is dynamic, Dropbox is static. What does that mean?

With Dropbox you are always using another type of document and then saving it in Dropbox. Evernote content is the actual document.

For instance, I’m writing this blog post with Evernote. I write my to-do list in Evernote. And I also write all letters to my lenders in Evernote and then save them in their appropriate folder.

Yes, Google Docs can do all this. However, Evernote also allows you to add photos and even audio within the app as well as tags to the notes, allowing you to search everything, which becomes increasingly useful the more notes you create.

Step 2. Upload Supporting Documentation

  • Last 2-5 years of tax filings
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Rent-Roll or Rent Ledger
  • Copies of Leases, Addendums
  • Business Formation documents
  • Business Strategy documents

Step 3. Keep it Updated, Make it Automatic

Finding your unique Evernote email address

Finding your unique Evernote email address

Using Evernote, you can take a picture of a document with the mobile app, so any future finance or tax documents are kept safe and sound.

If you don’t have a smart phone or a scanner you can instruct your bank to email all your statements and closing documents to your Evernote email address.

This is true automation; everything is being recorded in multiple places with no effort.

From the desktop app:

  • Click on Evernote at the top left of your screen.
  • Select Account Info…
  • View your unique Evernote email address


Step 4. Organize Files with a “Notebook” and Share

By organizing all of these documents as a single notebook, you can share them as a whole package with anyone. Another handy feature is that multiple documents can be saved in multiple notebooks.

Give it a try:

  1. Open your list of notebooks
  2. Find the notebook you want and select the Share button. Depending on your device, you may see the Share button by opening the notebook Edit menu (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Options menu (Android), or just by selecting or hovering over the notebook.
  3. From the sharing menu, choose Invite individuals.
  4. Add your invitees’ email addresses.
  5. Select the appropriate sharing permissions.
  6. Add an introduction message to be sent in the email invitation.
  7. Invitees will receive an email containing a link to preview or join the notebook and add it to their Evernote account. If you are an Evernote Business user and share a Business Notebook with other members of your Evernote Business account, those users will not receive the confirmation email and will instead automatically see the notebook in their accounts the next time they sync.
Evernote notebooks can be shared with anyone.

Evernote notebooks can be shared with anyone.

Step 5. Seal the Deal

Hopefully, you’ll be able to secure financing more quickly with the help of Evernote. But if your first attempt doesn’t pan out, at least you have all the supporting loan documents ready to go for the next potential lender.

Good Luck, and Happy Borrowing!

photo credit: Irish Typepad via cc
The Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive logos are copyright of their respective companies.
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