My Paperless Office Dream, 3 Months Later

A little over three months ago, I shared with my readers my purchase of the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M. By the time I got through my initial stack of paper, I ended up scanning and shredding almost three feet of paper. Now, I pretty much open my mail over the trash can. If its something I want to keep, I run it through the ScanSnap and shred it after it’s completed. The amount of paper clutter in my life has been cut down tremendously.

Since that time, I’ve customized my workflow slightly to make it easier to keep everything backed up. Initially, I was using DevonThink as my storage. However, I migrated away from that in favor of individualo files after upgrading to Leopard. The improved Spotlight capabilities in Leopard really make finding things a breeze. Additionally, backing up a 500mb DevonThink database can take quite some time as well as considerable amounts of space. Incremental backups are not possible with the DT databases, since the database is always in a changed state. However, by storing files individually, I am able to do incremental backups (via Leopard’s Time Machine for on-site backup and Mozy for off-site backup) which takes less space and bandwidth. Lastly, the OCR engine in the bundled software (Abby FineReader) is surprisingly good and makes a nice sized PDF which is considerably smaller than what was created by DevonThink’s engine.

I’ve heard of and have considered using an application like YEP for cataloging and tagging the PDF documents, but at this point I have not pulled the trigger on that.

Lastly, I wanted to address a question that I’ve received from a few people about the paper feed problems that seemed to plague the S500M. The S510M is a new model that apparently does not suffer from the same problem. That said, as a disclaimer, I’ve only had mine for three months, but so far everything is continuing to function flawlessly.