The other day I was having a conversation with a consulting client, and we got to talking about things to do with your paper before you scan it.
I’ve written a lot about scanning documents and what to do after you scan them, but I haven’t written too much about document preparation.
One of the great things about a double-sided automatic document feeding scanner like the Fujitsu ScanSnap (and others) is that you can just throw a stack of paper in it, hit the scan button, and you are good to go.
This is great, but I have found that if you have a decent amount of paper coming in and want to have a more effective process in place, it helps to do a bit of preparation up front.
In case you are interested, here is what I do right now. I find that if I take a bit of extra time to organize before scanning, the scanning and processing part goes a lot more quickly.
- I have four profiles set up in ScanSnap Manager. They have changed slightly from this old ScanSnap Manager workflow post, but the basic concept is the same: Stack of Single, Stack of Double, Single All-in-One, and Double All-In-One.
- When I am ready to scan my stack of documents, I separate them out into piles that match the 4 profiles: a stack of single page documents that I only want to scan one side of, a stack of double sided single-sheet documents, a stack of multi-page single-sided documents, and a stack of multi-page double-sided documents
- Then I run the stacks through the scanner, choosing the appropriate ScanSnap Manager profile before each run.
By doing this document separation before running it through the scanner, I make the actual scanning process quick and easy, and also avoid scanning things like the fine print on the back of bills and statements that I don’t need and that waste space and OCR-ing time.
How about you, what kind of document preparation rituals do you have? Let us know in the comments so we can all get some ideas.