Today marks the next stage in my war on paper: my new ScanSnap S510M scanner arrived. Galvanized by reading “Palimpsest: the guide to a (mostly) paperless life” on 43 Folders, I ordered the scanner from Amazon last week. It arrived this afternoon, complete with 4 CDs of software (ScanSnap Manager, Cardiris 3, ABBYY FineReader and Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional (while some of these are 1 release behind, it is quite a suite of software). These give support for managing scanning activity, scanning business cards directly into the Mac Address Book, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to make searchable text and full PDF editing capability. This is a really fast sheet feed scanner (up to 50 pages) that scans both sides of the paper in a single pass.
I’m a long time DevonThink Office Pro user, so I get the full benefit of the ScanSnap and the included software, combined with one of the best tools for organizing all kinds of documents and information. DevonThink Office Pro integrates tightly with the ScanSnap so documents can be scanned directly into DevonThink.
In the normal course of things, I am drowning in paper. I truly hate having paper to file: too much time, too much space taken up and not searchable. When I lived on the road for a couple years (commuting to Michigan from Colorado, full-time), I eliminated paper from my work routine pretty successfully. But not all of my life is electronic, so having the scanner and tools to get the paper stored digitally instead of physically will be a huge improvement in my life, my desk and my productivity.
A few documents (torn-out magazine pages, various color and black and white documents, a 3 page fax and a little piece off the surface of the scanner box with the bar codes) all have been scanned and OCRed, so I am now confident that my workflow will go fine. Still have the flat bed scanner for bulky items but it won’t see much paper now!
Bonus note: Fujitsu has a $50 rebate for units purchased by 12/31/2008.