Going Paperless

January 21, 2011

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a video showing how to setup a scanner and Evernote to create a paperless office. The results were impressive and I shared the video with Sibylle. We've talked about it on and off since then and finally decided to take the plunge.

Like all families we collect a surprising amount of paper in the normal course of events. Bills, insurance statements, pages from catalogs or magazines, flyers, pictures, business cards, et cetera. The problem with trying to keep these pieces of paper is that they take up a lot of space and, once misfiled or misplaced, are lost. The idea of scanning them, and cataloging them is intriguing, but getting the parts of that process all lined up and working was the barrier.

With the Fujitsu SnapScan S1300 and Evernote it seems that the barrier as been lowered if not completely eliminated. The software that comes with the scanner allows you to setup some predefined actions that occur whenever something is scanned. In the video below John Chow demonstrates that two copies of the PDF are created. One is stored on an external hard drive and the other linked to his Evernote account. The Evernote dialog allows him to quickly label and tag the document. Evernote syncs to all his other devices and provides a web interface, so he has access to everything he's scanned from virtually anywhere.

Tonight we ordered a SnapScan S1300 from Amazon, which should arrive on Monday thanks to a free Amazon Prime membership due to my status as a university student. I'm sure it'll take a little while before we have our document tagging system sorted out, but we are looking forward to digitizing lots and lots of documents.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.