it’s sad but true, but i am a pack-rat – and i am trying to cleanup my act. one of the things that has annoyed me is filing paperwork. our lives are inundated with paper. it seems that everywhere i turn around there is more of the stuff. our hon filing cabinet at home is packed with paperwork, as are the couple of file piles that are scattered around the home and office. in the closets, in the attic and in various drawers you will find sheets of paper, magazine clippings, recipes, receipts, bills yada-yada-yada. i even have some of my dad’s collections of paper [seriously i do] from the 40’s – 50’s in a box under one of my desks at home. this collection is from when i had to go though his stuff after he died. papers that he felt were important enough to save for 50+ years. i tossed most of the papers he saved, but these are things that i knew were rather important to him.
my wife has a huge binder full of recipes that she has cut out over the years. there are manuals, how-to guides and dont get me started on my two massive piles of magazines that i probably should keep – “incase i ever need to reference something” blah blah blah… don’t worry ill save the playboy collection my dad left me. for gods sake there is no way i’m not throwing out marilyn monroe issue #1 [dec 1953].
and i digress
so, needless to say in todays world of cheap digital media, hard drive space and things like amazon s3. there in my mind is no reason to have 90% of the paperwork that we do have. i understand we will always need originals of taxes, mortgage stuff, birth certs etc.. those can stay in the safe deposit box. the rest will soon be scanned. all the things we keep just in case, bills, statements, receipts, magazine articles, even that huge binder of recipes my wife has. they will all be scanned and archived on my mac. i currently own a smaller flatbed scanner a canon lide 600f, which is great but wont handle the massive piles of paper that plague me.
so how we gonna handle the monumental task you ask?
easy. the fujitsu snapscan s510m [m stands for mac]. iv’e been doing a lot of reading about this thing. i first heard about the snapscan scanners at CES. over the last year or so i’ve been thinking about getting one. over the last month or so i have been doing research and reading reviews. it seems that over 95% of what i read was positive most people seemed more impressed with the scanner than they initially thought they would be. many people say that it outperforms scanners that they used in the passed, even scanners that cost a lot more that the little fujitsu that could.
so part one of the strategy is to digitize my paper life. to keyword and organize the things that matter. this should be easily accomplished with the fujitsu snapscan s510m [scans duplex in one pass and is very very fast]. this task will still be monumental. i hope that if i dedicate 20-30 minutes a day, i should be able to accomplish the bulk of it in a couple of weeks.
so what’s next?
well, i should receive the scanner this tuesday. the plan is to unbox and take some pictures of the unit, and hopefully start diving in and scanning. after about a week or so i will post a review of the scanner with some stats as to how many documents I have scanned and whatever other pertinent info i have.
my scanning plan…
1. start with one pile of documents to be scanned.
2. scan documents in snapscan.
3. sort documents that have been scanned into two piles.
— a. shred pile.
— b. important originals that must be retained [taxes etc].
4. scanned documents will then be sorted into my virtual filing cabinet on my mac.
5. all scanned docs will be automatically encrypted and backed up to amazon s3 with the help of jungledisk & maybe one other offsite service [for redundancy].
6. all scanned docs will also be backed up automatically to an external drive via time machine.
7. and since i am paranoid about digital media a dvd will be burnt and put in safe deposit box.
so wish me luck, hopefully this thing works out as planned. i figure once this has been completed it should be really easy to maintain.