Workflow for scanning pdfs

I’m scanning over 20 years of documents as pdfs and copying them into Devonthink. I noticed that if pdfs are saved as “Reduced size” in Acrobat they are about half the size of those scanned directly into Devonthink.

So here’s my workflow:
I have 1 folder SCANS, which contains 4 folders:
1 Scansnap scans
2 Reduced size pdfs to import to Devonthink
3 Original scans
4 Imported into Devonthink

(I use these names to remind me of the order in which I need to do things.)

In Acrobat X (needs version X for this automation) I made an Action. (File/Action Wizard/New Action)
• Choose Start with/ folder on my computer (In my case, 1 Scansnap scans)
• Add instruction step from list on left: Document processing/reduce file size
• Click Options in the instruction step and pick which versions of Acrobat you want to be able to read the file—I chose 9.00
• Select folder where you want to save the result. (In my case, 2 Reduced size pdfs to import to Devonthink)
• Tick Overwrite files (This avoids getting 2 copies of the file if by mistake you do this process twice.)

• In Scansnap Manager/Profiles choose Scan to folder. (NOT scan to Devonthink)
• In Scansnap Manager/Settings uncheck Use Quick Menu
• In Scansnap Manager/Settings/Save set the folder to save to (In my case 1 Scansnap scans) and check Rename file after scanning

• Check the Devonthink Sorter is showing (if not, select Tools/Show Sorter)
• Close Devonthink so Scansnap does not try to scan directly into Devonthink
• Scan some pdfs, giving them a filename when prompted. They will go into the folder you set (In my case, 1 Scansnap scans)
• Open Acrobat and select File/Action Wizard/name of the action you just made
• Click RUN

• Look in the Finder.
In 1 Scansnap scans there will be your original scans
In 2 Reduced size pdfs to import to Devonthink there will be the same files but smaller.

• Now move the files in 1 Scansnap scans to 3 Original scans (This clears the folder for the next batch of scans)

• Using the Devonthink sorter, select all the reduced size pdfs and move them into Devonthink
• Open Devonthink and drag the files where you want them in the database.

• Then move them into the last folder 4 Imported into Devonthink

At the end of the day, or whenever you want, throw away the original scans and those imported into Devonthink.

This could be simplified by overwriting the original scans and then throwing away the reduced size pdfs once they are imported into Devonthink but I prefer belt and braces—don’t like to throw things away till I’m sure.

It is probably possible to write an Applescript or Hazel to move the files around so the whole process is automated but I haven’t got round to finding our how.

It looks a bit complicated at first glance but it is really quite simple to set up and to run and does save a lot of space and backup time.