Great Paperless Workflow Post At Interface Matters

Great Paperless Workflow Post At Interface Matters

Chris Blatnick over at the Interface Matters blog has just done an absolutely epic post about his paper processing workflow.

He has included a diagram in which he mapped out his process, and two great videos in which he explains and demonstrates the whole thing.

So I recognized a problem: too much paper. That was the first step. Now I needed to make an actionable plan to deal with it. That’s where the ScanSnap came in. I started using it to scan papers in when they came in the mail. As soon as I came across something I needed to keep (my monthly bank statement, for instance), I digitized it and stored it on my hard drive and then shredded the document. Ah…a great feeling. I’ve been doing this for several months now and it has been very successful. However, nagging at the back of my mind (even though it was on my Someday/Maybe GTD list) was the massive task of tackling those file cabinets. Over the Thanksgiving break, I finally took the plunge and mapped out my paper processing workflow.

If you are curious about how different people handle their paper (and if you’re not, why are you here? 🙂 ), I highly recommend checking out the post and associated videos.

The tools Chris uses are the ScanSnap S1500 and, a personal favorite, Dropbox. He is also a fellow GTD devotee.

His next step will be to send the documents into Lotus Notes. If you don’t already use it, that’s a little hardcore, but if you already in Notes all day like he is, why not.

Great post Chris!

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Bob - January 8, 2010 Reply

Watched the videos. All sounded OK until, after scanning and naming the file(s), said "… and the next step is to use a database…" What!!?

So, having saved all that time not fussing with filing, he's going to spend that time, and more I bet, entering info about every document in a database!? Holy paradigm shift, Batman! – NOT. This is the electronic equivalent of physically filing paper shuffling drudgery.

Does that database go into that dropbox (web-based doc backup) cloud too? Does he have lotus notes on every machine he wants to access from? Yet MORE software is needed to get at documents?

IMHO…
Once a doc is in bits in the computer, and in bits in the shredder (ha, ha. I make a funny) I'm going to find docs three ways: Decent file names, tags, and by content if I make the doc "searchable" (as discussed in the videos). No database required.

Well, in a sense The operating system is the database. A database captures information and has ways of finding that stuff efficiently. Gosh, I just described Macintosh OS X. … OK, and Windoze too.

When I scan they "go to" my tagging software, where I give it a name and *quickly* add tags and … DONE. To find a doc, just search for it. Duh. Good file names and tagging technique help me find it fast.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - January 15, 2010 Reply

    Yeah, I hear you. The database thing is a bit hardcore for me, but it sounds like he lives inside Lotus Notes. So I guess, for him, having everything in a Notes db makes sense.

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