It would be great if you could help me think about the following: Something that I would love to automate:

every piece of paper in my house

 

 

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My Fujitsu S1500 scanner has arrived. More information can be found on the  Project page.

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Goal

  • Scan every piece of incoming paper (mail) on arrival
  • Conversion into searchable PDF files
  • Tagging PDF files based on content (some of this could be done by A-pdf renamer)
    • KPN phone bill: kpn, 2011, march, bill, phone
      \phone\kpn\bills\2011
    • American Express letter: americanexpress, 2011, january, other
      \bank\creditcard\amex\other\2011
    • Bank statement DJ: ingbank, 2011, march, statement, DJ
      \bank\creditcard\amex\statement\2011
    • Bank statement Wife: ingbank, 2011, march, statement, Wife
      \bank\ing\statement\2011
  • Store files based on tags (not mandatory! See examples above)

 

Result

Mail arrives and is fed through the scanner. A searchable PDF is created and the document is automatically stored in the right folder based on the contents.

Some items might not be recognized and need to get their tags manually.

The ‘paper’ is stored chronologically. When you need the paper version you only have 1 month of paper to search.

 

How

Software

  • Irislink ReadIris Corporate ($471, Windows)
    does not store files in location based on content and is quite expensive
  • A-PDF Rename ($27 Windows)
    very interesting, renames PDFs based on keywords or text location. Not automated
    That means it can use keywords to rename a file but you have to select them, every time.
  • Neatworks scanners & software
    Note: software only works with own scanner (Win) or limited number of scanners (Mac)
  • OpenKM document management system (Open Source)
  • Benubird PDF (free, Windows) PDF file manager
    Has potential. This might be the first application that I’m going to test-drive.
  • DevonThink ($80, Pro:$150, Mac only) Interesting, automatically recognize/organize documents
    Cannot rename automatically or recognize documents based on the contents
    TIP: how to create a “watch folder
  • EagleFiler (€ 32, OSX) manage files, assign tags and provide smart filters (interesting!)
  • iDocument ($ 49, OSX) manage documents, assign tags, automate, batch and more
  • Yojimbo ($ 35, OSX) manage, tag and find documents
  • Home Document Manager ($ 69, Win) http://www.dokix.com/products/home-document-manager/

Hardware

  • Scanner: Fujitsu Scansnap S1300 –  € 250
  • Scanner: Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 –  € 390 
  • Scanner software: Scansnap Manager

Cost

Software: € 100 ?

Scanner: € 400 ?

 

More info

Your Paperless Office (good online book about document management. Very practical)


Comments

Document Management — 4 Comments

  1. I’m working towards a paperless office for quite some years already. Taking care that at least all incoming paper is digitized and then shredded. Over time also scanning and archiving old paperwork. Works really well. I use a “normal” Brother MFC with a document feeder for this purpose which works really well. Bought it for just 130 euros. I have it scan everything as JPG images directly to a FTP server (PDF is possible as well). Then I manually drag and drop the scans in manually created folders in Microsoft OneNote. Also works like a charm. I personally wouldn’t really see the auto archiving location based on OCR work. I want to know where I put stuff as to where the piece of software thought it would be logical to place it.

    • Auto-archiving based on OCR would be the ultimate goal if:
      – the system would analyze the documents and suggest a location/new-name/tags for the document.
      The use would then only have to say “correct” to perform the move/rename/tag action. Devonthink does that for the location (no auto-tagging or renaming). It watches a folder for searchable PDF files and when it contains PDF files it will suggest a folder to move these files to, based on the content (which is surprisingly accurate!) It learns the suggested location based on the contents of that folder.
      Note: I bought a pretty advanced scanner which I guess you don’t need once you scanned the bulk of all your documents ;-)

  2. I’m wondering about any legal issues when going fully digital. When you have a situation in which you have to show the document, will a company allow a digitalized version? Any thoughts on that?

    (think of warrenty claims which requires a receipt)

    • Good question. So what I do:
      – Scan documents and store the paper versions in a box (chronologically)
      IF (for example) I need the paper version of a document I just get the box “2011” where it’s easy to find the document because of the sorting.
      DJ

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