My paperless home - Software support

Almost three weeks ago I blogged about My paperless home for the first time. I start with a little review about the hardware and then start with the basics of My paperless home.

Lexmark X6570 All-In-One printer

I told about my reasons for buying the Lexmark X6570 in my previous post. After I got the package I started installing the software just by following the instructions. The device also supports faxing, but as dump as I was, I didn't install the software part for faxing. So after setting everything up it was time to scan for the first time. The scan went well, and very fast also. But then I tried to export the scan to PDF, I clicked the appropriate button, and waited, no response. I tried a lot of things and was very disappointed. After an hour of trying a thought about reinstalling the software, this time the full package. After this I found out about the installation of ABBYY FineReader 6.0 Sprint was being installed. I know about ABBYY FineReader as an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software package. And yes the reinstallation did it. I know was able to scan and export to PDF.

After scanning a lot pages I got trouble with the export to PDF button again. Closing the scan-software every once in a while helps.

Steps

I follow the following steps towards My paperless home.

  • Archive a set of documents, for each document do:
    • Scan or trash?
      • Scan the document to Inbox.
      • Or trash it.
    • Needs to be archived on paper?
      • Archive.
      • Or trash it.
    • Next
  • At a later time organize all the newly scanned documents using custom software into directory structure.

Directory / File structure

I have found out the following file structure to be probably best for my situation.

  • Base directory
    • Category - Subcategory
      • yyyy
        • yyyyMMdd - Organization - Subject.pdf

Besides this directory structure I already have a working version of Google Desktop. The PDF files generated are searchable (image on text) so I can very easily find the documents I need. Just by pressing CTRL two times and start typing some search text to find the document.

Custom software

imageI built a custom software program to support my own process of organizing the scanned documents. I just have to drop a file from my Scan Inbox, set some fields and click organize. I also have the ability to Preview a file, which automatically closes after Organizing. The categories and organizations can be typed manually but all categories and organizations in the archive are put in the lists also.

I build this using .NET 3.5, and besides a very handy piece of software I also applied some technologies to get to know them better. I applied things like: Extension Methods, LINQ and Dependency Injection using Unity.

Backup

titan-logo Off course it is very important to back up the scanned documents. Even though I keep some documents on paper as well. For backing up I found out about a very interesting software package called Titan Backup. This is a very nice solution, I made sure every time I shut down my machine my administration gets backed up.

I already scanned about 250 documents so I guess my scanning process works very well. More about My paperless home later.

My paperless home - Device support

Just store for reference later!

I've tried it before, years ago, it was when I got my first Scanner, a Canon flatbed scanner. I tried to become paperless. I scanned about 40 pages, but after this, I stopped. Why did I stop? It's not doable, every page needs to be scanned by hand, just too much work.

But what about now? I've looked into some devices lately. A lot of devices are now multifunctional printers, this does sound interesting. But still when looking into the different devices I found out, most of them are still equipped with a flatbed scanner. But looking into other more expensive devices I found there are some multifunctional printers that are equipped with a automated document feeder for multipage scanning.

In the end I found out about the Lexmark X6570 All-In-One printer. I just ordered it today. A few reasons to buy this device:

  • The price: Just around € 150,-
  • Multi-functional
  • Automated document feeder for 25 pages
  • Wifi support, wireless scanning and printing

Lexmark X6570 - All-In-One

I hope this Lexmark will help my family getting paperless. More about my paperless home after I received the device.