Guess What We’ve Been Doing
Friday! My, they do come around fast, don’t they? Each week I look back and wonder/review what I’ve accomplished.
Soon I’ll be leaving my Victorian home that we lovingly restored 25 years ago. And that means moving. And that means carting everything off, storing it, or selling it.
What do you do with 28 years of business records? Can’t take ‘em with us (we’re downsizing – that’s the plan). Can’t throw a lot of them away. We’re left with one choice – digitize them. Make them into tiny digital files and shred the whole hard copy mess at one of those mass shredders.
Take note of what I’m going through and avoid it like the plague. We are not near done after weeks of scanning. What can you do right now to not get in this situation? Here’s some sound advice.
When we realized what we had to do, we knew it couldn’t be done with one of those flat bed scanners. That would literally take years. We needed speed and accuracy. We needed a scanner with good software that would put the documents into a pre-specified folder. Speed and organization.
I’ve been a fan of the Mac Power Users podcast for years, and they are crazy about Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners. I checked them out. They are like twice as much as other scanners. Ouch. But then again, they would do everything we needed. We took the leap. Not only did we get their flagship scanner, the ScanSnap iX500, we got the little portable one page scanner too, the ScanSnap S1100.
We unpacked it and put some pages in to try it out. I’ve never seen anything like it. That machine (iX500) is fast beyond belief. At black and white medium resolution we could scan over 30 pages, front and back, in under a minute. If it weren’t for having to organize all the papers and decide which ones to scan, we’d be done by now. We’ve scanned over 20 file boxes of folders so far – over 400 lbs. of paper in digital form. They are all in PDF format and can easily be found under the client’s name. We scan everything – contracts, receipts, invoices, notes, Post-its, plans, sketches, inspection tickets, you name it – we scanned it. Did I mention that the scanner can perform OCR too (optical character recognition)? If you opt to scan using OCR, you can actually search for the text within the documents. That’s super handy at times.
I keep the little portable scanner at my desk and put piles of paper info into Evernote (more on my favorite app another time). Receipts, photos, newspaper articles, seminar papers, hand-written notes, and manuals – all easily found in my Evernote account. It makes you appreciate life, doesn’t it?
Start thinking about going paperless sooner than later. Starting next week will be a lot easier than starting in 10 years. Take my advice and get a good scanner. Set up a good process to go paperless. It’s the way of the future, whether we like it or not.
Have a wonderful weekend and week. I’m off to the attic to get another box of files.
Additional resources: Check out “Paperless” by David Sparks. Download to your iPad or read the PDF (you’ll get a lot more out of the iPad version). This will save you weeks of learning and experimenting when you decide to go paperless. I figure at $10 you should get about a 1000% ROI!
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
Randall S Soules
Remodeling coach, adviser, and educator
My one-on-one coaching will take your remodeling business to new heights!