Paperless and organizing document

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Cpadave
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:53 am

Paperless and organizing document

Post by Cpadave » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:02 pm

I have tried to avoid having many paper documents in the past. Still I have some old and some new items that keeps coming in paper form. What is the bast scanner and a way to organize these documents. For example I have old tax returns from over 10 years ago. I know I am not required to keep them after statue of limitation. But i would like a copy in digital form. I have some kids school stuff and so forth. I have looked on line at Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500. Not sure if it would be a good option. I would also like to scan some old photos as well. Something easy to use and organize. Thanks for your input.

02nz
Posts: 2358
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Paperless and organizing document

Post by 02nz » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:04 pm

That Fujitsu is $400+. I'd just get a multifunction printer, you don't have to use the printer part. Make sure it has an auto document feeder so that it can take a stack of documents. You can get decent ones for $100-$150.

Crackers
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:01 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Paperless and organizing document

Post by Crackers » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:42 pm

Old, retired CPA here. Bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner in 2004 and still using it. They are good scanners, but pricey as poster stated. Though they last and do work well.

Retired last year and decided that I would scan all paper tax returns and monthly brokerage statements going back to 1968. Over the years, it was easier to stuff them into a file draw than to figure out what to do with them. And OCD did not allow for tossing them out in the trash - what if they were needed? Took a couple of months working on and off, but now done. You many want to buy a cross-cut paper shredder for after you make backups of your scanned files.

For tax returns, I created a "Tax history" folder and decade subfolders (1980s, 1990s, 2000s, etc.), and then individual year folders for returns. In addition to our own returns, many family member's returns are included in each yearly folder.

For investments, I created an "Investments" folder and used brokerage name or employer name (for 401ks) for subfolders. Within each brokerage folder, created subfolders by year. For each brokerage/employer I scanned in the old paper statements by year. Last, I created a folder named "Close accounts & Old files" I move brokerage/employer folders into that folder once the account is closed or the 401k account is transferred.

Hope this helps you to plan your file organization.

As for scanning photos, here is where a bed scanner may be better than a document only scanner such as a ScanSnap. Would you want to risk your photo being jammed and bent or torn in a document feeder? Once you have a photo scanner, you will most likely want to use the best scanning quality. This slows down the scan speed and increases the scan file size.

Good luck.

Topic Author
Cpadave
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:53 am

Re: Paperless and organizing document

Post by Cpadave » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:14 pm

Thanks for the replies. I do have an old brother multi printer device. It has small size for auto feed and the scan speed is super slow. I thought maybe the newer Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 would be a much better and faster device for the job. It does have 600 dpi scanning ability, not sure if that is good enough for photos as well. The fuji ix500 claims scan speed of 25 double sided pages per minute. That seems very fast !

I don't want to spend a lot of time digitizing documents and/or photos. Hoping for something relatively easy and fast. I was also thinking of getting a cross-cut paper shredder after the job is done.

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sperry8
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Location: Miami FL

Re: Paperless and organizing document

Post by sperry8 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:43 pm

Cpadave wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:02 pm
I have tried to avoid having many paper documents in the past. Still I have some old and some new items that keeps coming in paper form. What is the bast scanner and a way to organize these documents. For example I have old tax returns from over 10 years ago. I know I am not required to keep them after statue of limitation. But i would like a copy in digital form. I have some kids school stuff and so forth. I have looked on line at Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500. Not sure if it would be a good option. I would also like to scan some old photos as well. Something easy to use and organize. Thanks for your input.
I use a smartphone app called "Genius Scan". Once scanned it automatically stores it as a pdf and then uploads to the cloud provider of your choice. Even puts it in your folder of choice. So it's basically - take a picture (it auto takes the picture once focused) and then auto stores right into the cloud. Then I shred the paper. Easy peasy. :sharebeer
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furwut
Posts: 1522
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Paperless and organizing document

Post by furwut » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:57 pm

I too have a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner. But these days I rarely fire up my ancient Apple laptop to use it. Instead, I use the document scan feature of Apple Notes on my iPad.

ccieemeritus
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:43 pm

Re: Paperless and organizing document

Post by ccieemeritus » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:37 am

I’m very happy with my Fujitsu scansnap S1300i for about $250. I noticed carmax used it. I like getting paper statements and bills in the mail (emptying the incoming mailbox is my “system”—I get too much email to keep that inbox clean). The scansnap scans 2 sides and scans multiple pages—although I help make sure it doesn’t grab 2+ pages at a time.

jplanaux
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:10 am

Re: Paperless and organizing document

Post by jplanaux » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:04 am

Yep, Scansnap is the way to go.

My process:

paperdocs come into a "inbox" where bills are paid, etc. and moved to an "outbox" (ready for scanning).

Scanning takes place about once a month to the automatically backed up network file server folder called "inbox"

During the year "or" at the end of year, scanned docs move to the correct folders on the same server.

This way I can find things quickly and I don't have to spend time on the computer every time a new document comes into the house. If I need a document less than a month old, it will be in paper form, If it is a few months old, it will be digitized in the "inbox" with a timestamp, if it is more than a year old, it will be easily found in the appropriate file folder.

The hardest part is figuring out the backup part. This is why a network file server is really useful.

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