Sunday, March 18, 2018

Do I still use...

Do I still use ... DEVONthink and my Fujitsu ScanSnap IX500 for scanning receipts and other documents?  So asks Ron L., by email. 

The answer: hell, yes! 

At this point I've been using this for over three years, and I've got just over 4,000 documents scanned.  The process of scanning and transferring numbers to my bookkeeping (for which I use Moneydance) has long since been burned into my “muscle memory” – I no longer have to think about it at all.  All those 4,000 documents are just electrons, and not occupying file cabinets and boxes like they used to.  Since I got my iMac Pro in December, the OCR time has dropped to something insignificant – a second or two unless I scan something like a 20 page legal document in fine print.

Best of all, finding a document is now just a matter of a Google-style search, with effectively instantaneous results.  This took a couple of years to become a reflexive habit, much like it took me a while to think of the camera on my smartphone as a way to remember or record things.  Just recently I've started yet another use of DEVONthink: I create .pdf files containing notes (and optionally drawings or photos) and import them.  DEVONthink is happy to accept .pdf files from anywhere, and indexes them just like it does scanned documents.  Being able to do Google-style searches on these is very useful, and basically infinitely faster than the file search built into OSX.

At this point I consider all this part of my minimally-acceptable computing environment.  If one of them dies, I will have to find a replacement...

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