Reader Story: Accessing Documents On The Go

Reader Story: Accessing Documents On The Go

This post from is part of the paperless stories feature at DocumentSnap. Some stories are from readers that have successfully gone paperless, some are still going through it. Would you like to share your story too?

Today’s featured DocumentSnap reader is Brandon Smith from Keizer, OR. You can find him on Twitter @brasmi.

What problems were you trying to solve by going paperless?

My issue surrounded availability of paper documents in my file cabinet. I am a city councilor, so I get stacks of reports to read, and generally filed those in labeled folders in a cabinet. The problem is, those documents weren’t available unless I remembered to take the folder with me. I bought an iPad in April, and use the premium version of Evernote for document storage.

What were the biggest stumbling blocks you faced when going paperless?

Developing an easy-to-use system, along with a quality scanner.

Tell us about your paperless workflow

99% of my documents go through my ScanSnap S1300, then into a “to be shredded” box.

When the box reaches approximately 10 lbs, I take it to a local non-profit, Garten Foundation, which employs those with disabilities, and performs shredding services at a very reasonable rate.

Scanned documents automatically go into Evernote, where they are dated, titled and tagged for either immediate action or future reference. These documents are then available on my iPad or iPhone anytime thanks to support for offline notebooks.

Anything more we should know?

I am a husband and father, a member of the Keizer City Council, a workers compensation claims adjuster, and a 2/3-time college student, so organization is vital to meeting all of the demands of my time.

Thanks Brandon, the only thing I didn’t see in there is when you sleep. I love the idea of letting your shredding build up and then have a non-profit do it for you. If you have questions for Brandon about his workflow, leave them in the comments and I’ll try to get them answered for you.

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

@PaperTablet - August 11, 2011 Reply

One area where I use a lot of paper is when I’m collaborating on documents with a team of people continues to be a challenge even with enterprise grade tools. We are working on a new tools called Paper Tablet that addresses a number of problems. Currently, when I am working on a document with others, I would print out the entire word, powerpoint, or pdf document, write comments on it, scan it, and email it back to my team to incorporate changes. We are working on an iPad app that will allow me to "print to tablet", make changes electronically on the iPad, save it or send it to the team via email, thus bypassing the need to print out anything. The next phase is to create the ability to hold a web conference and collaborate live from the iPad.

Check it out at

@snafu77 - February 22, 2011 Reply

Great usage story.

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