Top positive review
174 people found this helpful
After 1 Year - the most well designed piece of equipment/software I've ever used My absolute favorite piece of equipment ever!
on January 7, 2014
I've had my Scansnap s1300i for a year now. I treat it roughly but It never falters. I use it to save every single document related to my restaurant - grocery receipts, tractor-feed receipts, invoices, stapled items, business cards, payroll runs, employee documents, credit cards (not recommended), and more. I also use if for my personal documents and to manage my mother's estate. Mail goes directly to my purse and from there to my Scansnap and from there to recycle (sometimes by way of a shredder).
Scansnap is like some little genie just waiting to help you - if you scan crookedly, it straightens, if you scan sideways or upside down - it's very easy to fix, if you want to add documents to something already scanned - its a snap, if you're scanning one-sided and suddenly want to switch to two-sided, it takes two clicks; if a paper jams (due to crumpling, missing parts, too many staples, etc.) - you just pull it out and re-feed; you can start and stop at will - it simply doesn't get confused. If a paper is faded and thin - it still turns out legible. I haven't found anything I can't scan. Really - the design is incredible - a sturdy little box with one push button. That's it. Coupled with the very very smart software - it's somehow, always one step ahead and keeping organized is effortless.
I bought my scanner with the Rack1-filer software which I didn't like and threw away. I use the filing system that comes with the scanner - some sort of 'file cabinet' thing which I like very much. Since I've put all of my filing cabinets on the cloud, I can access my entire business from anywhere; and I do. It's so easy to look up pricing from last year, or check the expiration date on something, or check a manual, or find an address, or work on a quote. Also, I am no longer anxious about losing things - important paperwork - paperwork needed for an audit - leases - contracts - payroll computations - employee letters; things that I used to misplace routinely are now secure. As documents are filed with Scansnap, it easy to determine if something is missing - just sort by name - and in a second you'll notice - for instance - a missing 3rd quarter L&I report or January Sales. Lastly, viewing documents no longer as risky as it is in the physical world. The documents stay put. And, it's quick - I can browse through a month's worth of sales closeouts (filed in one document) in just seconds. If something is hard to read, I just blow it up!
Some of the things I've learned from this endeavor are -
1. Figure out your file and document naming system before you start. First you have to decide what will go in each Cabinet, and then add and name the folders. I make use of one cabinet for each year of my business and one general cabinet for things that don't roll over at the end of the year - employee records, equipment, manuals, etc. As you move document files into a folder, the name of the folder will be appended to the file's current name. This is good since it means you don't have to type as much. If I expect to have many documents from one source, I make a folder for that source and just use the document's date as its name. If I have only a few documents from a source, I add the source name in front of the date and make a more general folder. Even though each of my Cabinets represents a specific year - I still use the year in each document's name. That way if I miss-file, or move a file, or whatever - I still know what year it belongs to. Figuring out your naming scheme is probably the most difficult part of moving to a paperless office.
2. When scanning crummy documents - (thermal paper, torn and crumpled, thick and thin and stained things) start feeding the document but hold on to it lightly until a little tension develops. This will prevent the document from rotating through the scan or performing some other undesirable gymnastic movement.
3. If you are scanning and a potential problem arises - paper doesn't quite feed all the way through - assume that the 'read' was incomplete and re-feed the offending paper. At worst, you'll get a duplicate page which can be easily removed. If it's too mangled to feed from the top, flip it and feed from the bottom or, try it sideways. Scansnap will probably rotate it for you, but if not, you can do it yourself the next time you view it.
4. When you setup your Scansnap Folder Default Settings, choose the settings you use most often. For instance, I use single sided, auto color detect, automatic resolution. When I need to override these, it takes just two 'right clicks' - it's no trouble to switch myriad times during the scan of one set of documents. And, you don't have to undo anything when you're finished. As soon as you start scanning another set of documents, you will revert to your default settings.
5. Although it might seem annoying, don't try to set a stack of paper on the scanner and expect it to feed itself. It will, if you have regular paper in good shape, but for the kind of scanning I do, it doesn't work well. I feed all sizes and weights and lengths of paper jumbled together and find I need to place them one by one in the 'hopper'.
While the Scansnap can convert your documents to Word or Excel or searchable PDF, I find this is unnecessary for my application and it slows things down. Scansnap can also 'read' a highlighted area on a document and turn it into a search key. But again, I found this was overkill and wasted a lot of my time.
I use this thing in it's simplest mode and it's truly great. I am continually amazed by how durable, smart, helpful, and well thought out it is. Buy one and your life will be better.