In a past (employment) life I used to program document management systems that worked with high speed scanners. We were an authorized Canon dealership so we sold high speed Canon scanners to go with them.
I worked on a web based tool that allowed you to scan and file documents. It worked using ActiveX so you could only use Microsoft Internet Explorer.
It was nice for business that moved a lot of paper, but for personal use it was generally easier to file and find document by hand and filing cabinet.
Shortly after I left that company I found Evernote. It seemed to be the tool I always wished I could build – multi-platform, fast OCR (optical character recognition).
Still, my printer/scanner/copier was too slow to make it worth my time – especially if I need to scan a two-sided document.
We are building a new house at the moment and we are living in a temporary and smaller space. My filing cabinet is packed away in storage. I finally pulled the trigger and bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap. (<– Amazon affiliate link)
I’ve had my eye on this beauty for a few years now, but I could never justify spending so much for something I didn’t need. Living in this small space and running out of space to store all my bills and documents I decided to it was more of a need than a want so I finally got one.
I LOVE IT!
The thing is super fast. I push a button and it scans both sides of one or more papers. Then it brings up a window in my computer asking what I want to do with the scan. Most often I select Evernote document. It then loans my scanned document into Evernote in PDF format.
In the process it also performs OCR. This allows me to do a search in Evernote and quickly find any documents containing the word I’m searching for. So, if I want to locate a gas bill, I can type “Questar” and it will find all Questar gas bills.
On top of that I can add tags to documents. I’m actually looking forward to doing taxes this year. I will simply type “taxes2013” and it will show all the documents I have tagged for taxes. How cool is that?!
I’m still playing around with how to best manage paying bills. I can get a bill in the mail and quickly run it through the scanner and add it to Evernote. If I don’t have time to pay it at that moment I will email it to myself from Evernote. Later when I’m checking email and have a little more time I will pay it and tag it as “paid”.
I’m totally geeking out over this scanner/Evernote combination. Anyone want to buy a small filing cabinet?