Remember the so-called “paperless office?” I’m not saying it’s here yet, but the time has come.
Here are a couple of Mac utilities which move us toward paperless office, and maybe paperless home.
If you’re like Carol and I, then you have plenty of personal and business papers in your home, probably stuck in a file cabinet or two. That’s us. We don’t like it.
It’s quite probable that there’ll never be a truly “paperless” world, unless we run out of trees, and by then I suspect we’ll convert garbage to paper for less money.
In the meantime, we have more paper than ever, despite living a truly online world with mostly digital documents. I work in a company that prints out email messages and files them away.
How paperless is that kind of thinking? Let me go out on a limb and say that “paperless” is long overdue, about time, and might begin soon. Or not. If you’ve read Mac360 for long, you’ll note that I’m not much on predictions.
Still, “paperless” has a certain appeal for it, especially as we get closer to tax season in the US, that most wonderful of times where we sweat without working, and scour the house for receipts we didn’t think would be valuable but suddenly have become such.
A paperless life is coming, though it may appear to be a subtle transition. When was the last time you tossed a new roll of film and prints into the family shoebox album? These days I keep photos where they belong—in iPhoto.
Strangely enough, email has managed to keep our personal and business documents from stacking up beyond the second floor, and all our accounting is done via the Mac.
What we haven’t done, and we’re willing to try, is to make paperless all the rest of the paper that hits our dining room table each day. I have my doubts that we can do this, but we’ll give it a try.
So it is with a degree of hope and doubt that I present to you a couple Mac utilities designed to do just that—make paperless that which is not. Yet.
Two nifty Mac utilities strike me as a First Contact for removing paper, or at least reducing it, from your home.
Basically, they do the same thing but in different ways and for somewhat different reasons.
ReceiptWallet does what it says. It takes your paper receipts, lets you scan them into your Mac, then organize them the way receipts have always needed to be organized but seldom were (though I’ve always taken pleasure in tossing receipts into a shoebox and handing same over to an accountant).
You can see where this is headed. Once the receipts are scanned and placed into ReceiptWallet (not an apt name for the function), you can search, categorize, organize, and find receipts much easier than trying to figure out which shoebox a particular receipt went into.
Ditto for DocumentWallet but with a twist or two. Yes, it’ll take scanned documents that you want to store, but it also manages other documents, such as product manuals, which, thankfully, these days often arrive as a PDF document.
Another term for “paperless” is electronic document storage, which just sounds way too much like serious business to me. Regardless, think of the advantages of having all of your documents stored in your Mac; searchable by category, keyword, dates, etc. I like that. Carol likes that. Can we do it?
Therein is the first of a few questions. Both DocumentWallet and ReceiptWallet (you get a discount for purchasing both) are nominally priced and straightforward to use, so there’s no issue there.
A scanner is required to get paper documents into each, and that’s a nominal expense, plus scanners these days are good quality for little money.
How about the though of having every piece of paper you own stuck on a computer hard drive? Is that better or safer than having it all stuck in a metal filing cabinet?
Other questions include the backup requirements, right? There’s the need to burn to CD or DVD and to keep an extra hard drive running. Another question we’ll ask ourselves as we begin this desirable but daunty task is, how much time does it take to scan and store a receipt or document vs. simply dropping it into a shoebox or file cabinet?
How about you? Can you envision a paperless home? Share your fears and concerns and hopes in the Comment section below.