Well, in this case, it is more of a “Paperless Home”.
We get so much information in the mail, it is hard to manage. So, I decided to bite the bullet and come up with a way of handling everything digitally.
It all starts with the Fujitsu ScanSnap fi-5110EOXM document scanner. I have it set to:
- Duplex scan
- Throw away blank pages
- Always color scan
- Low compression
- “Best” scanning quality
It takes about 10 seconds to scan a duplex page.
I put the document in the scanner tray and hit the “Scan” button. The document is scanned and the output is sent to Readiris. It takes about 4 to 5 seconds per page for Readiris to analyze and locate the different text areas.
Once in Readiris, I click “Recognize” which OCRs all the pages and asks for a place to save the resultant file. I choose to save all my scans as PDF+Text. That way, I have a copy of the original, plus I can search the content in DEVONthink. It takes Readiris about 2 seconds a page to format and save out the PDF file.
I keep my files in a directory called “Filing Cabinet” on my Desktop. Within this directory are category directories (Utilities, Financial, Medical) and then within them are directories with the names of the providers. I then use the “Synchronize” command to import the changes into DEVONthink. I choose to organize this way, outside of DEVONthink, because the directory is synchronized with another directory on my server - a server that has a mirrored RAID and daily automated snapshot backups - I wouldn’t want to lose all this information!
This all seems to be working really well. It’s nice to be able to search all my paper mail for a word or two. However, there are a few features that would be great if DEVONthink supported them:
(1) Edit Creation/Modification Times
A lot of times, I am inputting files from the past. Thus, having a creation and modification time of today is incorrect. Now, I can run commands via the Terminal to update this information, but it would be so much easier if I could do it as I was viewing the file within DEVONthink. That way, I could see the date on the scanned file and change it via the “Get Info” pane. I would hope that this would not just change the metadata on the file but the actual ctime and mtime on the file system.
Just like iPhoto has tags, it would be very advantageous to be able to tag files with keywords. For example, I may get correspondence from my financial institutions which are tax related. While the files would go in the institutions folder, I would love to be able to tag the file with “Taxes 2005” so I can find all my tax documents at once. Obviously, I could just enter “Taxes 2005” in the comments section, but a small keyword bar where I could view, add, delete, and change the keywords associated with a file would make life easier.
One other question:
I’ve been doing all this work with a demo copy of DEVONthink. I’m now ready to make a purchase. Given the way I am using the app, would there any benefit to getting DEVONthink Pro?