How to Scan Directly into Evernote using NeatDesk

How to Scan Directly into Evernote using NeatDesk

This is a Guest Post from my friend Amy Payne, a Professional Organizer at Lasting Order.

{First off, I want to thank Brooks Duncan for inviting me to write a guest post for DocumentSnap! My name is Amy Payne and I own a professional organizing company out of Southwest Indiana called Lasting Order. I met Brooks at the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) Conference in New Orleans in April. We discovered a common love for all things technology and Evernote, which brings me to the topic of today’s post – how to scan directly into Evernote using NeatDesk.}

When you purchase a NeatDesk document scanner, it comes with Neat software and the option to purchase monthly cloud services. I prefer to use Evernote, so I uncovered a way to use Evernote with the Neat scanner. It is possible to bypass the Neat software and use Evernote for document storage instead. Evernote is free (or $5 per month for the Premium membership) and the Neat Cloud service is $15 per month. Evernote has better features for a lower price, so for me it’s the obvious choice. {I love free or cheap solutions!}

So, you want to use a NeatDesk scanner and bypass the software to use Evernote instead. Here’s the step-by-step instructions on how to do it: {I’m using a PC, so your screens may look slightly different if you are using a Mac.}

Open the Neat scanning software & change settings to match the item(s) you want to scan.

NeatDesk Setup
NeatDesk Setup

Scan to a PDF. If you click “scan” without selecting the PDF option, it will scan into the Neat software. When you select the scan to PDF option, it will prompt you to select a location to save the document to.

Scan To PDF
Scan To PDF

Create a folder on your computer for scanned documents you want imported into Evernote. I labeled mine “For Evernote”. {very creative, I know}

Create toEvernote
Create toEvernote

Name the document and hit “Save”. The document will scan and be saved into the “For Evernote” folder. You can rename the document once it’s in Evernote, so you don’t have to worry about scanning multiple items at once. It will automatically save them with sequential numbers. {For example, when I return from a Chamber of Commerce meeting, I can put up to 15 business cards into the scanner at once and name them Chamber and the date. It will automatically name them “Chamber date 1”, “Chamber date 2”, etc.}

Go To Evernote
Go To Evernote

Open Evernote. Click on “Tools”, then “Import Folders”.

Evernote Tools Import Folders
Evernote Tools Import Folders

Click “Add” and locate the “For Evernote” folder on your computer. Select it and hit “okay”.

Browse Evernote Folder
Browse Evernote Folder

Once you’ve added it to the import list, you can select which notebook to import the notes into. I put all scanned items into my -Inbox folder, so I can organize them once they are in Evernote. You can also select whether to keep or delete the source file after it’s imported and whether to import subfolders or not.

Evernote Setup Import Folder
Evernote Setup Import Folder

That’s it {it’s that easy}! You can access all of the documents you scanned directly from Evernote. Be sure to tag and organize them into notebooks and stacks. Once you’ve started using Evernote, you’ll want to access it from all of your devices… so be sure to download the app on each device! Remember: if you are scanning financial documents or otherwise sensitive information, you may want to consider importing your “For Evernote” folder into a local notebook instead of a synced notebook. If you need further instruction or information about how to scan and organize using NeatDesk and Evernote, please contact me via phone or e-mail!

Amy Payne

Thanks Amy! Unfortunately the Mac version of Evernote doesn’t have Import Folders for some weird reason, but something similar can be done with Hazel.

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 16 comments

Daniele Merlis - May 15, 2017 Reply

do you know if you can use the Neat scanner without any software and just scan it and send it to google docs or email as a PDF?

Austin - October 27, 2015 Reply

Thanks so much. This was a snap with your excellent step by step. I can’t thank you enough.

    jack Burns - February 22, 2017 Reply

    Thanks a lot for this tip on using Evernote. I use both Evernote and Neat desktop but am concerned with no more support for the Neat software. Just as you described Evernote pulled in the scanned images and was able to search them for information. I also tried my HP all in one and Evernote pulled tem all in just fine from the scanner glass or ADF. Now I don’t have to worry about the Neat software or scannner.

Chris Simiriglia - November 1, 2014 Reply

Thanks for this. I use Evernote and have an old NeatReceipts scanner. I was hoping not to have to ditch it for a Scansnap, which is what I use at work. It took a little time to get the new drivers to work with my new Windows 8.1 computer, but the results are exactly what I was looking for.

Adam - March 17, 2014 Reply

How about for the Mac? I can’t find a good way…

Victoria - January 27, 2014 Reply

I’m in need of clarification. If you scan a business card as a pdf, will evernote read it as a business card? Is there a way to import business cards that are “read” by the neat software and scanner? I’m trying to import a folder of business cards, but I’m not sure how.

    Brooks Duncan - January 27, 2014 Reply

    In Amy’s example above, you’d be bypassing the NeatDesk software and just scanning as PDFs to Evernote. Evernote would not know it is a business card.

    You can scan business cards to Neat’s software, but you wouldn’t follow the instructions above for that.

KeMo - September 16, 2013 Reply

I set up a folder in my Google Drive. I haven't had any issues thus far.

El Enano - September 14, 2013 Reply

Thanks for the post but, if I am not wrong, you do not nead a NeatDesk scanner to do this. You just need a scanner and store every scanned doc in "For Evernote" folder.

Am I right, or am I losing something in your reasoning?

    Brooks Duncan - September 14, 2013 Reply

    You can do it with any device, however, this post was about how to do it with the NeatDesk.

    Forrest Joyner - February 14, 2017 Reply

    Yes, any scanner will do. However, I think this post was written because Neat abandoned it’s own software (no further updates, no support) for their subscription ‘cloud’ service. This posting was about how you can still use their scanner, but with EverNote instead.

Clifford B. - July 22, 2013 Reply

Would you recommend to primarily do this with a PAID Evernote account only?
If routinely scanning into Evernote, won't you quickly run into the barrier of Evernote's Transfer Quota Limit? (Not Storage Quota)
(60 MB (not GB) transfer limit per month on a free account.)

    Brooks Duncan - July 23, 2013 Reply

    Yes, if you are scanning more than the quota, you'll need a paid Evernote account.

      halindrome - September 4, 2013 Reply

      Of course, you are not required to put your data into the cloud. So if you have lots of data and are not sure about paying for the cloud, just put it into a notebook that is NOT in the cloud and then make sure that you are backing up your data!

        Brooks Duncan - September 4, 2013 Reply

        Very true halindrome. Thanks. 

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