Reader Story: Romance, RVs, and Making Time To Scan

Reader Story: Romance, RVs, and Making Time To Scan

This post 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 Stacey Hurley.

What problems were you trying to solve by going paperless?

Years of papers unsorted and pretty much either stuffed in boxes to do later (read – never) or piled up all over our office. I knew I would have to tackle it all one day – probably while moving, but then we had 3 years of back taxes to file and the accountant needed papers I couldn’t provide because they were in that huge mess somewhere! That pretty much forced me to consider the problem and find a solution. We are also moving in about 6 months and will be living in our RV (and hopefully traveling) and I don’t want to have to pay storage fees for boxes of paper, when I can digitize 99% of them!

What were the biggest stumbling blocks?

How to get started! What to do first which took some time for researching on the web (that’s how I found you) and deciding what equipment and programs I would use. Then creating a workflow that was really attainable. I initially put all the papers on a large table loosely categorized. This was my starting point. Then I determined I wanted to purchase a ScanSnap S1300 and sign up for Evernote. My husband had asked me what I wanted for our anniversary so I told him I wanted a ScanSnap! Not the most romantic gift, but the peace of mind from a paperless office is a wonderful gift in and of itself. I love both the ScanSnap and Evernote program!

Tell us about your paperless workflow

I’m still in the initial stages, so right now I have 5 boxes labeled as follows: To Scan, To Shred, To File, School (I homeschool) and To Read. Every day I set a time for 15 minutes and do nothing but sort through my paper mountain and have thrown out tons of paper too! Then in the evenings when I have an hour to relax – I grab my ScanSnap, To Scan and To Shred box and put it on my bed and scan while I watch TV. Once the paper is scanned and tagged in Evernote, it goes into the To Shred box. At the end of the night, I take about 5-10 minutes and shred what’s in the box. I am slowly but surely seeing my pile shrinking and I can actually see and use my office desk again! Setting a timer makes the whole process less overwhelming and breaks it down into manageable chunks of time. Even a 5 minute time chunk can accomplish quite a bit. The trick is to stay on task and don’t do anything else – don’t read, answer the phone, or talk to anyone – just categorize and sort.

Thanks Stacey, that’s a great example of how taking doing a little bit at a time on a regular basis can stop a going paperless project from being overwhelming. Good luck in the RV! (PS- A ScanSnap sounds pretty romantic to me. 🙂 ).

If you have questions for Stacey, leave a comment and I will try to get them answered.

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 3 comments

siliconvalleyguy - March 23, 2011 Reply

Can you expand on the "tagged in Evernote" step. I'm new to this and have my ScanSnap 1300 and ready to go on a scanning binge. But do I have to stop after each scan and type in a tag or file name for each document before it ends up in Evernote? That would slow me down. Also have played with Evernote and not sure of it's benefit vs using SSO and then backing up files to cloud based storage service like Mozy. I guess my concern is will I end up with thousands of pdf files and have trouble finding the one I'm looking for…

    Brooks Duncan - March 31, 2011 Reply

    Hi Brian,

    What you can do is scan everything to Evernote to a notebook that you designate as an "inbox", and then tag and move them from there. That's what I do anyways. Speeds up the scanning.

Michelle Muto - March 16, 2011 Reply

Ah! And some days, it's just so hard to stay on track and NOT answer the phone or have our attention swayed. That's half the battle!

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