What Software Do I Need?

What Software Do I Need?

Possibly None

It could be that you already have all the software that you need. If you have a ScanSnap or other scanner, it will come with software to scan and possibly even convert it to a searchable PDF.

It might even come with some simple document management software.

If you have an external backup like a MyBook or a Time Capsule, it might already have software to do backups for you.

However, if you want to “take things to the next level” and have a full document management workflow, there is software out there that can help.

Manage Documents Like A Pro

Mac users are spoiled for choice when it comes to document management software. Here are a few favorites:

DEVONthink Pro Office

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DEVONthink is called a “Personal Information Assistant”. There are a number of different flavors, but the one that works best with the ScanSnap is DEVONthink Pro Office.

It manages documents and classifies them and files them automatically, and has very advanced OCR and searching technology .

It automatically takes documents from the ScanSnap and turns them into searchable PDFs.



Yep is an iPhoto-like file PDF browser that allows you to add tags to documents in order to manage them. It will assign tags based on the folder that they’re stored in, and then you can of course add your own.



PDFPen is a PDF editing solution that lets you add comments, highlighting, signatures, move around pages, and other general document management stuff. It’s kind of like a scaled down Acrobat for 1/6 of the price.

For Windows users one solution is Microsoft OneNote 2007


OneNote is a “digital notebook” that lets you bring in documents, images, media, etc. For documents, it will OCR them and allow you to search through.

Another Windows program is Home Document Manager.  Home Document Manager will scan, organize, and make your documents searchable.


Stay Safe – Backup

There are a ton of backup programs for Windows.

For local backups, SyncBackSE is a favorite.


If you want to go the online route, there is Mozy and Carbonite. Here is more information about online backup solutions.

For Mac, OSX Leopard comes with built in backup software called Time Machine. You can use that with any external hard drive, or use a Time Capsule.

The online route for Mac users is a bit more limited, but Mozy is an extremely popular choice. The best part is that the first 2 Gigs of storage is free.

Do you have any other software for managing paper and documents that you can’t live without? Sound off in the comments.

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

Boba Fett - April 9, 2010 Reply

How about CrashPlan? It supports Windows, Mac & Linux OSes, offers free local backup, free offsite backup to a friend, and unlimited cloud backup for $55/year.

    Brooks Duncan - April 9, 2010 Reply

    Thanks Boba, I have been meaning to check out Crashplan so I will take a look!

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