My Doxie Go Wireless Automated Workflow

Doxie Go Wi-FiWhenever you see a workflow post from me, you can translate that to “Brooks is lazy and wants to automate things as much as possible”.

Such is the case with my Doxie Go. The scanner, paired with the included Wi-Fi card, does what I want it to do, but I wanted to streamline process a little bit due to my aforementioned indolence.

How I Use My Doxie Go

I call the Doxie Go my “kitchen scanner”. I don’t use it for the majority of my scanning. For that I need a document feeder and duplex scanning.

Since my “normal” scanner is downstairs in my office, I use the Doxie Go for one-off and quick scans that come in the front door. Primarily, this is stuff that comes in via my kids’ backpacks[1] and other miscellany.

I keep the Doxie tucked away in a cabinet near our kitchen, and when I want to capture something and don’t want the paper to hang around, I grab it, pop in the wi-fi card, and hit scan.

The Goal

My goal for this workflow is to have things completed in as few steps as possible. I want to be able to grab the Doxie Go on my kitchen counter, pop in a piece of paper, hit scan, and have the image converted to PDF, made searchable, and available from any device with no interaction from me and without me having to plug it into anything.

First, A Note

Before you read the rest of this post, I want to assure you that you do not need to do all this to use the Doxie Go effectively. The scanner’s instructions say that you should use their included software, and you probably should. It works well. I am doing this because I am lazy and a geek (a dangerous combination).

This workflow uses a Mac. There may be a way to do something similar on Windows, but I haven’t tried.

The Tools

Here are the tools that I am using:

  • A Doxie Go, obviously. At the time of this writing, on Amazon there is a code for a free Eye-Fi card. You can also buy it from the Doxie store.
  • Dropbox, to synchronize files between computers
  • Hazel, to act on the files
  • PDFPen, to do the OCR

I also have an old Mac Mini that is always on, but that is not required.

You can do some or all of this with other tools, but this is what I am using.

The Workflow

In a nutshell, here is what I do:

  1. Scan the document with the scanner.
  2. The wi-fi card automatically uploads the image in JPG format to the Mac Mini, which is running the Eye-Fi software.
  3. Hazel watches the folder and when it sees a JPG, it converts it to PDF and calls PDFPen.
  4. PDFPen OCRs the PDF and makes it searchable.
  5. The PDF is saved in a Dropbox folder.

Ready to dig in to this? Let’s go.

Scanning

On my Mac Mini, I have the Eye-Fi software running and configured per Doxie’s instructions. On the Photos tab, I have it set to save the images to a folder called toPDF.

Doxie Go Eye-Fi Settings

Doxie Go Eye-Fi Settings

Unfortunately, the way the Doxie Go works is that the scanner creates a JPG file for each document. I want searchable PDFs, not JPGs, so it is time to do some conversion.

Converting To PDF and OCR

You can probably do all of this with Folder Actions, but I prefer to have Hazel do the job.

Hazel is set up to watch the toPDF folder, and there are three actions:

  1. Convert to PDF
  2. Do OCR
  3. Clean up the old JPGs

Hazel toPDF rules

Convert to PDF Hazel Rule

Conver to PDF Hazel Rule

Conver to PDF Hazel Rule

The first Hazel rule watches the toPDF folder and if there is an image, it runs an Automator action.

JPG to PDF Automator Action

JPG to PDF Automator Action

You can download the automator action here and modify it, but here is what it does:

  1. Converts the JPG to PDF and puts it on the Desktop with a nonsense name.
  2. Attaches a timestamp just to prevent issues with duplicate filenames.
  3. Moves it back to the toPDF folder.

Do OCR Hazel Rule

PDFPen OCR Hazel Rule

PDFPen OCR Hazel Rule

This rule watches toPDF for any PDF files, and if it finds any, it runs an AppleScript which calls PDFPen to do the OCR. I mainly did it this way because I already had a script that performs OCR with PDFPen.

It is essentially the same script as that previous post, but for completeness’ sake here it is:

tell application "PDFpen"
  open theFile as alias
  tell document 1
        ocr
        repeat while performing ocr
            delay 1
        end repeat
     delay 1
        close with saving
  end tell

end tell

It then renames the file with today’s date and time, and moves it to my Inbox folder where I can act on it later (or another Hazel rule may pick it up if applicable).

Clean Out Old JPGs Hazel Rule

Hazel clean up old JPG files

Hazel clean up old JPG files

I don’t want the old JPGs hanging around clogging things up. I could delete them right away, but for safety’s sake I keep them around for one week.

Wrap Up

So far, this has been working well for me, and most of this could be applied even if you don’t have a Doxie Go. You could modify it to send your scan to Evernote, for example.

I am sure there are ways to optimize it, and I am sure I am overcomplicating things, but for now it is “set it and forget it”.

If you have suggestions for improvement, feel free to let me know in the comments.


  1. I get jealous when I receive e-mails from teachers going paperless. Let’s just say my kids’ schools have not gone there.  ↩

5 Responses to “My Doxie Go Wireless Automated Workflow”

  1. marykaichini August 1, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Well, I think it is too difficult to organize the workflow in such a way as you need to scan and to convert the files. I think much more convenient to install some task management software and enjoy life. For example I use Comindware task manager.

    • DoxieScanner August 3, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      @marykaichini,

      As Brooks mentioned: "…I want to assure you that you do not need to do all this to use the Doxie Go effectively. The scanner’s instructions say that you should use their included software, and you probably should. It works well."

      We strongly suggest users to use our included simple software. You see, we here at Doxie have gone to great lengths to create and provide an amazingly easy software that focuses on an enjoyable user experience.

      Users that choose to utilize a wireless SD card (like an Eye-Fi) to transmit their documents straight from their scanner to the Doxie software on their computer can do so without touching a single wire. (Please note: the set up for this option is very straight forward: http://www.getdoxie.com/resources/docs/wifi-card/….

      Our software allows you to view your scans, perfect them cosmetically (rotate, contrast boost, crop, etc), rename them, "staple" multi-page PDFs together, AND create OCR PDF documents. You even have your choice of formats to save scans as (JPEG, PNG, PDF, or PDF w/OCR).

      Once your scan is set to your liking simply push it to Evernote, Dropbox, Basecamp (or various other local/cloud application) with a quick click of your mouse.

      It's that easy :)

      If you have any questions about Doxie or are looking for tips on how to go paperless please e-mail us at hello@getdoxie.com or connect via Twitter (@DoxieScanner).

      Take care!
      Amanda
      Doxie Customer Care

      • BrooksD August 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

        Thanks Amanda, great input. I tried to be careful to point out that normal people should almost always use the included software (which is great). This is one of those posts that are mainly for the geeks. :)

        • DoxieScanner August 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

          Brooks,

          Sure thing! Thanks for your note about our software before your workflow instructions!

          We've heard about a *few* people using this sort of set up but they are usually *very* tech savvy ;)

          Scan on!
          Amanda
          Doxie Customer Care

  2. Mike Erickson December 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have all the hardware and software to do this exact process and was stumbling on some issues with my Automator workflow and this solved the issue. And I like the idea of having a "utility" machine that is always running so I don't have to make all this happen on my MBA

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