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High speed scanner + GTD?

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  • High speed scanner + GTD?

    Has anyone gone the digital route when it comes to filing reference materials? I travel every week and the thought of purchasing a decent multi-page feeder type scanner, seems interesting. The goal would be to have a folder of scanned reference materials that I can then reference on my laptop at any time?

    I have looked at paperport and think it shows promise? Any thoughts or guidance? My fear is that this will end up being more trouble than it is worth?

  • #2
    I scan using my HP all-in-one printer/scanner and save the files as PDF files which take up less space on the hard drive than other formats.

    I used to just store these in a subfolder of My Documents called My Scans, although since Office 2003 came out I've been using OneNote.

    When you import a file, including a PDF file, into OneNote, the file is automaticallly copied to the My Notes subdirectory created by OneNote. OneNote then allows you to add commends describing the file and you can use the powerful indexing feature of the software to enable finding the file readily. Also, OneNote will automatically back up the files.

    Also, you can set your section tabs up in OneNote so that some of them designate a subfolder of the My Notes subdirectory if you want to automatically manage that for backup purposes.

    Microsoft's OneNote is a new piece of software but because of it's superb integration into the Office Suite I think we will be hearing a lot more about it. I've switched over to using it to manage my Projects and Someday/Maybe lists, using Outlook to manage my Context lists only. This allows the Projects and S/M to be in hierarchical outline form with future tasks listed below a main heading. Then, when I'm ready to make one of those tasks the Next Action, I can do that with a mouse click sending the task from OneNote to Outlook.



    • #3

      Sounds like a cool System. I have been using InfoSelect for a few years and am keeping my sights on OneNote because of the integration with Office

      Thank you for your comments and thoughts. I appreciate it. I am just gettting started and all the help I can get is appreciated.


      • #4
        Like you, I have also been trying to reduce the amount of paper in my home office. I use an HP ScanJet 4570C (Flatbed USB2). I absolutely HATE the HP Scanning software they included with this! However, one evening I discovered a program called Microsoft Document Scanning. I'm not a big fan of Microsoft but since this is part of Microsoft Office, I figured that I might as well use it. It provides a much better "front-end" to the scanner.

        When I scan documents with this program it saves them as TIF files. The program uses OCR to convert the text on the scanned page and stores it in the TIF's header. This means that the files are perfect copies of the originals but are still searchable using the Windows "Find" feature.

        The TIFs are typically smaller than a PDF file, expecially if the original document has any graphics.

        The advantage over JPEG or GIF is that the text is stored in the file to make it searchable.

        The advantage over PDF is that the integrity of the original paper document is maintained. In a PDF scan, if the OCR doesn't read something exactly right, then I don't have an accurate copy of the original. Imigine that if I scan in all the invoices from my clients and save them as PDF. If the OCR didn't read a number right, I couldn't use this as a valid document in any dispute.

        Good luck in finding a solution that works for you! I just wanted to put my $.02 in here. )



        • #5

          I'm running Microsoft Office 2002 Professional. It's part of that and may be in earlier versions, I don't know.

          Microsoft Office Document Scanning is a helper application for a program called Microsoft Office Document Imaging.

          Apparently it is in Office XP and I hope it continues to be part of the suite. I found the following on
          Office Document Imaging

          The new Office Document Imaging functionality, which takes advantage of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, enables users to scan multi-page documents, view those documents, and reuse that text in their Office applications. Furthermore, users can locate their imaged documents at a later time using the full text search capabilities built into Office.

          · Make sure you have installed Office Document and Imaging during installation.
          · From the Windows Start Menu select Programs, Microsoft Office Tools, and then Microsoft Office Document Imaging.
          · For quick scanning, select Microsoft Office Document Scanning from the same menu as above.


          • #6

            Have you made sure that it isn't available? It may be part of the suite but it just isn't installed.

            - Go into the control panel.
            - Choose Add/Remove Programs
            - Choose Microsoft Office XP
            - Choose Add or Remove Features
            - You will find Document Imaging under tools (You will probably have to have the original CD to install)

            This is true for both Office XP and Office 2002. I did a search in Google Groups and it appears that this should be available in Office 2000 as well.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              try this...

              Microsoft Office Tools..
              A selection on my menu is "Microsoft Office Document Scanning"




              • #8
                I scan everything into a high speed scanner, which mails them to me as PDFS. they go into my inbox and get filed. I do this with meeting notes, etc., and keep all my files in electronic folders. It's working great so far.


                • #9
                  sorry if I've taken this off topic but for those of you who scan all documents, do you know if there are any legal ramifications?

                  For example, is a scanned contract considered just as "legal" as the original? How about bank statements and the such?


                  • #10
                    As far as I know a scanned (and printed) document is just a valid as any other photocopy of equal quality. Once you print your scan then there would be no difference between the scanned copy and a photocopy. If you must have an original, then obviously neither a photocopy nor a scan will be acceptable.

                    Keep in mind that it must be an accurate copy. If the program that you use converts the text to editable text using OCR then you may not have a valid copy. (Such is the case with most programs that save as PDF.) That's why I use Microsoft Document Imaging which maintains the appearance of the original (in a TIFF file) and converts the text to META data that can be read by the computer for searches but isn't seen by the user when looking at the document. I get the best of both worlds.



                    • #11
                      Consider searchable PDF+TEXT

                      I agree with Ricky's points about document quality. For most documents, PDF is an excellent universal format. I use my digital sender to create PDF files that are searchable. This way, I get the best of both worlds -- documents that look and print well, as well as the ability to do full-text searches, all in a file that is much smaller than a TIFF. (Example at:

                      There are other products that can create these files, too.



                      • #12
                        save your time searching for Microsoft Document Scanning

                        its one of the most truly awful pieces of garbage i've ever come across. there is no evident way to choose the resolution, there is no "crop" tool (WTF??), the selection tool turns bits of images negative for no reason, copy/pasting sections of the image makes the selection several times larger for no real reason.... a total nightmare to use.

                        when you finally finish and save your scan, the TIF files will not open in anything else - not even Photoshop. making them utterly useless.