It's occurred to me that I've not written about one of the most important tools in my home, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500.
I don't have any paper in our house. No filing cabinets. No "important" pieces of paper except for a few (Birth Certificates, Mortgage Note etc). When something comes into our house, I scan it and shred it. Also no "mementos". Those are also all scanned or photographed.
The ScanSnap makes this all possible. I've tried many scanners over the years and this thing is a work horse. It is insanely fast. It can scan 25pages (double sided) per minute. It creates searchable PDFs. I scan everything into a folder called "ToImport" which is in my Digital Filing Cabinet that Lora and I share via OneDrive. Then every few months I go through and file these PDFs into various folders.
So, to recap, this is what my folders look like:
- Omar's OneDrive
- Filing Cabinet
- Health Records
- Taxes 2015
- Filing Cabinet
The key is that I generally keep this list of folders "flat" like a regular filing cabinet. This makes it easy to file and find things. I then rely on search to look for documents when I need them.
Lora and I both have "Filing Cabinet" in our OneDrive and we share with each other. This way from any device (phone, Mac, PC) we have access to 100% of our scanned documents.
The ScanSnap can scan over Wifi to your Mac or PC (meaning you can have it anywhere in your house), but can also scan to your iOS or Android device and via USB3. I use USB3 since it requires the least setup and works reliably.
If you wan to get fancy and you have a Mac, you can use a tool like Hazel. This article goes into some detail about how you can use a Highlighter Pen and ScanSnap to create keywords and automatically process / move items.For Windows, there is a similar tool to Halez called File Juggler. It's clever. You can also just rely on content based search rules. The author of that article also has a great eBook.
If this model is too much for you, there is a smaller more "portable" model called the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i. In fact, 10 years ago this is the model I got first, and then found after a number of years I wanted something faster that could handle more paper at once.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap is a truly exceptional product. I've owned 2 over the last decade. They are expensive, but well worth it. All other document feeder scanners are mostly junk.
As you think about getting rid of paper junk next year, consider putting everything on your computer.
★★★★★ Exceptional. A spectacular product.