I bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Mobile Document Scanner and I use it to help me remove paper clutter from my home. By turning my physical piles of paper into digital files on the computer, I’ll have less papers taking up precious space in my home. In my post, Going Paperless in the Future, I discussed my reasons for going towards a paperless office and the pros and cons of purchasing a document scanner.
The Scanner is Fast
Being able to scan in papers quickly is why I bought a document scanner. I knew that if going paperless became too time-consuming, I wouldn’t stick with it. Prior to buying the scanner, my two options of turning my paper files into PDF files were to either fax the papers to my email address or to scan it in one sheet, one side at a time with my all-in-one printer. Both methods are very slow.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i, on the other hand, is fast. According the the product specifications, it scans up to 12 pages per minute. I timed it on my own (of course, I didn’t use 12 sheets) and clocked one side of paper being scanned in at 10.5 seconds, both sides at just under 12 seconds and 13 pages (single sided) at one minute, 13 seconds. Technically, I shouldn’t have tested 13 sheets at once as the product specs say it can feed up to 10 pieces of paper at a time. (I missed that part when I did my speed tests).
By the way, you have the option of telling the scanner to scan simplex (one-side) or duplex (both sides). The scanner is smart enough that it will skip scanning in any blank sides of paper.
The Scanner is Easy to Use
The scanner works with both Windows and Mac computers and is really simple to use.
After installing the software and connecting the USB cable, you are ready to scan. You scan by first inserting your paper into the scanner. Then you start the scan by either pressing the button on the scanner or by starting it through the computer. I feel that the sheet feeder is a little flimsy, so I make sure that my papers are in straight to avoid skewing. Also, it seems to work better when all of the sheets of paper are the same width. Otherwise, again, skewing can occur if the papers go in a little crooked.
Once you scan in the document, the ScanSnap Manager pops up on your computer screen. This is where you tell the computer which application to send the scanned document to.
My options on my Mac are:
- Scan to Folder
- Scan to Email
- Scan to Print
- Scan to Mobile
Scan to Dropbox
- Scan to Google Docs (™)
Scan to Salesforce Chatter
- Scan to Cardiris
Scan to iPhoto
I can also Scan to Evernote, but for some reason, it’s not popping up as an option. I’ll have to check into that!
Note: At the time of this writing, I have only used the Scan to Folder and the Scan to iPhoto options. When I choose Scan to Folder, it creates one PDF file for all of the papers scanned in the same batch. When I used Scan to iPhoto, it creates separate JPG files for each page.
The Scanner is Small
One thing that I didn’t want was a large piece of machinery cluttering up my desk space. But as you can see in my picture, the scanner (sitting on the left) is small. It’s dimensions are 11.18″ x 3.90″ x 3.03″.
Having it on my desk, near my hands makes scanning in my incoming mail a snap. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort on my part. By the way, my shredder is on the right side of my desk. Having both pieces of equipment within arms distance makes scanning and shredding easy.
My Digital Filing System Method
As I just want to keep my documents on my local computer, I always select Scan to Folder. I created a folder called Paperless Office. In there, I have the names of the different companies or categories that I want to scan my papers to. For example, I have subfolders called:
- 2013 Taxes
AT and T
Once I select the folder that I want to save my document to, I name the file and press save. I have my own naming system, but you can always choose the default name. Please remember to backup your paperless office to an external memory device in case your computer crashes. I like using the small USB flash drives.
My Plan to Get to a Paperless Office
First, to avoid more paper clutter, I take action on new mail once every few days. Some gets scanned into the computer, but then all either gets tossed or shredded afterwards. I’m no longer going to store new papers in my filing cabinet as I don’t want to deal with them again years from now. The only exception is some legal papers that I don’t feel comfortable parting with. However, I believe that all of my important physical papers will all fit in just one bankers box.
Second, for my older papers that are stored in the ugly filing cabinet and the bankers boxes, I gave myself a challenge to get rid of them. My challenge is to:
Eliminate 24 inches of paper per month until done
This is the 1st box that I’m going to go through. It has ten inches of paper in it.
Ok, just because I want a paperless office doesn’t mean I enjoy the process of getting there. The challenge makes it a little more fun for me as I do lack the motivation to scan and shred. I’m looking forward to losing paper inches this month!
A quick note on shredders…
If you have a lot of shredding to do, I recommend investing in a shredder. I just upgraded my shredder because my old shredder made shredding jobs miserable for me as I was always having to empty the container. Plus, the security was low as it just cut the papers into thin strips. The newer one I bought is much larger and cuts the paper into small pieces (cross-cut feature).
Have fun scanning and shredding!
p.s. How many paper inches do you have to lose? Please share by leaving me a comment below or on my Facebook Page.
Photo Credits: Diana Poisson