Author Topic: method/software for filing files of paper in computer  (Read 6674 times)

wintersun

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method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« on: January 19, 2014, 06:32:16 AM »
Hi,
This is my first forum post.  I have been reading MMM since September and it has changed my life.  I really appreciate the posts here which detail how people are dealing with various issues.  I have been fine tuning our spending and clearing out rooms one by one.

My next area to tackle is the mounds and bags of paper in closets and drawers and on shelves.  I am planning to sort it, tossing the majority and scanning certain things such as invoices, records, keepsakes.

Do you recommend any software for organising scanned files?  I looked at Paper Tiger and it sounds perfect but am wondering if there are other options. Thanks.

theSchmett

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 07:15:21 AM »
Lifehacker. com is big on this idea, but some of their posts don't involve starting with a gigantic load of paper.

first thing obviously is reduce the amount of paper. Does it really need to be kept?

Then get access to a good double sided scanner. my office scanner could eat a mountain of file very quickly but you might not want to bring stuff to work.

I bought an Epson wf3xxx duplex scanner printer. people swear by Fuji snapscans but they are expensive.

My advice gets less useful here... I'm on OS X, and  have access to an acrobat pro license, so that is what I'm using to scan. The Epson came with OCR software and there is plenty built into OSX too that helps.

I haven't decided how I want to organize yet. maybe just file folders and search with the Mac spotlight function. I have Neat Desk software from a past foray, and then there are ever note, paperless by mariner, and devonthink.

I'm leaning towards simpler is better.

I'm going to keep an eye here for suggestions too as I am mid catch up on years worth of stuff.

shadowmoss

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 07:24:38 AM »
my cheapo multifunction Cannon printer is a printer/scanner/copier.  Mom uses hers (same model) more as a copier/printer.  I use mine pretty much solely for scanning.  The scanner usually comes with software to scan and store the files (I scan to PDF).  From there I set up my own document file tree.  I have separated it into work-related and certifications, house(s) related, historical/family, vehicles...  well you get the idea.  Under those headings I sort as makes sense.

shadowmoss

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 07:33:32 AM »
For a plan to have your and your papers, etc. as well as your family and all realted things ready for any disaster (zombie attack, etc.) go to http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html and read about what he learned and put into practice after bugging out with his family during Katrina.  The technology is a bit dated at this point, but the process and plans are still spot on.  Step by step instructions on how to prepare to pick up and leave and have all your important information with you in a compact, mobile form.  I think this site should be required reading for all adults.  YMMV.  He has a list of what important papers you might want to scan, which is the tie in with this thread.

shadowmoss

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 08:02:26 AM »
Since you are scanning your important papers that will have most if not all of your identifying informatlion on it, I do strongly suggest encrypting it.  The site I referenced above tells what software to use, or you can use something a bit more modern.  Just use something.  I don't care how 'safe' your spot in the cloud is, encrypt it.  Do put it someplace off site, though, and the cloud is a good place to keep it.  When the zombies attack and you have to bug out you can still get to your important papers.

wintersun

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 11:17:36 AM »
theSchmett, I have a three in one scanner not double sided but it should work.  I have never used the scanner function.

Your comment "simpler is better", reminded me that if there is a simple way to do this instead of buying software that is a better choice for me. And definitely I will toss out all that I can before scanning a thing.

I will look at Lifehacker.com to see what they have to say and also read up on Neat Desk, ever note, paperless by mariner, and devonthink.

Thanks so much for all of your ideas including the ones about important papers in an emergency.

Joel

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 11:24:56 AM »
I keep my important files backed up using dropbox, all within specific folders and organized as much as possible.

wintersun

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 11:29:54 AM »
Whoops, my appreciation for the important paper scanning was supposed to acknowledge Shadowmoss.  Thanks Shadowmoss!

wintersun

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 11:32:03 AM »
CJOttawa,


Thanks, I have copied your list of organisational headings as a good jumping off point for me.  This should be quite fun.

wintersun

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 11:33:21 AM »
Shadowmoss, thanks for your thoughtful replies!  I also have a three-in-one scanner printer copier.   I did not realise that scanners come with file storing software, I guess I should scan a few things to see how that works, perhaps I can just do that.

And thanks for the info on emergency papers and how to leave in an emergency plus encryption, I would never have thought of those things.

I am psyched to get this done over the next few months, I have always accumulated piles of paper and then even moved shopping bags of old paper from apartment to apartment.

madmax

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2014, 11:56:27 AM »
I scan and shred everything and have been paperless for a long time now. I have a Brother MFC that I use to scan into Evernote (www.evernote.com) and have different notebooks in which to scan (Finance, Rent, Cars, Health) etc... Evernote has built in OCR functionality with handwriting detection which makes finding everything pretty easy. I pay for it to support the developers but the free version is enough to get started (There is an upload limit and it doesn't search within PDFs forcing you to use png/jpg).

wintersun

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 12:49:53 PM »
Thank- you madmax.  I just tried to download Evernote but am having some problems, I will wait awhile and try again in case there is something not working on their site. 

theSchmett

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2014, 01:05:32 PM »
Wintersun - Are you using Windows? Just curious. Mac OS X has an amazing search utility, and while I haven't exercized it as much, I think Win does too. If you take the time to let the computer do OCR - Optical Character Recognition - and your doc, I think Windows can read through the docs when you search.  If you think that sort of thing is necessary.

The more work I do, the happier I am with just recreating the physical filing cabinet in the computer.

Also, Box (.com) is giving away 50GB yes GIGABYTES of free storage for life if you download their app for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. Probably an Android offer coming soon too.

Dropbox is also good.

I am planning long term to have an onsite backup (a second hard drive or even just a USB stick) and an offsite. Its way too cheap and supposedly even secure to use something like DropBox or Box or Amazon... I do need to find a way to encrypt the files. OS X will do it on the desktop, but I don't know about encrypting things I upload.

Can I encrypt archives without spending an arm and a leg on software?

wintersun

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 01:23:51 PM »
Hi theSchmett,  I have a Mac, OS X, and had not thought about its search abilities.  I mainly use it for internet and photos so it will be good to get to know its capabilities (although it sounds a bit scary).

I don't know about encryption.  I do like your idea of having a physical back up plus a cloud backup. 

MilStachian

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2014, 01:43:18 PM »
I have a two-step system:

First, I scan almost everything (except minor receipts).  Once scanned, I file the searchable PDF on my computer. 

Second, if the file is critical (tax-related, medical related, housing related), I keep a hard copy.  Every six months or so I go through my hard copies and shred what I no longer need.

I use CrashPlan, an online backup service, to save all my files.  It automatically scans my designated folders and as soon as changes are made it backs up the new/modified folders to the cloud.  Using their mobile app I can also pull the files on to my phone if need be.

Works like a charm, and I never worry about losing documents.

////
I strongly endorse the ScanSnap scanners.  I have a smaller, more mobile version that does a brilliant job.  The interface is always incredibly easy, which means my less-technically inclined wife has no trouble using it.  We also have one of those all-in-one printer/scanners, but the scanning process is much more involved and certainly not one or two clicks as the ScanSnap is.

////
I use Evernote for storing and storing book notes, web sites, interesting web articles/blog posts, and for general musings.  It's a great piece of software.

Cinder

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2014, 01:47:41 PM »
I've just started looking into this same thing, And I'm eager to see some more information on the topic. 

shadowmoss

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2014, 01:51:37 PM »
http://www.truecrypt.org/  Free open source encryption software.  This is the software recommended in the site I referenced above.

Nords

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2014, 11:12:21 PM »
For a plan to have your and your papers, etc. as well as your family and all realted things ready for any disaster (zombie attack, etc.) go to http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html and read about what he learned and put into practice after bugging out with his family during Katrina.  The technology is a bit dated at this point, but the process and plans are still spot on.  Step by step instructions on how to prepare to pick up and leave and have all your important information with you in a compact, mobile form.  I think this site should be required reading for all adults.  YMMV.  He has a list of what important papers you might want to scan, which is the tie in with this thread.
Wow.  He has a lot of hours into this project.  This should be some interesting reading-- thanks for the link.

shadowmoss

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2014, 02:52:10 AM »
ADrive.com also gives away 50 GB of cloud storage for free.  I've had mine for several years, so it's not just a 'trial' or anything.  Of course, they make it easy to upgrade if you want more bells and whistles.

I also use Evernote for non-sensitive things.  It's nice to be able to have my to do and to buy lists where I can update them on my desktop computer and sync with my phone to carry with me.  I don't use it for the things I want to encrypt.  It might be possible (probably is...) but I use ADrive for that.  I can still get to it from other computers on ADrive.

theSchmett

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2014, 10:04:39 AM »
Box was recently giving away 50GB for iOS users.

That is all.


wintersun

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Re: method/software for filing files of paper in computer
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2014, 03:25:11 PM »
Thanks everyone.  These options are a lot better than Paper Tiger which looks great but cost bucks.  I will get back to you with my results.