Looking for a replacement for Paperless2 (abandonware) and/or NeatReceipts4 (shoddy) – they’re both incredibly mediocre when held up against the gold-standard quality of DT.

Any plans to put a receipt-oriented framework in place? Ideally, with reporting – would make DT the killer dead-tree-management app in a marketplace that is currently stuck with poor quality, fragmented “solutions”.



Thanks for the suggestion! There are no such plans yet but we’ll consider this for upcoming major releases. Where did you read that Paperless is actually abandoned?

From the customer’s perspective, it’s been abandonware for a while. No official announcement from Mariner, but from the wasteland-looks of their “support” forum, nobody expects one.

At the risk of leaning towards a rant, here’s my take on the current-state…

Alongside the (in-)frequency of patches or releases, Mariner has proven itself an un-focused chop-shop, with Paperless2 (and its persistent ML crash-fondness) sadly lost in the maze of their plethora of acquired “mee-too!” products. Anyone with meaningful data in P2 prays their backups are good. Daily.

You didn’t ask, but imo Neat are overpriced airport shills. NR is pretty and shiny, sure. But it’s dreadful. We’re going to see Vince hawking for them soon: Free sham-wow with your re-badged scanner anybody?

In contrast, DT demonstrably are craftsmen with true Mac roots – which is why it has clearly earned our trust to “do it right”.

Thanks for putting this on the map.



Hey, Rob…

Thanks for the interest and the suggestion. This is definitely one of those features that could be incredibly useful.

By the way, I know some of our Users are unhappy former NeatReceipt and Paperless users but try to be gentle in your comments. Being on the inside of the software world for quite a few years now, it’s a tough gig. I don’t know what resources or direction Mariner or the NR people have but we still respect them in the friendly spirit of competition. Consider your suggestion to Criss: Without these two companies, we wouldn’t have this opportunity to make our app better with this feature. Hopefully we have spurred some of their changes too. (And as much as you love us, we get sucker-punched too. Just yesterday I saw a Support ticket I responded to got a reply cursing at me and calling me an idiot for him not stating what application he was using!)

Thanks for listening. Cheers.

I’ve been doing support for more than 5 years, and always try to remain civil and polite, though it’s sometimes a strain. Fortunately, the vast majority of users are great people.

Only once, having received a rant in response to some helpful suggestions, did I decide enough was enough. I sized up that person and then responded with a carefully crafted and seemingly polite response designed to push every button I could think of to enrage that person. That set up a series of messages that I still enjoy looking at, and will always treasure. It helps me stay civil with others, which is important to render good support. I’ll confess that I enjoyed the exchange. :slight_smile:

Bill - ever the rascal. :smiley:

I heartily second that suggestion! (I was amazed to find that such an obvious feature is missing from DT.)

I would find the addition of user-definable “fields” to documents, including the capability to do simple math computations for items such as receipts, useful. Christian has hinted at plans for a future generation of DEVONthink.

There are several ways a bit of number crunching can be done within DEVONthink.

DEVONthink has a special document kind, Sheets, that can emulate a simple spreadsheet, do some simple calculations and swap data with applications such as Excel or Numbers.

The Calc Service allows some calculations to be performed within text documents.

The workaround I use when tax time rolls around is to include within my financial database an Excel sheet (sometimes more than one), that’s available for helping sum up receipts, income, etc. that’s backed up by the documentation (copies of receipts, 1099 forms, interest income, distributions, proceeds of sales of investments, etc.) needed to satisfy IRS.

By comparison to the workflow if I were using Neat or Paperless, I don’t enter numerical and other data into fields at the time I scan paper copy such as receipts or 1099 forms. Using my ScanSnap and DEVONthink Pro Office, I just dump paper into the ScanSnap’s feeder and scan copy in without any interruption of the feed/scan/OCR process (I don’t even want to be interrupted by entering metadata such as Title or Subject, and turn off that option in DEVONthink > Preferences > OCR). So my workflow for capturing paper into a DEVONthink database goes much more quickly than if I were using Neat or Paperless.

My workflows involve steps after scanning, rather than upfront. The first step is to Name and categorize each document after capture (including filing and perhaps tagging). The second step is to add necessary information for processing the numerical data, e.g., when that becomes necessary at tax preparation time. I’ve got all my receipts organized, and simply copy/paste or type data extracted from each into an Excel (or Numbers) sheet area. In a different sheet or area, enter data from 1099 forms, etc. So instead of a priori entry of metadata about a document at the time or scanning, I do that a posteriori, which is quicker and much more flexible – and requires less typing. As I’ve got the data in a spreadsheet now, it can be flowed into tax calculations, especially those involving special cases, more readily than data from Neat or Paperless.

But such financial documents represent a tiny fraction of the documents in my databases, and the vast majority of my documents are not scanned in. I would rebel against DEVONthink if it required me to do a priori entry of fields at the time of capture of each document – I sometimes enter new content in batches of hundreds or thousands – as (with hundreds of groups) categorization by field entry would be a nightmare, and would ignore the features that I actually use (including Classify, See Also, searches, smart groups) to save me time in managing and using my collections. Needless to say, Neat and Paperless are very limited in overall database features and powers by comparison to DEVONthink, and depend heavily on data entered by the user as each document is captured.

So yes, I would find the ability to create metadata fields useful. No, I don’t want to be required to do that at the time of capture of each document, and wouldn’t apply such fields to each and every document in my databases. In that sense, the current lack of user-definable fields is not an “obvious” deficiency in DEVONthink.

But dealing specifically with receipts is more than the generic user-definable “fields” (although these would allow a basic implementation, if basic mathematical functions for them are provided).

However, ideally, a receipt managing functionality in DEVONthink would be “intelligent” enough to extract the relevant data from the receipt automatically. That’s what Neat and Paperless promise and hardly deliver, but maybe DEVONthink’s AI would be much more capable? I mean, something like a 50% success rate would already be a tremendous help.

Besides, DEVONthink could at least offer specific commands, “Copy as price” and “Copy as tax”, that would only require you to select the respective number in the receipt and then issue the command; no pasting necessary. This would cut the required steps by half.

Yes, but that’s only because you defer the painful work to a later time.

Usage patterns differ. I would strongly dislike having to use the workflow you describe.

For one, I want to enter the numerical data one receipt at a time – this is the only way I can do it at all. I hate this task so much that if I defer it to do a batch of it later on, I’ll never do it. Doing it immediately is the only way to discipline myself.

Second, I’m always afraid of forgetting a receipt. If I enter the data into a separate spreadsheet, this happens very easily. If each and every receipt document has text fields associated with it that are either empty or not, it’s much easier to check that I didn’t forget anything.

Nobody suggested you’d be forced to do that.

Personally, I would suggest a new, additional document type “Receipt” that’s almost the same as “PDF”, but has these additional text fields (which ideally are “intelligently” pre-filled) besides the PDF of the receipt. Since it’s a different document type, it wouldn’t interfere with the workflow for other document types at all.

What I meant was that especially the “Office” version of DEVONthink is very likely to be used for storing, among other things, receipts (scanning ability, “office” (sic!)). This is such a standard task that you would expect specific functionality for it to be present in an application like DEVONthink.

^^^^ THIS ^^^^

I posted a new topic asking for help in trying to use DTPro, and based on the existence of this topic, I guess it’s currently not possible.

I’ve purchased: Paperless, NeatReceipts, DevonThink Pro and have evaluated YoJimbo and Yep. Heck, I even was looking into OpenMeta and writing a GUI to handle setting some customizable attributes (such as “Vendor”, “Category”, “Amount”, “Date”, etc).

DTPro seems very powerful, and though I purchased a DTPro license over a year ago, I still use Neat to do my expenses, and unfortunately, my general paperless management, just because I want one tool.

I would be a huge raving fan if we could get some of the expense report functionality into DTPro. There doesn’t seem to exist a perfect solution in the Mac world yet.

BTW: I agree with OP’s opinions on Neat and Paperless. I’ve been in the enterprise software world for 20 years, and I know it’s difficult. But I wish Neat were public so that I could short their stock. The individual people aren’t bad, I’m sure, and I’ve seen heroic efforts on their support side to help make up for quality issues. But I’m reminded of someone just eating nothing but candy for months… that is one unhealthy way to run a company. The insides are rotten. It’s just a matter of time, unless they start prioritizing away from immediate revenue at Airports and into building a company and a product that is built to last. Feel free to delete this paragraph if it’s too much of a rant…