Productivity Series: Paperless Filing System

In this last episode of my productivity series, learn how to switched to a paperless office and how I continue to minimize the amount of paper I receive and generate no new paper myself.

Comments: 16 Responses to “Productivity Series: Paperless Filing System”

    Dana Stevens
    4 weeks ago

    Gary, There is a thread on Tidbits Talk about the ScanSnap software. I imagine you’re already aware that there has been 64bit software released that supports some older scanners. Here is a quote from the Tidbits thread in case it is useful to you. “ScanSnap Manager V7 works in macOS 10.12.4 Sierra and later, including Catalina, and the “earlier models” include the S1500, S1500M, and the S1300.” Congratulations on your progress to near paperless.

    4 weeks ago

    Dana: My model is the popular one that is before those models. It works with a third-party app, but not as well.

    Dana Stevens
    4 weeks ago

    After I sent the first comment I saw the following in the thread. “a TidBITS reader found that ScanSnap Manager V7 worked with his older ScanSnap S300M though it’s not listed as being compatible. So it’s worth giving the new ScanSnap Manager a try even if your older ScanSnap scanner isn’t explicitly included in the compatibility list.” Wanted to share that just in case it is useful to someone. Thanks for being there for us Gary.

    Arie van Boxel
    3 weeks ago

    Gary, I use a system like yours for a little more than 20 years now. Mine is a little more detailed as I use the folder structure ‘year > month > day’.
    I also tag all my files. For example: Bill, Water, Private. This really speeds up finding something back. Just start typing in the Finder’s Search field and you’ll be offered the option to search on those tags.
    I understand this was not an option for you when you started. But for new docs it’s the way to go. Thank you Gary.

    Razvan Mihai
    3 weeks ago

    Gary: You have a way of coming up with most relevant tutorials. Congrats! I have a company’s digital signature, which I use specifically in relation to state authorities. I wonder how to use the preview function for signing personal docs. Is there a way to ensure your signature or the document you sign is not altered after signing? Thanks.

    3 weeks ago

    Razvan: Not really, the same as if you signed it with a pen, scanned it and sent it. The same as if you signed it and gave them a physical copy. Signing documents like that is imperfect.

    Razvan Mihai
    3 weeks ago

    Gary: I see, thanks. It would have been nice if the signature was associated with your apple id and name if you chose to disclose it. Maybe in the future.

    3 weeks ago

    Razvan: What you are talking about is a digital signature. That’s very different and wouldn’t solve the problem since what people want in these situations is a written signature.

    Razvan Mihai
    3 weeks ago

    Gary: Precisely. I imagined the displayed written signature associated with your apple id, which will give more weight to it. But I see your point where it might be a different ball game where apple would take the role of an independent verifier, much like what they do with Apple Pay.

    Terry
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary,
    I didn’t realize I had the scan option in files, thanks.
    How do you handle all of those pesky little cashier receipts? I don’t want to have one pdf with one 2” x 3” receipt on it. Ideally I’d like to scan it at check out but that’s not always quick enough at the moment. I’ve tried to do this in the past but never been happy with the result.

    3 weeks ago

    Terry: What difference does it make what size the item is? If it is a small receipt, then it will be a small PDF. Personally I rarely worry about cash receipts as I rarely get them. Online purchases have email receipts and/or order histories that I can always search for. I don’t care about the receipts at restaurants because I can’t “return” the “item.” Then most of the time I buy an actual item it is with a card, so I have the receipt there.

    Path
    3 weeks ago

    I am going to start digitally saving my receipt as of the first of the year. I keep all receipts, because like Home Depot or Walmart we are always returning items. But I can see laying several on the scan screen, say for the week, then scanning.
    Thanks for planting the seed of saving digitally. I hate trying to turn around in my office chair, and the drawer is open.

    nick
    3 weeks ago

    I find that more and more businesses offer a digital receipt. Banks, some chain stores and others do this, so there’s less and less need to scan paper in. Gary: I remember the Fujitsu scanner and it was a great one.

    Kim Appleberry
    3 weeks ago

    Like you, I really love my ScanSnap (model S1500M) and was very mad at Fujitsu when they didn’t upgrade the software. I delayed updating my operating system so it wouldn’t stop working. Once they finally did update the driver for the older machines, I was a happy little scout. But there will always be an asterisk on the name Fujitsu.

    Ed Adams
    3 weeks ago

    wouldn’t it make more sense to use apple photos, scan in jpeg (smaller size than pdf) with keywords. Also unless you really go back and look at info from 2000 (12 years ago) I would have started with the last 3 years instead.

    3 weeks ago

    Ed: That would mix your photos with scanned documents. Most people wouldn’t want that. Photos aren’t usually smaller than PDFs. Often the opposite.

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