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Continuing Challenge to go Paperless

Since January I have been trying to remove paper from my daily life.  This is for sure a big hairy audacious goal but one I think is achievable.

I started off the year trying to use my HP Laserjet All-in-one printer to scan my documents and store them in an electronic archive.   Wow, a lot of work.  In order for anything to be useful it must be easy. I ended up giving in and buying a Fujitsu ScanSnap.  This is an expensive piece of hardware for such a limited function but it is proving to be well worth it.  To be fair you do get a Pro copy of Adobe Acrobat which does not come cheap either.  The ScanSnap couldn’t be easier to use.  Steps are:

1. Open the ScanSnap software on your computer (2 seconds)
2. Place the document in the scanner (3 seconds – I’ve done larger documents of 30 pages or so and literally dropped it in)
3. Press the Blue scan button on the scanner (1 second)
4. Wait for the document to scan – do something else while it does.  The scan time is reasonably fast. Certainly faster than the HP Laserjet
5. DevonThink will prompt you and ask you where you wish the document be filed – this is a personal setting.  It is possible to automatically file at a set destination without being asked.
6. DevonThink will prompt you to name the document and add tags if desired.  I’m leaving most of my documents the default name.  I am also OCRing every document which does take longer but allows for really nice search results.  This saves me time from naming every file.

The OCR does slow down the process, although it is not necessary to wait for each file to be done to do the next.  I have found it useful to scan four or five documents at once in a batch then move on.

With the ScanSnap in place now, the process is easy to complete.  The only remaining question is will I do it. 😉

devonthink pro office, Mac, paperless, scansnap