- Open mail and decide what I need to keep/scan.
- Scan it and OCR it.
- Upload to my favorite cloud service.
Step #1 is pretty easy and requires no explanation. Everyone knows how to scan for the important stuff within all the junk right? 🙂
Step #2 is where people can get a little tripped up if they don’t have the right set up. For this, I’m using what’s commonly known as an MFD (Multi-Function Device) or MFP (Multi-Function Printer) or MFC (Multi-Function Center). The exact acronym & name depends on the manufacturer and it’s basically just their marketing term but they all do something in common: offer a multiple of functions which usually includes printing, scanning, copying, and faxing. For me, 1) the key is to have a device that’s easy to use, 2) produces good quality scans and 3) is dead simple to set up. The product that I found to meet my needs is the Brother Printer MFC7860DW Wireless Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier & Fax. I like this device because it meets all of my most important criteria. It produces good quality scans and it was dead simple to install. The biggest deal for me is that it connects wirelessly to my computer so I only have to plug in a power cable. It works on both my Mac and Windows machine. The included software is rudimentary but very easy & intuitive to use so I have no complaints. There’s a new version of this device called the Brother MFCL2740DW Wireless Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax. Either one works and if you buy it from my site, it helps with the upkeep here. After getting it into the computer, I use Acrobat to OCR it.
Step #3 is just to upload it to OneDrive, which is my cloud service of choice. Since I like the Microsoft Office solution and use it on both my Mac & PC, it works best for me. I’ve tried Google Drive before and that’s fine. It integrates great with Gmail but the fact that the editing is very rudimentary was not a plus for me. And I also found Google Drive less reliable with files becoming corrupted now & then. I haven’t had that issue with OneDrive but am sure you can make it work with Box, Dropbox, iCloud (whenever they support direct access that is), etc. But OneDrive works for me and it’s seamless so I like that. I have a simple hierarchical folder structure that helps me to organize and use the search function if I need to pinpoint something.
I’ve found that this works wonder for me. I recently had to get service for my Samsung monitor and being able to pull up a receipt day after is just priceless. Good luck with your organization and let me know if you have any questions!