Author Topic: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?  (Read 7024 times)

rugorak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« on: January 07, 2013, 02:08:06 PM »
So I am looking to cut down on the clutter of paper. I already get as much as I can electronically and do some offsite backups. I am looking to move the last of my paper to the digital world. Things like my W2's, insurance forms, etc. All those wonderful things you need yet the providers haven't found a way to provide you electronically.

I've done my research and know I want a duplex scanner. It doesn't add much to the price and so many documents are double sided that the time saved is worth the $20-$30 it adds. Where I am running into a conundrum is whether to get one of the lower cost "travel/portable" scanners or a more full featured document scanner that has an automatic document feeder as well as some other features. All the reviews seem to focus on business use and not much for home use. I understand the business side as we have a document imaging system at work. But my needs are no where near that high. At the same time I am looking for this to be as close to a one time purchase as it can be. The cost difference between ones that are "portable" and ones that are made more for your desk is significant. $150 for the "portable" model and $350 for the fuller featured ones. But reviews seem to point to the "portable" ones being of cheap construction with many more issues.

To give an example of what I am talking about here is what I narrowed it down to based on what I read/saw:
"Portable" - http://amzn.com/B005MR5C1I
Desk - http://amzn.com/B007TN1J2O or http://amzn.com/B001OATBEQ

I am open to suggestions. Things I am looking for is duplex, cross compatibility between OS's (Windows and Linux specifically) and long term use (such as ability to scan to USB or stand alone) so that I don't even need a PC (nor drivers from the manufacturer) in the future if I so desire.

Thanks!

$_gone_amok

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 03:22:34 PM »
I have the Fujitsu s1300 and it works great on windows and mac.

yolfer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Seattle, WA, USA
    • Camp Mustache
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 04:13:43 PM »
If you have a camera phone, you can install a free "scanner" app, eg: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.intsig.camscanner&hl=en

I was doubtful at first ("why would it be any better than taking a photo of the page?") but it works, and you can't beat the price. I've never had to scan more than a few documents at a time though.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8661
  • Registered member
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 04:20:38 PM »
Wow, I was going to recommend the one I have - http://www.amazon.com/Xerox-XDM262i5D-WU-Documents-Enhancement-Technology/dp/B00181DEI0/ref=sr_1_2?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1357600748&sr=1-2&keywords=Xerox+Documate+252+Scanner

Then I noticed how expensive it is.  I guess I wasn't very Mustachian back then.  It is quite good, though.

Edit:  I'll note that I don't use the color feature, although I originally thought I'd scan all my photos as well.

If you have more than a handful of multi-page documents to scan, the sheetfeed is a lifesaver.  So I'd skip the portable version.

These days, I use the really expensive copy machine at work to scan stuff.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 04:23:44 PM by dragoncar »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 05:26:29 PM »
You see that Lifehacker article today?

That made me want one.

But I'll keep dealing with paper, I suppose.

EDIT: Link: http://lifehacker.com/5973033/how-i-turned-three-years-of-paper-into-a-highly-organized-searchable-document-database-in-two-days
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

chris009

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 06:04:04 PM »
I just picked up a cheap printer/scanner combo. They're not very much and I love not having paper.

rugorak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 07:19:53 PM »
Big problem with the Fujitsu is it is proprietary only. No TWAIN, etc. So you use their software or you don't use it. Not my cup of tea and can hurt long term. Using the expensive ones at work would be cool but unfortunately not an option. Used by a different department and set up to put things in our DI system. No way to easily use it. As well people have been extra stupid lately letting both internal politics and paranoia have them see threats everywhere. Not worth the trouble.

That free scanner app seems pretty cool. I'll have to give it a try. But I plan on using this to scan in tax type documents (as digital copies are legal if you get audited, etc). And I have a good 500+ pages to scan at the moment. Manual feed would be a bit of work, but potentially doable. Using my phone for each one would just be silly.

Article is decent. I am still on the ropes on weather to get one with a document feeder or do like the article says and just take the time to slowly go through it all. Sometimes the portable one seems like the mustacian choice, other times it seems like the cheap choice that I'll end up paying more for in the long run.


dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8661
  • Registered member
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 07:54:10 PM »
A middle ground is to get a cheap manual scanner for future use and find a way to bulk scan what you have now.  There must be services to do that, you could try borrowing a sheetfded scanner for a day or two (are you near SF?), or use the work scanner for just one evening.

Rangifer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 08:13:48 PM »
If you can live without duplexing, I've got a Xerox Documate 510 I might be getting rid of in the next few days...

chucklesmcgee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 08:18:31 PM »
I store my receipts and document and then send them to a book-kepper/virtual assistant in Pakistan. He scans them and uploads them to a shared folder on dropbox.

An envelope of 30 pagers can be sent to Pakistan for $2-3 dollars. He charges $6/hr for his time.

I just mailed him over 800 pages in a flate rate box for $45.

Something to consider if you don't think you'll need the scanner for much else.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 08:53:09 PM »
I like that idea quite a bit chuckles.

A bit nerve-wracking though, sending personal documents to a stranger.  Do you send tax documents?  Stuff with your SSN, address, DOB, etc. etc.?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

twinge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 08:44:25 AM »
Quote
I love my Fujitsu Scansnap.  Pricey, but it is fast and efficient.

I second this.  I had a cheap scanner and rarely used it.  The scansnap has made me much more efficient and has allowed it to become a part of my life and my business.  I'm much more likely to  save and document things for business expense documentation etc. so it's a convenience that I feel was worth the cost.  But there are probably cheaper ways to achieve the same result--I just hadn't found them.

mugwump

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Location: North Metro Denver
  • FI and watching my 'stache grow.
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 09:03:35 AM »
+1 for the Scansnap. 

I was planning to scan reams of documents with my manual feed flatbed scanner, and never got around to starting.  Two months after I bought a ScanSnap, I was done with the job. It cost a couple hundred bucks, but it made a huge psychological difference to have the right tool, and saved a bundle of time as well. CAVEAT: we are already FI, and the ScanSnap scarcely made a dent in the budget.  If you are still paying off debt, consider looking for one used, or borrow one.

rugorak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 02:15:36 PM »
I think I am going to go for one of more expensive ones I was looking at after asking around (and reading the great responses here). My friends in the tech field (and one at a law firm) and the crew here seems to be in agreement for the most part. It seems to be one of those products that you won't get something worth the cost until you spend some money. But considering many cost over $1000 the $300ish is in the middle. I am debt free and in the stash building right now. It won't make a huge dent in the budget. Plus I have a gift certificate from amazon (couldn't talk my parents out of gifts for xmas as hard as I tried) that I'll put towards it. I am going to hold of another month or 2 hoping the price will come down, maybe finding a deal somewhere, or at least having it be from a few months of discretionary purchase. If anything it will take a tiny bit out of my "I'd prefer to save this but it is extra not budgeted" money. Not a big deal. Especially for the long haul.

Thanks for all the responses!

MountainFlower

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 277
  • Location: Colorado Mountains
Re: Anyone have document scanner recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2013, 11:55:22 AM »
Add me to the Fujitsu Scansnap camp.  LOVE IT.