Fujitsu SnapScan S510M - My Savior
Filing, storing and searching paper records is time consuming and incredibly inefficient. Utilizing a PDF scanner, some patience and a few tricks, I was able to make my document storage completely digital.
I started out with a Xerox DocuMate 152, which I ran connected to an old Dell laptop (no Mac software.) It came with its own Windows desktop application to scan your pages, sort them, and rearrange as you needed. I connected the laptop to our file server and started scanning PDF’s. The quality and the single page scan speed was great. The speed of saving multi-page documents to the server was not so great. Scanning a 40 page shipping statement took about 5 minutes.
I was on the lookout for a good Mac based solution ever since I bought the Xerox. Dealing with Windows on a daily basis for the one task of scanning was a little frustrating, and it was one more machine to deal with. I saw a PDF scanner on the market made by Fujitsu called the ScanSnap.
Mac native? Yes!
I picked up the ScanSnap S510M and tried it out. It did everything the Xerox did, except it worked on the Mac. I didn’t have to deal with a separate desktop application anymore, the Fujitsu scanned straight to a PDF file. It has some good presets for different quality settings, whether or not you want color, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition). OCR is great if you want the content of your scans to be searchable on your Mac, but it does increase the file size considerably.
What used to take 10 minutes to find an old invoice now takes 2 seconds. Everybody in the office has access to them via our local server. Using a VPN solution I have access to all these files from anywhere I have my laptop and an internet connection.
Here’s a few recommendations based on my experience:
1. Come up with a naming & organizational scheme ahead of time and document it. It will save you and your employees hours of headache.
2. Invest in an application like Hazel or create an Automator script to auto-sort your docs once you’ve scanned them. It took me 2 years to figure this one out. An hour spent configuring one of these solutions can save tens if not hundreds of hours vs. sorting everything manually.
3. Buy a great shredder. I spent about $200 on a mid-range model from Staples. We call him the Shred-bot, and he’s been with MyService for about 3 years. He’s had one trip to the doctor (Staples warranty repair) after a fever (overheating from working too hard), but other than that he’s been a wonderful addition to the team.
4. Invest in a local backup system (hard drive, CD/DVD) and/or an offsite solution (BackJack, Mozy). Don’t shred your scans until you’re sure you’ve backed up everything.
[ Fujitsu SnapScan ] [ Hazel ] [ BackJack ] [ Mozy ]