Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

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raymclean
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Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by raymclean »

Great advice on this forum for improving office life! If you have experience using a scanner to reduce paper in your files, and for software to organize it digitally, thanks for sending a suggestion.
Ray in McLean, Va
HIinvestor
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by HIinvestor »

I’ve used the all-in-one multipurpose machines from Costco as well as NeatReceipts. Both work but I prefer the full function machines (right now we have HP8600) even tho they’re larger. They also allow me to make copies and fax (yes, faxes are still important in this day and age for some things).

NeatReceipts is nice because it’s small and portable for taking around with you but you can easily just take photos with your phone using OfficeLens or similar program and save one more piece of equipment.
BIGal
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by BIGal »

By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
02nz
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by 02nz »

For scanning documents you'll want something with an automatic document feeder (ADF), and standalone scanners with those are fairly pricey. Best to just get a multifunction scanner/printer - the manufacturers lose money on these and make it back on the ink, but you don't have to use the printer if you don't want to. You can get very decent ones for $100-$150, much less than you'd pay for an equivalent standalone scanner (which why you find very few of those these days).
Kompass
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by Kompass »

BIGal wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
+1
TwstdSista
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by TwstdSista »

+2 to the Fujitsu ScanSnap -- I've been using one for 13+ years and have recommended it to others who have been very happy with theirs as well.
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MN-Investor
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by MN-Investor »

Kompass wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:10 pm
BIGal wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
+1
+1

I have both the older ScanSnap S510 which is attached to my desktop computer, and the portable ScanSnap S1300i which I use with my laptop.

As a former accountant, I've kept too many pieces of paper. It's so easy to scan them in the the ScanSnap now - I can finally shred my old documents. By the way, I make sure I have a backup of my scanned images before I shred them.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.
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JasonF
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by JasonF »

Fujitsu ix500 - the best piece of office tech I have ever owned (including Macs and any PC). Don't be scared off by the high price, if you really have daily scanning needs this is well worth it.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by Northern Flicker »

I use a scanner (also has a printer, copier and fax machine all-in-one) that can scan to a thumb drive plugged into a USB port on the device. This means I do not have to worry about it handshaking with “driver” software on a computer or cloud service, making it very reliable when I need to scan.
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ThriftyPhD
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by ThriftyPhD »

MN-Investor wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:21 pm
Kompass wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:10 pm
BIGal wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
+1
+1
TwstdSista wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:17 pm +2 to the Fujitsu ScanSnap -- I've been using one for 13+ years and have recommended it to others who have been very happy with theirs as well.
+4
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knpstr
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by knpstr »

I also use the Scansnap ix500.

Just plugged into the wall. Scans wirelessly.
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Topic Author
raymclean
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by raymclean »

Thank you all for your advice. The Scansnap ix500 gets all of the love here so that will be the one. I'll use the forum link to you-know-who to get a feel for pricing and go from there.
PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew »

BIGal wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
+1

I’ve owned many scanners since the start of the PC era, and this is by far the best document scanner I’ve owned.

Andy.
seamonkey
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by seamonkey »

I went paperless with the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500.
rgs92
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by rgs92 »

I just snap a photo with my little Sony camera and save it to a file and cloud storage.
I suppose you could use your phone, too, but the camera seems to get a really sharp, detailed photo.
When someone tells me they need a scanned document, I just photograph it and email the results.

I have an all-in-one HP printer/scanner too (an HP 6520), and I use it sometimes since it's connected right to my home network so it goes right to my PC, which is convenient.

https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-photo ... ne-printer

But if you want to digitize a whole bunch of documents or pages in a book, it's easy to just snap photos of them rather than scan each one.
Last edited by rgs92 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
rgs92
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by rgs92 »

I would have 2nd thoughts about the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 mentioned above.

It uses a document feeder. That's a motor and also something that could snag a document. My HP 6520 printer/scanner lets you just lift a lid and scan the document, so there are no moving parts and the document (the original!) isn't in danger of getting mangled in the feeder mechanism.

And what if you want to scan pages from a book or magazine, how to you feed those into some feeding mechanism?

And what if it's some odd-sized crumpled receipt of very thin paper? (Remember paper jams from the days of copiers?)
I wouldn't put that through a feeder with confidence.

And IMHO, the less moving parts in something the better.

And don't you want a printer also? Why have a separate scanner and a printer? That's more desk real estate and clutter and power cables.

Here's the HP (from HP and Amazon):
https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-photo ... ne-printer

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Photosmart-65 ... B008FCAA2S
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MN-Investor
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by MN-Investor »

rgs92 wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:49 pm I would have 2nd thoughts about the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 mentioned above.

It uses a document feeder. That's a motor and also something that could snag a document. My HP 6520 printer/scanner lets you just lift a lid and scan the document, so there are no moving parts and the document (the original!) isn't in danger of getting mangled in the feeder mechanism.

And what if you want to scan pages from a book or magazine, how to you feed those into some feeding mechanism?

And what if it's some odd-sized crumpled receipt of very thin paper? (Remember paper jams from the days of copiers?)
I wouldn't put that through a feeder with confidence.

And IMHO, the less moving parts in something the better.

And don't you want a printer also? Why have a separate scanner and a printer? That's more desk real estate and clutter and power cables.

Here's the HP (from HP and Amazon):
https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-photo ... ne-printer

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Photosmart-65 ... B008FCAA2S
I have both the ScanSnap (I posted above) and an Epson multi-function printer which will scan.

The ScanSnap is used the very most, by far. While I mostly scan in letter sized documents, it also handles most receipts. It came with a plastic carrier sheet so you can safely scan thin and precious originals. It copies both sides at the same time and will do optical character recognition. It's amazingly fast. It does a great job at handling a stack of papers. Both sides at once! I know, I said that, but it bears repeating.

If you only do occasional scanning, then a multi-function printer is fine, but as a dedicated document scanner, I can't praise the ScanSnap enough.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.
rgs92
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by rgs92 »

Well, scanning both sides at once is a great feature I have to admit. That would make me buy it certainly.
BritAbroad
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by BritAbroad »

I was looking for something like this a while back, being keen to implement a paperless office. I opted instead for Scanbot, a smartphone app (I'm sure there are others). If you have a smartphone with a decent camera, I'd recommend trying it... very quick and easy to use and I have it upload documents to the cloud automatically.
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by MN-Investor »

I was also surprised at how small it is. When we don't use ours, the feeder and output trays are folded up so it's only 11.5" x 6.2" x 6.6". The feeder tray flips back and the output tray flips down, so it's ready to go in just a moment.
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cheesepep
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by cheesepep »

I use my iOS device and Scanner Pro software. Good for when you don’t have many documents to scan but this app auto detects the size of the paper and uploads to cloud read for your other device to process.
madbrain
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by madbrain »

BIGal wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
What do you say this would do better than, say, a Brother all-in-one machine like the MFC-L8850CDW which I have ?
The later can scan on glass in addition to ADF, and scans duplex through ADF as well, up to 8.5x14".
Yes, it's a huge machine. But the Paperport software is great. Combined with a cheap version of Omnipage, it does OCR very quickly as well.

Seems to me that the ix500 would be inferior, since it does not have glass and thus cannot scan from certain surfaces (books, etc).
TwstdSista
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by TwstdSista »

I do acknowledge that the ScanSnap has some disadvantages as mentioned above. I use a Printer that is also a flatbed scanner/copier for those situations. My primary use for a scanner is to scan 10-50 single pages into one pdf document and the ScanSnap is perfect. The 1% of the time time I need something else, the printer takes care of it.

I had an All-In-One HP back in the day, but it was ridiculously slow. And died every six months from heavy use. I got tired of sending the unit back to HP for fixes or replacement, even though it was all covered under warranty.
gotester2000
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by gotester2000 »

02nz wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:04 pm For scanning documents you'll want something with an automatic document feeder (ADF), and standalone scanners with those are fairly pricey. Best to just get a multifunction scanner/printer - the manufacturers lose money on these and make it back on the ink, but you don't have to use the printer if you don't want to. You can get very decent ones for $100-$150, much less than you'd pay for an equivalent standalone scanner (which why you find very few of those these days).
I use a multifunction scanner-printer-copy and refill the cartridge at least 25 times before replacing it - you just need ink and syringe.
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by madbrain »

TwstdSista wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:53 am I do acknowledge that the ScanSnap has some disadvantages as mentioned above. I use a Printer that is also a flatbed scanner/copier for those situations. My primary use for a scanner is to scan 10-50 single pages into one pdf document and the ScanSnap is perfect. The 1% of the time time I need something else, the printer takes care of it.

I had an All-In-One HP back in the day, but it was ridiculously slow. And died every six months from heavy use. I got tired of sending the unit back to HP for fixes or replacement, even though it was all covered under warranty.
My Brother works great for 10-30 page documents. Have not tried 50, not sure if it would work with the ADF or not.
It has not had any issues either. It's my second Brother. I replaced the first one only because the newer one was faster. Old one was MFC-9840CDW .
The new one is MFC-L8850CW. It's a really great scanner, not the greatest printer (laser printing still not suitable for photos). I use the scanner more than the printer. And the shredder (not built-in) :)
Freefun
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by Freefun »

ThriftyPhD wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:58 pm
MN-Investor wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:21 pm
Kompass wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:10 pm
BIGal wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
+1
+1
TwstdSista wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:17 pm +2 to the Fujitsu ScanSnap -- I've been using one for 13+ years and have recommended it to others who have been very happy with theirs as well.
+4
+7
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?
ThriftyPhD
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by ThriftyPhD »

madbrain wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:42 am
BIGal wrote: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:57 pm By far THE BEST is a ScanSnap ix500 by Fujitsu.
http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/comp ... nap/ix500/

You won't be sorry you chose the best, believe me.

No, I am not an employee of Fujitsu, just a well satisfied customer.

Al
What do you say this would do better than, say, a Brother all-in-one machine like the MFC-L8850CDW which I have ?
The later can scan on glass in addition to ADF, and scans duplex through ADF as well, up to 8.5x14".
Yes, it's a huge machine. But the Paperport software is great. Combined with a cheap version of Omnipage, it does OCR very quickly as well.

Seems to me that the ix500 would be inferior, since it does not have glass and thus cannot scan from certain surfaces (books, etc).
I haven't used your exact model, but I've used several similar all-in-one machines. Some features I found much better in the ScanSnap:
  1. Speed. 25 pages per minute, both sides (50 images, 25 sheets)
  2. Quality. You can tune the image quality for exactly what you want. Large file with high res and no compression, or grayscale for crisp text and small file size. Color, resolution, compression, file type are all selectable.
  3. Multifeed detection. When you're putting hundreds of sheets through it at a time, this feature is clutch. It will detect if the mechanism pulls in two sheets at once and notify you. The mechanism is very good; this mostly happens with thin sheets or pages with post-it-notes attached. This means I don't have to check every sheet to make sure it worked.
  4. Page size detection. It will automatically know that you put a 2" wide receipt through, or a 8.5" wide sheet of paper. Legal, Letter, postcard, business card. All automatically cropped.
  5. Bleed through. When scanning both sides, you can have issues of text from one side of the sheet bleeding through to the other. There is an option to do bleed through detection to correct some of this. More of an issue with duplex scanning of thin sheets of paper.
  6. Long sheets of paper. Think very long receipts, or anything else longer than legal paper. Many scanners will fail on these.
As for glass bed, that could be an issue if you find yourself doing a lot of glass bed scanning. I've never needed to scan a book outside of the library when I was a student (where they had glass bed scanners). Do you find yourself doing this a lot?
nordsteve
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by nordsteve »

I'm in the Scansnap camp as well. Mine is about 15 years old and still reliable. I have the S300, which continues to work great on Windows 10.

My work flow:

1. Documents needing scanning go to 'to scan' box
2. While stuck in a conference call at work, grab a document off of the pile
3. Remove staple if needed
4. Put in input tray and press button
5. Take from output tray and put in shred box
6. Repeat
7. Batch OCR the recently scanned documents
8. Bulk move the documents into a single 'scanned documents' folder on Onedrive

I then use search in Onedrive to find documents.

For this work flow, a camera or flatbed is way too slow, if you assign any value to your time.
badProgrammer
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by badProgrammer »

I used to be into this "I will scan things" idea and have a flatbed multifunction with an auto-document feeder, but I hardly use it.

I find Evernote's camera function on the smartphone to do a marvelous job of "scanning" documents that I--likely irrationally--fear I will one day need. It does a "good enough" job that if I actually need that Best Buy TV receipt for a return or warranty service, I've got it.

Using the actual scanner is a real chore because of naming files, storing files, the inability to easily make annotations, etc. It's more trouble than it's worth for me.

The only thing I use the actual flatbed scanner for anymore is kids' artwork, in all its multicolored glory!
lightheir
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by lightheir »

badProgrammer wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:20 pm I used to be into this "I will scan things" idea and have a flatbed multifunction with an auto-document feeder, but I hardly use it.

I find Evernote's camera function on the smartphone to do a marvelous job of "scanning" documents that I--likely irrationally--fear I will one day need. It does a "good enough" job that if I actually need that Best Buy TV receipt for a return or warranty service, I've got it.

Using the actual scanner is a real chore because of naming files, storing files, the inability to easily make annotations, etc. It's more trouble than it's worth for me.

The only thing I use the actual flatbed scanner for anymore is kids' artwork, in all its multicolored glory!
Honestly, I think you as well as the several above who seem to quote experiences with flatped or even phone/web scanner apps but whom have never tried a true dedicated sheet feed scanner like the Fujitsu, have no idea what you are missing.

I know you say your scanner has a sheet feeder, but I guarantee it's a lot clunkier and annoying to use than the Fujitsu line of scanners, which make scanning as close to effortless as it gets. This is a key feature - dealing with paper records is annoying enough - if you have to add even a slight annoyance to scanning them, you'll give up (as I did prior to the fujitsu).

With the Fujitsu, it's as easy as put the paper stack on the scanner, push 'scan', and it's saved to your computer. Game-changer.

(I still wish they would 'upgrade' their Scansnap line, even though it's honestly hard to say what to upgrade - the scansnap I bought literally 10+ years ago is still the one they are selling today, for about the same price. Which is weird for a piece of technology.)
badProgrammer
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Re: Good scanner for paperless (or less paper) office?

Post by badProgrammer »

lightheir wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:32 pm
badProgrammer wrote: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:20 pm I used to be into this "I will scan things" idea and have a flatbed multifunction with an auto-document feeder, but I hardly use it.

I find Evernote's camera function on the smartphone to do a marvelous job of "scanning" documents that I--likely irrationally--fear I will one day need. It does a "good enough" job that if I actually need that Best Buy TV receipt for a return or warranty service, I've got it.

Using the actual scanner is a real chore because of naming files, storing files, the inability to easily make annotations, etc. It's more trouble than it's worth for me.

The only thing I use the actual flatbed scanner for anymore is kids' artwork, in all its multicolored glory!
Honestly, I think you as well as the several above who seem to quote experiences with flatped or even phone/web scanner apps but whom have never tried a true dedicated sheet feed scanner like the Fujitsu, have no idea what you are missing.

I know you say your scanner has a sheet feeder, but I guarantee it's a lot clunkier and annoying to use than the Fujitsu line of scanners, which make scanning as close to effortless as it gets. This is a key feature - dealing with paper records is annoying enough - if you have to add even a slight annoyance to scanning them, you'll give up (as I did prior to the fujitsu).

With the Fujitsu, it's as easy as put the paper stack on the scanner, push 'scan', and it's saved to your computer. Game-changer.

(I still wish they would 'upgrade' their Scansnap line, even though it's honestly hard to say what to upgrade - the scansnap I bought literally 10+ years ago is still the one they are selling today, for about the same price. Which is weird for a piece of technology.)
Oh, I believe you about the Fujitsu. I own (and have owned) several pieces of Fujitsu technology and was impressed by each and every one.

I probably should have better explained that I think it depends on an individual's use case. If you are a medical office with a staff person who can sit around and scan the many things you need to scan, more power to you.

I have found that for my household / profession / lifestyle, a unitask device (a standalone scanner) is probably not worth it for me in terms of cost, space, clutter, etc, which is why I love the smartphone camera - I can just take a picture of my notes or document or whatever as soon as I get it, wherever I am, and not be in the business of needing to be physically at the scanner to do the scanning.

In The Undoing Project, Michael Lewis writes about Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky and their respective approaches to filing - apparently Kahneman keeps everything, Tversky threw out everything. I decided for that my use case, I'd emulate Tversky and only worry about what's really important - scans of the kids' artwork, and I guess maybe the house deed and passports. 8-)
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