Best solution for digitizing documents?

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ermcgrat
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Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by ermcgrat » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:58 am

I hate keeping paper records. For 6 years I've been scanning everything with NeatReceipts. It's been a pretty good solution as it really reduces the clutter, and makes it easy to find what you're looking for (as long as you tag/organize your documents appropriately). However, their software has been going through a lot of changes, namely that they want you to use their cloud-based storage now.

I'm just wondering if other people digitize their documents, and what they are using. I see there are some mobile apps where you can just use your camera to "scan" documents. I imagine there are some much better/newer options out there since I started down the Neat path several years ago.

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climber2020
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by climber2020 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:06 am

I use the Turboscan app on my iPhone. It's good if you don't have mountains of documents to scan. Since most stuff now is digital, I find that there really aren't too many occasions where I need to scan a physical piece of paper. I don't keep receipts unless it's for something super expensive, and once the warranty runs out, I toss those as well.

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randomizer
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by randomizer » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:08 am

Scanbot iOS app, syncs to Dropbox.

obgraham
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by obgraham » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:09 am

I've been scanning almost everything since 2005, and now have little or no paper files. It's the way to go. Organization is the key. I'm now in the process of switching all my magazine subscriptions to digital files.

All my stuff is on my own computer, with multiple backups, rather than "cloud".

Each year gets a folder for its financial records, and a second one for tax information.

Then I have a folder marked "Filing Cabinet". In there are subfolders labeled just as they would be in a filing cabinet drawer. If I scan some new document that has nowhere logical to go, I simply make a new subfolder for it.

I can find any document in my system in much less than a minute.

I save a LOT of stuff, and toss very little. My 13 years of data is now about 10 gigs, and has 11,000 files.

Caduceus
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Caduceus » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:10 am

I bought a portable scanner because I don't like the quality of camera scans. Time consuming but I only have half a shelf of papers now.

miamivice
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by miamivice » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:18 am

I haven't bothered with preserving (digitally or otherwise) documents in nearly a decade. My wife many years ago pointed out that I wasted a lot of time filing everything, so I started shredding paper documents. Eventually I opted in to receiving electronic documents for everything and no longer receive anything that needs to be preserved.

There are just a handful of items that I still need to preserve but paper copies are fine for that.

Now that we live in an electronic world, I figure that any record I might need later can be retrieved.

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:21 am

I've been looking into this recently, though have yet to spend the money and get started. Our filing cabinet is nearly full of old financial documents.

The current plan is to download Duplicati as back-up software (free), and back-up firstly, to a local hard drive (that I already own) and secondly, encrypted, to Google Drive (free up to 15GB). The main cost will be the scanner, and I can't decide if I can justify spending $420 on the Fujitsu Scansnap ix500. I will be following this thread with interest to hear other suggestions.

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:27 am

miamivice wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:18 am
I haven't bothered with preserving (digitally or otherwise) documents in nearly a decade. My wife many years ago pointed out that I wasted a lot of time filing everything, so I started shredding paper documents. Eventually I opted in to receiving electronic documents for everything and no longer receive anything that needs to be preserved.

There are just a handful of items that I still need to preserve but paper copies are fine for that.

Now that we live in an electronic world, I figure that any record I might need later can be retrieved.
The problem comes when financial institutions only retain documents for a limited time. For some of them, this is surprisingly short.

WageSlave
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by WageSlave » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:49 am

obgraham wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:09 am
I've been scanning almost everything since 2005, and now have little or no paper files. It's the way to go. Organization is the key. I'm now in the process of switching all my magazine subscriptions to digital files.

All my stuff is on my own computer, with multiple backups, rather than "cloud".

[ ... snip ... ]
I use pretty much the exact same process. Only thing I'd add (to the OP) is that you want a document scanner, not a flatbad scanner. The document scanner had a feeder like a copy machine---it's a million times faster than loading pages one a time into a flatbed scanner or taking pics with your phone. I use a Fujitsu ScanSnap s1500. It's served me well for over a decade. But there are many options.

As long as you have a sane organizational structure, you can be a "digital packrat" or "digital hoarder". Documents don't really occupy much storage space, relative to what storage space costs.

After scanning, I make sure my backups have run, then I shred all the paper documents.

Ethelred wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:27 am
The problem comes when financial institutions only retain documents for a limited time. For some of them, this is surprisingly short.
I regularly download important documents from institutions for which I've gone "paperless" (which is basically all that offer it). I store these documents in the same (digital) folder structure as my scans of paper documents. It's one giant digital filing cabinet.

billthecat
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by billthecat » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:03 pm

Fujitsu ScanSnap (to scan) and then PDFPenPro (to OCR). Some moved to specific folders using Hazel (based on account numbers). All automatic.

I hate paper and do what I can to eliminate it.

And it drives me nuts when other people will print something and then scan it so they can email it to me. <scream> :oops:

2015
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by 2015 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:08 pm

billthecat wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:03 pm
Fujitsu ScanSnap (to scan) and then PDFPenPro (to OCR). Some moved to specific folders using Hazel (based on account numbers). All automatic.

I hate paper and do what I can to eliminate it.

And it drives me nuts when other people will print something and then scan it so they can email it to me. <scream> :oops:
+1t's for this reason I dread going to the mailbox. Invariably, despite electing electronic notifications everywhere, some *#^!@ institution will send me paper via mail (to be added to the "to shred" pile).

I scanned all of my documents over a year ago, and maintain virtually no paper files. In fact, for the past year I've been migrating from my old analog life of owning physical "stuff" of any kind to accessing it in digital form based upon need. I've been getting rid of everything from furniture, to electronics (e.g., stereo, television, clocks, etc) , luggage, physical files, safes, or excess of any kind. Freedom from the ball and chain of clunky, obese, space hoarding stuff, particularly paper, is absolutely liberating.

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:59 pm

WageSlave wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:49 am
I regularly download important documents from institutions for which I've gone "paperless" (which is basically all that offer it). I store these documents in the same (digital) folder structure as my scans of paper documents. It's one giant digital filing cabinet.
Agreed, that's my plan, too. But it doesn't sound like miamivice, who I quoted, is intending to download the files.

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Top99%
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Top99% » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:46 am

There is lots of good advice on how to scan your documents. The only thing I will add is for critical documents (or priceless family photographs for that matter) keep one copy either in the cloud or off site. For the latter, a pair of cheap external drives employed with this strategy works well:
1) Initially make backups onto drives 1 and 2 and store them off site (work, friend's house, safe deposit box)
2) When you have new files to backup take drive 1 home, backup and then return to off site storage. Put a sticky note on drive 2 so you will remember it is next in the rotation.
3) Now when you have new files to back up repeat 2) except swap drive 1 for drive 2
4) rinse and repeat when you need to do backups
The idea is to always have at least 1 copy of your files off site to protect against fires, floods, or theft. Also, if you have really sensitive data on the drives you might want to encrypt them.
Adapt or perish

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:02 am

iOS 11 now scans documents directly from the notes app. No 3rd party app needed. The result is a pdf which can be stored in notes, iCloud, or any other cloud account (Dropbox, google drive, etc). You can also file any downloads from your online accounts in the same places—so you can roll your own filing and redundancy scheme. A simple back up scheme would be to copy the iCloud files onto your computer’s hard drive. Assuming you have a back up routine for it, they will get backed up multiple times as well as being on the cloud.

Monster99
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Monster99 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:03 am

I use a HP multi-function printer to scan documents - it has a sheet feeder that can stack uptp 20 to 25 pages and it can do pdf, gif ect. formats. I bought it for less than 100 bucks and it will even fax...😁

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lthenderson
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:07 am

I thought scanning receipts went the way of the cassette tape.

I only save those big ticket items where I might have a warranty concerns and frankly those could fit easily in an envelope. Doesn't seem worth the time or expense of scanning. All my financial records I can look up online. Anything I have to keep for taxes get stuck in a folder until I do my taxes and get ditched after the required three years, 7 if I claimed a loss.

MindTheGAAP
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by MindTheGAAP » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:13 am

Ethelred wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:21 am
I've been looking into this recently, though have yet to spend the money and get started. Our filing cabinet is nearly full of old financial documents.

The current plan is to download Duplicati as back-up software (free), and back-up firstly, to a local hard drive (that I already own) and secondly, encrypted, to Google Drive (free up to 15GB). The main cost will be the scanner, and I can't decide if I can justify spending $420 on the Fujitsu Scansnap ix500. I will be following this thread with interest to hear other suggestions.
We looked at the ScanSnap and we decided to go with Doxie Q for the price. I've since used a ScanSnap at work and it's an impressive scanner but we don't scan THAT much now that the initial motherload is digitized. The Doxie does a good job and the bonus is it's portable since it is battery powered (but can be plugged in).
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:05 am

MindTheGAAP wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:13 am
We looked at the ScanSnap and we decided to go with Doxie Q for the price. I've since used a ScanSnap at work and it's an impressive scanner but we don't scan THAT much now that the initial motherload is digitized. The Doxie does a good job and the bonus is it's portable since it is battery powered (but can be plugged in).
Thanks, that's useful info.

I ended up buying the Epson ES-400 yesterday for $280 instead, which still seems expensive, but much better value.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... ument.html
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M4NANZ6

It doesn't review as well as the Fujitsu, but part of that seems to be the quality of Epson's own OCR software. It comes bundled with Abbyy Finereader Sprint, which is supposed to be excellent, so it should work out fine.

obgraham
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by obgraham » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:12 pm

It doesn't review as well as the Fujitsu, but part of that seems to be the quality of Epson's own OCR software.
I think you'll be happy with the Epson -- their scanning software is very good, and to me more flexible than Canon's. (HP's we won't mention!)

However, if you scan your paper documents to pdf's, I've never understood the need for OCR software.

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:45 pm

obgraham wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:12 pm
It doesn't review as well as the Fujitsu, but part of that seems to be the quality of Epson's own OCR software.
I think you'll be happy with the Epson -- their scanning software is very good, and to me more flexible than Canon's. (HP's we won't mention!)

However, if you scan your paper documents to pdf's, I've never understood the need for OCR software.
Maybe I misunderstand the details, but I'll be scanning to searchable pdf, so I can use search and so avoid having to categorize every document manually. To me that requires OCR software.

Capsu78
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Capsu78 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:00 pm

Top99% wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:46 am
There is lots of good advice on how to scan your documents. The only thing I will add is for critical documents (or priceless family photographs for that matter) keep one copy either in the cloud or off site. For the latter, a pair of cheap external drives employed with this strategy works well:
1) Initially make backups onto drives 1 and 2 and store them off site (work, friend's house, safe deposit box)
2) When you have new files to backup take drive 1 home, backup and then return to off site storage. Put a sticky note on drive 2 so you will remember it is next in the rotation.
3) Now when you have new files to back up repeat 2) except swap drive 1 for drive 2
4) rinse and repeat when you need to do backups
The idea is to always have at least 1 copy of your files off site to protect against fires, floods, or theft. Also, if you have really sensitive data on the drives you might want to encrypt them.
I do pretty much the same, but 1 small trick that helped speed the back up process was buying 3 identical HD back ups from Costco that all have the same power/ cable connectors... I swap out one and just plug the other into the existing wiring...no digging under the desk etc. Keep one next to my computer, keep one in the safe and one at my daughters house, plus a separate hard drive built into my computer for all my photos and scans. I manage 117,000 images and scans, so I want plenty of redundancy. I lost my first 6 months of digital photos in the "Great Computer Crash" of 2007 and vowed I would never be crashed out again.

JimmyD
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by JimmyD » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:15 pm

Scan anything important to Google Drive via phone. Works perfectly.

Theseus
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Theseus » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:32 pm

Ethelred wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:27 am
miamivice wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:18 am
I haven't bothered with preserving (digitally or otherwise) documents in nearly a decade. My wife many years ago pointed out that I wasted a lot of time filing everything, so I started shredding paper documents. Eventually I opted in to receiving electronic documents for everything and no longer receive anything that needs to be preserved.

There are just a handful of items that I still need to preserve but paper copies are fine for that.

Now that we live in an electronic world, I figure that any record I might need later can be retrieved.
The problem comes when financial institutions only retain documents for a limited time. For some of them, this is surprisingly short.
I agree. Case in point? When I moved my accounts from E*Trade to Fidelity in 2004, I thought it would have transferred the cost basis. At least that's what my Fidelity agent said. So I didn't take a print out of cost basis. Well it didn't get transferred. And a month later when I noticed and called E*Trade they said they don't keep that information for the accounts that are closed.

Luckily, I always insist on paper statements (weird for an IT guy :-) ) as I don't trust technology to bail me out in a jam. And just two hours ago I was able to reconstruct all my cost basis from old E*trade statements.

hirlaw
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by hirlaw » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:00 pm

I am looking at different services to store documents. I am thinking of Box. Does anyone have any experience or comments regarding Box.

Thanks!

gotester2000
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by gotester2000 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:16 pm

Monster99 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:03 am
I use a HP multi-function printer to scan documents - it has a sheet feeder that can stack uptp 20 to 25 pages and it can do pdf, gif ect. formats. I bought it for less than 100 bucks and it will even fax...😁
Same here - using a cheap HP multifunction - I am a software guy. The easiest thing to do is to not buy any other software or service. The only hobby I have is to minimize - whatever docs are important sits on a small memory card which is duplicated for back up. I purge unneeded docs. I do not keep anything personal on any gadget - work or home. No fear of others using it nor its safety - my gadgets are like dumb terminals - use and throw without personal storage and with complete peace of mind!

Almost there
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Almost there » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:58 pm

How long does one keep scanned documents?

For example:
1. Back in 2009 I transferred funds from Fidelity to Vanguard
2. Back in 2010, my employers changed from Mass Mutual to Principal for the 401(K). Then later in the year, I left the company and transferred all funds to Vanguard.

I do have an Excel spreadsheet where all changes/additions are noted.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:44 pm

Almost there wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:58 pm
How long does one keep scanned documents?

For example:
1. Back in 2009 I transferred funds from Fidelity to Vanguard
2. Back in 2010, my employers changed from Mass Mutual to Principal for the 401(K). Then later in the year, I left the company and transferred all funds to Vanguard.

I do have an Excel spreadsheet where all changes/additions are noted.
Last time I purged paper docs was when we downsized. Some of the stuff was almost 30 years old. Since downsizing to an apartment and going digital, I see no reason for purging. Hard disk space (and now cloud storage) is so cheap that I question the value of even sorting through old docs. PDFs don’t take up much space at all. Chances are some file formats may become obsolete or files become unreadable or corrupted down the road though.

obgraham
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by obgraham » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:24 am

(All electronic guy, again.)

Purging the old stuff is more trouble than it is worth. I just ledave it there. And since my filing system tells me it's old, I ignore it.

I download and keep all my investment statements (all Vanguard now) quarterly, and monthly bank statements. Sure, they're available online. But you never know when that might change. Example: I like the check "image" if I made a donation by check. Used to be easy to get, but now CapOne360 has eliminated it. But I already have the copies I want.

beingzero
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by beingzero » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:41 am

Scanner Pro by Readdle is an awesome app that can save to a bunch of places including dropbox, Gdrive etc. Try it out you will love it. No need to buy expensive scanners.

Edit: My crisp response sounded like I work for them but no :-). So I am editing my response. I have been using that app for the last 6 months and has made my life a lot simpler. No need to position the paper in a particular way, no need for a clean background etc to snap pic. The software recognizes the paper area and grabs only that part even if the background is a cluttered mess like my office desk.

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avenger
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by avenger » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:48 am

beingzero wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:41 am
Scanner Pro by Readdle is an awesome app that can save to a bunch of places including dropbox, Gdrive etc. Try it out you will love it. No need to buy expensive scanners.

Edit: My crisp response sounded like I work for them but no :-). So I am editing my response. I have been using that app for the last 6 months and has made my life a lot simpler. No need to position the paper in a particular way, no need for a clean background etc to snap pic. The software recognizes the paper area and grabs only that part even if the background is a cluttered mess like my office desk.
This is how I scan everything at home (I have no paper). Very easy to use, with good results with everything from documents to photos. All on the iPhone.
cheers ... -Mark | "Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau | [3 fund portfolio: VTI, VXUS, SV fund (yield 3.01%)]

lakja
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by lakja » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:47 am

avenger wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:48 am
beingzero wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:41 am
Scanner Pro by Readdle is an awesome app that can save to a bunch of places including dropbox, Gdrive etc. Try it out you will love it. No need to buy expensive scanners.

Edit: My crisp response sounded like I work for them but no :-). So I am editing my response. I have been using that app for the last 6 months and has made my life a lot simpler. No need to position the paper in a particular way, no need for a clean background etc to snap pic. The software recognizes the paper area and grabs only that part even if the background is a cluttered mess like my office desk.
This is how I scan everything at home (I have no paper). Very easy to use, with good results with everything from documents to photos. All on the iPhone.
How do you gentlemen organize the scanned data? Is it a pain to handle filename/details? Any other pro tips to make scanning large number of files and photos less painful?

herpfinance
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by herpfinance » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:42 am

beingzero wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:41 am
Scanner Pro by Readdle is an awesome app that can save to a bunch of places including dropbox, Gdrive etc. Try it out you will love it. No need to buy expensive scanners.

Edit: My crisp response sounded like I work for them but no :-). So I am editing my response. I have been using that app for the last 6 months and has made my life a lot simpler. No need to position the paper in a particular way, no need for a clean background etc to snap pic. The software recognizes the paper area and grabs only that part even if the background is a cluttered mess like my office desk.
Sounds promising. Any idea if there's a decent Android alternative?
"The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists" - Benjamin Graham

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avenger
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by avenger » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:01 pm

lakja wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:47 am
avenger wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:48 am
beingzero wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:41 am
Scanner Pro by Readdle is an awesome app that can save to a bunch of places including dropbox, Gdrive etc. Try it out you will love it. No need to buy expensive scanners.

Edit: My crisp response sounded like I work for them but no :-). So I am editing my response. I have been using that app for the last 6 months and has made my life a lot simpler. No need to position the paper in a particular way, no need for a clean background etc to snap pic. The software recognizes the paper area and grabs only that part even if the background is a cluttered mess like my office desk.
This is how I scan everything at home (I have no paper). Very easy to use, with good results with everything from documents to photos. All on the iPhone.
How do you gentlemen organize the scanned data? Is it a pain to handle filename/details? Any other pro tips to make scanning large number of files and photos less painful?
Not a pain to handle filename. You can set rules for naming files. Exports directly to your file management service of choice (I use iCloud).
cheers ... -Mark | "Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau | [3 fund portfolio: VTI, VXUS, SV fund (yield 3.01%)]

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:00 pm

lakja wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:47 am
How do you gentlemen organize the scanned data? Is it a pain to handle filename/details? Any other pro tips to make scanning large number of files and photos less painful?
So, this is what I've found. Scanning by phone is obviously impractical if you have a lot of documents to scan. If you have few enough that scanning by phone is enough, then you probably have enough time to name each of your documents and file them into separate directories as needed.

However, if you have a lot of documents, the best solution is to scan to searchable pdf and automatically name the documents. Finding the right document then means searching the database for the relevant text, rather than worrying about getting the filename correct. Doing this requires:
1. A scanner with an automatic document feeder
2. High quality OCR software (optical character recognition for translating images into text)
3. Software that automates file naming and remembers scan options (file type, resolution, single vs. double sheet etc.)
4. Automated back-up to a local hard drive and/or the cloud (either through the scanning software or separately)

So, last week, I bought an Epson ES-400. It seems to be a good piece of hardware, but the software is inadequate. The Epson Scan software has unacceptable quality OCR but automates well. Abbyy Finereader Sprint 12 is also bundled. It has excellent OCR, but no automation options. I could return it, but at current prices, the Epson plus upgrading to better scan/OCR software (probably Abbyy Finereader 14) is still cheaper than the Fujitsu iX500 scanner. I don't think I'd buy the Epson if I purchased over again, though.

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avenger
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by avenger » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:11 pm

ScannerPro creates searchable documents.
cheers ... -Mark | "Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau | [3 fund portfolio: VTI, VXUS, SV fund (yield 3.01%)]

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:25 pm

Just curious - What types of documents are you finding yourself having to digitize?
I access everything I need to in a digitized format.
Everything I need already comes in digitized format: PDFs from all my banks, brokerages, Health-care provider, etc. All my bills are sent to my bank digitized. Insurance policies (Home-Owners, Car, Life) are also accessible in digital format. All credit card and utility statements are digital. When traveling on business my hotels and Uber/Lyft receipts are already digital - just need to take a picture of dinner receipts. Even for my work contracts and agreements - my company now uses docu-sign service. I just rented a house for the summer - signed and received my digital lease.

I still have an all-in-one-printer that includes a scanner but I can't recall the last time I had to use it.

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:26 pm

avenger wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:11 pm
ScannerPro creates searchable documents.
Sure, as do some of its competitors, and the review I checked suggested that the OCR is pretty good. But phone scanning is not efficient enough unless you have a pretty small number of documents to scan.

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Ethelred
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ethelred » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:31 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:25 pm
Just curious - What types of documents are you finding yourself having to digitize?
I access everything I need to in a digitized format.
Everything I need already comes in digitized format: PDFs from all my banks, brokerages, Health-care provider, etc. All my bills are sent to my bank digitized. Insurance policies (Home-Owners, Car, Life) are also accessible in digital format. All credit card and utility statements are digital. When traveling on business my hotels and Uber/Lyft receipts are already digital - just need to take a picture of dinner receipts. Even for my work contracts and agreements - my company now uses docu-sign service. I just rented a house for the summer - signed and received my digital lease.

I still have an all-in-one-printer that includes a scanner but I can't recall the last time I had to use it.
I have a large double-width filing cabinet drawer of financial documents I want to scan, after which I plan to shred almost all of them. Most or even all future documents I'll be able to download directly, but I need to get the old ones digitized first.

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Ice-9
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Ice-9 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:43 pm

Bogleheads are a smart bunch, and it makes me feel good to know many of them seem to be maintaining digital file cabinets similar to my own. I can't be doing things too wrong... :happy

One thing I'd add is my digital file cabinet of sensitive, financial PDF files, whether scanned or downloaded, is kept in a VeraCrypt encrypted container, which is in a cloud folder (and backed up periodically to a second cloud folder.) This way, sensitive documents are not stored in plain text, and all these important docs are backed up.
obgraham wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:24 am
But you never know when that might change. Example: I like the check "image" if I made a donation by check. Used to be easy to get, but now CapOne360 has eliminated it. But I already have the copies I want.
I too was displeased with CapOne360's website change a couple of months ago, but this was not one of the reasons. I still can click the link on the check transactions to produce an image of the check.

The only exception, for whatever reason, is checks that the recipient deposits or cashes at a Capital One Bank. (Go figure.) For some technical reason beyond my comprehension, CapOne360 can't display those online like all the rest, but when I need them for tax purposes, I call Capital One 360 and within two days they message me a PDF file of the check that I can download. Hope this is helpful.

ermcgrat
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by ermcgrat » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:55 pm

Ice-9 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:43 pm
Bogleheads are a smart bunch, and it makes me feel good to know many of them seem to be maintaining digital file cabinets similar to my own. I can't be doing things too wrong... :happy

One thing I'd add is my digital file cabinet of sensitive, financial PDF files, whether scanned or downloaded, is kept in a VeraCrypt encrypted container, which is in a cloud folder (and backed up periodically to a second cloud folder.) This way, sensitive documents are not stored in plain text, and all these important docs are backed up.
obgraham wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:24 am
But you never know when that might change. Example: I like the check "image" if I made a donation by check. Used to be easy to get, but now CapOne360 has eliminated it. But I already have the copies I want.
I too was displeased with CapOne360's website change a couple of months ago, but this was not one of the reasons. I still can click the link on the check transactions to produce an image of the check.

The only exception, for whatever reason, is checks that the recipient deposits or cashes at a Capital One Bank. (Go figure.) For some technical reason beyond my comprehension, CapOne360 can't display those online like all the rest, but when I need them for tax purposes, I call Capital One 360 and within two days they message me a PDF file of the check that I can download. Hope this is helpful.
Rip Truecrypt :'(

But yes, very good call on encrypting the information.

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avenger
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by avenger » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:15 pm

Ethelred wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:26 pm
avenger wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:11 pm
ScannerPro creates searchable documents.
Sure, as do some of its competitors, and the review I checked suggested that the OCR is pretty good. But phone scanning is not efficient enough unless you have a pretty small number of documents to scan.
Depends. You can’t easily scan oddly shaped items using a scanner with a feeder. ScannerPro does this with grace. Also with paper documents - you don’t have to do anything, just hold the phone and turn the page - it automatically finds corners and captures the image.

I wouldn’t want to scan a 400 page mortgage document (that would be done much faster with a document feeder), but for most jobs it fits the bill.

And it’s only a few bucks.

I went on a massive scanning project a few years ago. Took a while to get fully digital, but now it’s so simple. I literally have no paper in my life.
cheers ... -Mark | "Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau | [3 fund portfolio: VTI, VXUS, SV fund (yield 3.01%)]

InMyDreams
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by InMyDreams » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:02 pm

Ethelred wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:00 pm
... Doing this requires:
1. A scanner with an automatic document feeder
2. High quality OCR software (optical character recognition for translating images into text)
3. Software that automates file naming and remembers scan options (file type, resolution, single vs. double sheet etc.)
4. Automated back-up to a local hard drive and/or the cloud (either through the scanning software or separately)
I have Neat software, which uses a Fujitsu scanner. I'm not using it because I'm unhappy with some of its functionality. I'm using it on a Mac, and I don't know if a PC version might be better.

https://www.neat.com/

1. I think you can stack documents in the feeder,
2. seems to do a decent job of it
3. File naming - no. Remembers last scan options - yes
4. Yes - store local &/or cloud - their cloud. I didn't want to store on their cloud, which was creating software hiccups on the Mac. It wouldn't stop trying to go to the cloud, there was something about the key file on the Mac - I didn't want it stored but it did it anyway - or something like that - it's been quite a while since I used it.

There was a competitor that I considered, too - but I don't know what it was.

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Veiled
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by Veiled » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:53 pm

I use an HP printer/scanner and the JotNot app.
Pardon me as I read these one hundred and fifty-seven SP vs LLC vs Scorp threads...

GuyInFL
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Re: Best solution for digitizing documents?

Post by GuyInFL » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:35 pm

I regularly download important documents from institutions for which I've gone "paperless" (which is basically all that offer it). I store these documents in the same (digital) folder structure as my scans of paper documents. It's one giant digital filing cabinet.
I really like filethis.com
It automatically downloads statements from my bank, credit cards, insurance, and brokerage accounts.

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