Going Paperless – Scanning all Reciepts and Papers
I’ve decided to go paperless in my office. Currently all my expense reports for independent consulting require scanned receipts and I use the flat bed scanner on my color inkjet printer to do this, then I organize the PDFs manually. That process works, but is very tedious and time consuming. I have seen the NeatScanner ads on TV and decided that going paperless is a really good idea as long as the scanning and organizing is easy and quick. This will depend on the design, reliability and layout of the scanner as well as how well the bundled software is thought out and works. First I hope to use a portable scanner that I can take on the road and use for expense reports. Then if the scanner is good enough it can be used as a desktop scanner for all documents and receipts. The scanning has to be easy and not awkward and the software has to be efficient and easy to use to organize and categorize all the receipts. Finally, it must be very easy to back up the receipts to a CD, DVD or USB drive by type or year and also very easy to restore and use those receipts if the originals are not available. The first step is to evaluate the possible scanners.
- Scanner must be portable and easily fed with receipts and documents. Later we will review desktop scanners to feed larger amounts of documents.
- Scan quality must be high. Ideally, it should make faded or wrinkled receipts readable and able to be OCR’d and made searchable and indexed.
- Process of scanning, converting to PDF and using OCR to make searchable and indexed must be fairly seamless.
- Bundled software must make organizing and categorizing the receipts and documents easy and not be time consuming.
- Backing up AND restoring must be very easy and work 100% of the time.
- Brother® DSmobile® 600 Compact Color Scanner - This mobile scanner has 16 of 16 positive reviews on Staples site. It seems to have a 5 star rating, but has very little information on the bundled software. It is reasonably priced at $149.99 and also portable. It claims to provide a simple but effective tool to capture, manage and archive documents of many types. It connects directly to your computer via a USB cable and allows you to scan and save images of documents like invoices, statements, letters, or pictures. It is powered by the USB system in the computer so you don’t need any batteries or AC power supply. This may be my first choice to buy and review.
- Visioneer RoadWarrior RW120-WU Sheetfeed Scanner ($115.50 w/ $50 rebate) – This seems to be a very popular scanner and is probably my second choice.
- Visioneer Strobe XP 100 ($199.95) – sheetfed scanner 12-bit gray Single-pass 600 Scans – Ideal for the mobile executive, the Strobe™ XP 100 Scanner from Visioneer® is compact enough to fit neatly on your desk and pack easily alongside your laptop or in your briefcase. It scans and organizes all of your documents, photos, articles, brochures and business cards. The Strobe™ XP 100 is integrated with ScanSoft PaperPort Deluxe 8.0 software, making it easy to organize your life and work. Now you can scan and file all your documents and photographs electronically right alongside your electronic documents from Microsoft® Office, PDF files from Adobe™ Acrobat and image files from numerous other applications. Whether you’re in the office or on the road, the Strobe™ XP 100 helps lighten your load. Manufacturer Part# : SXP1001-DB Dell Part# : A0059194
- Ambir PS467 simplex scanner ($194.99) – Another mobile scanner that claims it is ideal for both travel and desktop use, the highly-portable Ambir PS467 simplex scanner conveniently connects via USB to any PC with no external power adapter needed. Quickly and easily scan business cards, photos and documents measuring up to 8.5″ x 14″.The PS467 comes with AmbirScan, Ambir’s powerful imaging software. AmbirScan features support for PDF, JPEG, GIF, BMP, and now TIFF extensions. Fixed file locations let you set a default save location for your scans.
- Canon P-150 Portable Scanner CLR 600DPI 24 bit USB 15PPM ($299.99) – The P-150 personal scanner’s compact size, simple use, and advanced feature set liberates document capture by taking it beyond the walls of the office to the convenience of any user location.
- NeatReceipts Scanner ($199.99) – more info later.
- IRIS IRIScan Anywhere 2 Portable Scanner – ($199.99 Rebate:-$50.00) Price after rebate: $149.99Each
- PageManager7 software – This is bundled with the Brother DSmobile 600 and will be evaluated with that scanner
- More software to be added here.
If you read this and have suggestions for scanners or software please send then to hireme (at) rothgeb.net and I will try to acquire and evaluate them. Thanks!