For years, I try to implement the Paperless Office. So far with moderate success.
The question that I read lately quite often is: Why should you set up a papierlosese office?
Now I’m not self-employed, my employer sends me next to nothing on paper, but I would like to quickly and easily access my documents. No matter where I happen to be.
This second sentence „matter where I happen to be“ is my drive and my equally corrupt.
In almost any blog or book, we read how great it works with Evernote. Evernote is certainly a great program, the functions can be almost nothing to be desired. But for me there is a very, very big catch: the data are in the cloud. This is at least for me a no-go.
Therefore, I sought alternatives.
In the software I have tried it with DEVONthink Office Pro, yep and iDocument on Mac and ELO and PaperPort on Windows (you can see I mean it, really – maybe a bit crazy, after all, ELO Office proposes to nearly 300, – to EUR Beech).
With all these products, I always find a hook.
Therefore, I thought I start the thing from the wrong side. Not only the software itself, but the method to define the way I want to use. Software limit you definitely (if someone on the products want a comparison, I can write something like this, otherwise, I refer to the thousands of other sites that have written reviews about the products).
So I read the book by David Paperless David Sparks . I’ve found old friends, Evernote, Yep, etc. but it is also what I have already recognized. The way is crucial.
What you should note
Let’s start with a simple summary:
- scan document
- name document
- store document
Totally easy. And for that I have spent a lot of time 😉
But unfortunately, not everything is as easy as it sounds, everything has a certain effort.
Here I can only join in Mr. Sparks (and countless other authors of Paperless Office products). Fujitsu ScanSnap is really a pointy part.
I had. Until a few weeks ago only one Canon PIXMA MX850 All-In-One, after all, with an ADF But my new ScanSnap S1300i is much faster, fits better next to my computer, the software is able to align even wrong scanned documents, all in all, recommended. (At this point I want to mention that to me this much highlighted function of recognizing blank pages not working as well, maybe it’s because I usually received letters are folded twice to fit into standard envelopes and all other A4 only Envelopes get sent)
So press a button on the ScanSnap, and immediately the page is scanned, depending on the settings using OCR „read“ and stored as adjustable. I let each document through the OCR process run, you never know what you need it. As standard I decided to just save each document with a sequential number. It all sides are covered in a single scan, saved as a document.
At the end of the day, I then x documents the simple „Scan1.pdf“ … „ScanX.pdf“ hot.
Since starting my name is not really talking and not very informative, here are what still needs to be reworked.
Previously I had my documents always named so that they have the date of the document creation (ie the date on the letter) started, followed by sender / receiver and a short description, eg 20120301 RWE – Rechnung.pdf. The idea was ever not bad, but I have to agree with Mr. Sparks again, not very readable. And so I have made the effort, and this changed. My new notation is: 2012-03-01 – rwe – rechnung.pdf. No big difference, but much easier to read, I must admit. I also follow the Council to write everything in lowercase letters are case here brings a profit, but in the processing you are doing so easier.
What is new for me, I have – for whatever reason – I get the documents by mail, no saved always 1:1 rename this place as well and convert it in my notation.
Incidentally, I may mention here that David Sparks and others refer here on the tool always TextExpander to simplify the renaming (but I am still not completely agree).
After all the documents have now an appropriate name, it is the issue of storage. So far I have this always be controlled by tools and perhaps through my photo collection. Currently I have everything sorted by date, which is complete nonsense. When I look for a letter from my energy supplier, then I am interested only secondary, when I got the and I look for the wolf, until I ended up using the date in the correct file folder (Spotlight search has me so far spared the real search). If I a tool such as DEVONthink use, it saves all my PDF documents in an internal database, so I can really only with available materials via DEVONthink View (therefore this tool is with me kicked out). Yep wish leaves the files where they are, but the „database“ is stored locally (why this is a problem still occurs).
Bottom line, I want to remain independent tool, for both Mr. Blatter his blog writes, who knows what will happen tomorrow with the manufacturer of a product, or perhaps I don’t like my current platform anymore.
Therefore prefer to build a meaningful folder structure. My advice, use a mind mapping tool, to create a folder structure overview.
Why this eternally long blog entry
Well, I now have a scanner. I got to thinking, how do I rename the files. Hopefully I have a beautiful and meaningful for my documents folder structure created.
But the method, how to get to it all, which is still open!
That is why it is here go in the blog, among other things. I’m working my tool that I call immediately after scanning the document (if possible automatically, thanks to OCR), and which, because of the name might just stores the documents to the desired location. But most of all, the data are not in a local database or in the cloud, they are in my case on a NAS that offers a simple sync, so all my computers, whether desktop or laptop, have the latest version.
If this tool also has an integrated search and a simple viewer, yes then I’m happy … maybe I can do it also still on a web viewer, but I will not put my goals too high … first small buns bake.
First feature: PDF rename driven possible context.
Ahja, the tool should be open source, so if I set the operation, should it still can maintain further 😉