Reader Question: NeatWorks vs. Mariner Paperless

Reader Question: NeatWorks vs. Mariner Paperless

NeatWorks vs. Mariner PaperlessIn the latest class of my Paperless Action Plan course (amazing group by the way), I had a number of questions about software to manage receipts and other documents on the Mac.

The two big players are Mariner Paperless and NeatWorks.

A few participants asked me to open the question up to the greater DocumentSnap community, and since I always do what I am told, here you go.

Do you use Paperless or NeatWorks? What do you like about them? What would you change about them? Here’s your chance to make your voice heard.

Thanks for your feedback! Just leave a comment below or contact me privately.

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 14 comments

Larry Q - January 21, 2018 Reply

Tried Neat years ago and got fed up. Paperless has been great. Just so wish for an iOS version.

Iris Spector - January 3, 2018 Reply

I have been using and mostly loving Neat for 7 years. I loved the reports function for end of year and taxes. I did have problems with the scanner stopping and shutting down but I put up with it. However, once my MAC was upgraded to Sierra, all he’ll broke loose. I have lost all 2017 information and of course, I have no paper documents left. This all should be backed up but am having troubles even finding that. I have reloaded the Neat app and scanner so often that I am sick of it. Been doing this for 2 months. I have tried other scanner software but don’t like their pictures and no search functions. I’m going to try Paperless. Wish me luck.

Louis A. - February 2, 2017 Reply

I have been using Neat since 2009. The desktop version was great. Since they abandoned that and went to cloud-based it has been a nightmare. Once upgrading the mac to OSX El Capitan and then Sierra, Neat has been non-functional. The software crashes multiple times–yesterday 25 times. I have not been able to scan or save anything since August of 2016, it is now February 2017. They syncing now loses all of the input in the fields, documents show up as “no image available” and now “processing error, unable to process.” Hundreds (and that is no hyperbole) of emails to their tech support offer no real solutions except “thank you for your patience”. Looking at their Facebook page you will see how frustrated everyone is with Neat. They even disabled the ability to post anything to their Fb page. It usually takes about 4 weeks of emails just to get tech support to do anything, and at best the software works for 5 minutes before the crashing begins again. Neat is now garbage, I would love another solution.

Josh Jones - January 18, 2017 Reply

Neatworks has very poor support. They are not timly and left me hanging too long. My problem was a syn issue when they went all cloud based. No resolution. I used Neat for about 6 years for work and had a personal database. I switched to Paperless and after a learning curve, it is great. ScanSnap is superior to Neat Scanner. No jams!!! Export is simpler and the UI is very nice. Their support is amazing and awesome fast.

Each to his own but a scanning software needs a good scanner and Neatworks scanner is of poor quality. I had 4 of them over my time and Neatworks answer to the jams “we are a software company that, also, provides a scanner”. Good answer?

helene - June 2, 2016 Reply

hi Brooks,

I’m adding this late in the game but last month I cancelled Neat Online because the IOS part stopped working when Neat upgraded to a basically cloud subscription. The Support staff was very nice but could not resolve anything regarding a sync; I gave up after a day and a half total time with about four team members.
I did figure out that the cloud part kept overriding the desktop no matter what, and I do much more on the desktop. The interface on the cloud is not very business friendly.
I’ve kept the desktop version which I’ve been using for almost ten years, but am now keeping finder files to export by category for a backup since the paper receipts are going into shopping bags in the basement for a few years.
Your other readers’ comments have been very helpful: I will look into Paperless, and also the Fuji Scan Snap Receipt, though its a HUGE task to start from scratch again, especially in a new interface….
I think an intermediary IOS receipt scanner will work but I have not had the time to follow through with that project. It’s easier to bring receipts to the scan snap scanner and pop them right into Neat.
ALSO, a big plus with emailed receipts – and I don’t know if Paperless offers this – is to use /print then open /PDF with the little arrow in the lower left hand corner (mac print window) and scroll down to /Add Receipt to Neat. Boom.
It may be possible to edit in an Add to Paperless, not sure. Anyway best to all!
Best to you and your readers,

LGr - March 20, 2013 Reply

I have been testing both side by side for a little over a week. It has been a difficult decision and I have been going back and forth between the two. Tonight I made the decision to however go with NeatWorks. I have found the OCR to be more powerful. Yes, it is a little slower but it would detect a lot more in my documents than Paperless. Additionally, it seems like after combining documents in Paperless they were not searchable any longer. No problem with NeatWorks. The proprietary database was my main obstacle with Neatworks but I realize that since I have a solid backup plan local (Time Machine) and online; if i ever run into corruption I can easily restore the database. I hope this helps.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - March 20, 2013 Reply

    Thanks so much LGr!

JNic13 - January 22, 2013 Reply

I own a Mac and just (1/20/13) downloaded both programs (Paperless and Neat). So I am testing them in parallel. First Impressions:
– Both programs are very similar in capabilities. (Providing all you need to keep organbized electronic files, OCR, email docs, etc.)
– Neat has a little nicer/more user friendly interface, specially with Browse capability.
– Paperless works better with my scanner (Cannon MX882). It can take full advantage of it features. Example: Neat can't use the automatic double-sided scanning feature. That's a fairly big handicap.
– In Paperless you can import multiple pdf files. And, while Neat's manual says you can by holding the control key, this doesn't work (at least for me). I posted both issues on their website and will see if I get a response.

I'lll continue to test them for the next 3 weeks but Paperless seems to be winning so far. Will keep you posted.

awraynor - November 18, 2012 Reply

My issue with NeatWorks is that it scans into a proprietary database unless that has changed. I scan into pdf into my own folder hiearchy and sync across multiple platforms. A corrupted database could erase the online copies of files I have since shredded!

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - November 18, 2012 Reply

    Thanks. My bias is away from proprietary databases too.

Andrew W. - November 12, 2012 Reply

I've tried both programs but ended up going with Paperless mostly for the continued development and support and works great with my ScanSnap.

Paperless pros: Works well with the scanner, good OCR, easy document management and organization
Paperless cons: Lack of iOS solution (although the developer has indicated that they will be making an iOS solution soon)

Neatworks pros: Large community,
Neatworks cons: Support isn't as great, compatibility issues, a lot of crashes

I suggest trying them both out, but I'm sure Paperless is a better solution.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - November 12, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Andrew!

Bill Wilson - November 9, 2012 Reply

I've used both at my company and at home and in my opinion there is little competition between the two.
I originally used Neat a few years ago and I can safely say it was one of the worst experiences ever. Corrupted files, lost files, my computer hanging every 10 minutes, a non-existent support staff. YUCK!
On the flip side I've had nothing but success with Paperless. I have a Scansnap S300M at home and others at work and the way they work is clean and intuitive. The OCR is a lot better too. My situation might be different that others but I have a Mac at home and a PC at work and both work just fine. I'm glad I made the switch.

Bill Wilson

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - November 12, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Bill! From what I understand, NeatWorks has improved quite a bit since those days, but I am generally the same as you. Once I have a problem with something, and I find another solution, I don't feel the need to go back.

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