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Fujitsu Scansnap iX500 Scanner $409.99 at Newegg

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BSR

You need promo code EMCPCHA83.

 

This scanner can change your life.  It did mine, and I'll never go back to drowning in paper again. 

 

My life could be a paper nightmare -- small business, home, managing other properties for my family, one kid in school, another in college, retirement stuff, tax returns...the bills, statements & receipts never stop coming.  I used to have a lateral file cabinet that was always overflowing with the paperwork.  I do try to keep the paper down -- pay bills online, get electronic statements from some places, etc....but there is still a LOT of paper.

 

Now, I get a bill in the mail, I go online to my bank and pay it, feed it through the Scansnap (3 seconds/page duplex) give it a name that helps me find it, and it is saved as a searchable PDF to my NAS where it's backed up.  The paper goes straight to the shredder.  Done, and I can find it years later. 

 

It's easy and keeps me organized, and if my house should ever encounter a disaster that destroys my office, all my documents are safely backed up to another location.  The thought of all the paper in that file cabinet going up in flames is a thing of the past.

 

One caveat:  If you already use other scanners or scanning software, this scanner does NOT work with TWAIN drivers and won't talk to those other applications.  You will see reviews on Newegg or Amazon that complain about that.  It does come with a full copy of Adobe Acrobat X Standard, which is nice to have.

 

I realize that this post probably sounds like a TV infomercial or televangelist (Friends, this will change your life!).  For me, this is one of the top five tech products that has been life changing -- right up there with smartphones, DVRs, Wi-Fi, and NAS/Home Server products.  Also (even though it's on sale) this isn't a cheap product.  $400+ is a lot, especially if you are saving up for a new home-server or NAS.  I have owned one of these since 2006 (upgraded to this model last year) and would never consider not having one on my desk.

 

Now, if you will all open your hymnals, we will sing #256: A Mighty Server In Our Home.  :P

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ikon

Yes, I would caution people about the lack of TWAIN drivers for the ScanSnap line. I bought an S1500 and now regret it. The Fujitsu software is o-k-a-y, but not great. The biggest issue is that, without TWAIN drivers, your software choices are limited.

 

Now, you can configure the scanner manager so it will feed its output to the program of your choice, but I feel it's a kludge.

 

Be aware, Fujitsu does have a line of scanners that do support TWAIN. They are similar to the ScanSnaps. Epson also makes some good scanners.

 

I recommend anyone who is looking to go paperless subscribe to Brooks Duncan's web site. You can find it here: http://www.documentsnap.com/.

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schoondoggy

Yes, I would caution people about the lack of TWAIN drivers for the ScanSnap line. I bought an S1500 and now regret it. The Fujitsu software is o-k-a-y, but not great. The biggest issue is that, without TWAIN drivers, your software choices are limited.

 

Now, you can configure the scanner manager so it will feed its output to the program of your choice, but I feel it's a kludge.

 

Be aware, Fujitsu does have a line of scanners that do support TWAIN. They are similar to the ScanSnaps. Epson also makes some good scanners.

 

I recommend anyone who is looking to go paperless subscribe to Brooks Duncan's web site. You can find it here: http://www.documentsnap.com/.

What are you unable to do with the S1500?

What software do you want to use that you can not?

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ikon

1. There isn't the same level of integration possible with 3rd party software. For example, a number of programs have buttons to initiate scans directly from the program, as long as the scanner has a TWAIN driver. That isn't possible with the ScanSnap line, because the 3rd party programs don't know the commands to get the ScanSnap driver to start a scan. This is only 1 example. A number of useful features offered by 3rd party programs can't be used because of there being no TWAIN.

 

2. It's not really any specific program; it's basically any 3rd party program: FileCenter, DA Document Manager, Home Document Manager, etc.

 

Now, don't get me wrong. The ScanSnap hardware is first rate. It scans quickly, handles paper well, and does double-sided scanning. I do wish they had TWAIN capability though.

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jmwills

I must be the exception but pracitcally every bill I owe, comes electronically now.  If not, there is usually an option to print if from the site and when I go that route I will export to a pdf file direclty to the Homeserver.

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ikon

It's not just bills. I also scan receipts, warranties, instruction manuals, and other paper. For example, all the service receipts from my car dealership are scanned and stored on my server.

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BSR

I must be the exception but pracitcally every bill I owe, comes electronically now.  If not, there is usually an option to print if from the site and when I go that route I will export to a pdf file direclty to the Homeserver.

I'm the same way for most bills in the large city I call home.  But I also manage property in three states for my family -- most are in out-of-the-way places where e-billing hasn't caught on.  The lawn-care outfits, plumbers, handymen, cleaning services, etc... that I use are all very small businesses that still think faxing is high-tech.  So there's still a lot of paper billing for me.

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BSR

1. There isn't the same level of integration possible with 3rd party software. For example, a number of programs have buttons to initiate scans directly from the program, as long as the scanner has a TWAIN driver. That isn't possible with the ScanSnap line, because the 3rd party programs don't know the commands to get the ScanSnap driver to start a scan. This is only 1 example. A number of useful features offered by 3rd party programs can't be used because of there being no TWAIN.

 

2. It's not really any specific program; it's basically any 3rd party program: FileCenter, DA Document Manager, Home Document Manager, etc.

 

Now, don't get me wrong. The ScanSnap hardware is first rate. It scans quickly, handles paper well, and does double-sided scanning. I do wish they had TWAIN capability though.

 

I did consider some of the TWAIN-compatible scanners when I upgraded last year.  The ones Fujitsu makes look pretty sweet, but cost quite a bit more than the iX500.  I did want to try some of those document management packages, but held back because of the price.

 

I'll be the first to admit the Scansnap's document management software is crap.  I don't use the Scansnap software at all, other than having it scan to a folder on my Synology.  I simply set up a naming system and folder structure that works for me.  It's not a true database, but I've found it's fine for finding the documents I need very quickly.  Also being able to search PDFs for content helps a lot.

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