Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Digital scanning system vamooses paper--frees up RV space

Life on the RV road should be about simplicity. After all, RVs are smaller, simpler versions of "home," but smaller homes on wheels. Don't like the scenery, the weather, the neighbors, "weigh anchor" and be off. Ah, the simple life!

For those who mix the simpler RV lifestyle with business, it isn't always so simple. From experience we speak: Where do you put all the dratted paperwork? In the days when we pulled a big fifth wheel, we actually had a filing cabinet stowed in our mobile office. It was clunky, but it did work--well sort of. Still, you had to "file" the stuff in some sort of logical order so when that (dreadful) time came, you could pull it all out again and try and make sense of it in time for taxes. Business life on the road wasn't always simpler, sometimes it was more complex. There had to be a better way, and happily--there is.

Enter the Neat Company. Nope, they won't send out an office assistant to organize your filing cabinet. Wait a minute--they do! Actually with NeatReceipts it's almost like having an office assistant to organize your file cabinet--and they bring the file cabinet, too!

Picture a stack of receipts and invoices, all crying to be filed away, later retrieved, posted, and crunched into something manageable. With NeatReceipts, a digital scanner and filing system, that pile of paper is quickly converted into digital records, filed away into your computer (or backup drive, CD, or other digital storage medium). Not only are all those little pieces of paper filed away, they're organized quickly and logically.

When tax time comes, with a few strokes of a button all that information is ready to be downloaded quickly to bookkeeping software like Quicken or Quickbooks, or pumped right into TurboTax. No tedious copying of figures, one by one, ZAP, the data are ready when you are. As for those original piles of paper--they're gone to the shredder if you so desire. Need a specific receipt? NeatReceipts allows you to print a 'completely acceptable to the IRS' copy of anything you've scanned into the system.

Even before tax time rolls around, the data that NeatReceipts has squirreled away is readily accessible and can save a bunch of time. Need to know how much money your business has spent on a particular kind of item--say office supplies? A few quick strokes can compile a report. Need information in date order, dollar order, vendor by alphabet? It's all there, and it's all accessible in seconds.

But business books are not all that NeatReceipts is about. The system also serves as an archiving system. If it's on paper and you want to keep it organized and retrievable but you can get rid of the paper clutter. Take a huge stack of RV equipment manuals and reduce them to a digital file. Need information on how to operate the awning, the slideout, the microwave, the leveling jacks? A few keystrokes will bring the pages you need on screen, and if you really miss the paper, you can print what you need. Scan a ton of medical records and keep them "at hand" in case you need them on the road. Insurance policies? Kid's report cards for old time's sake? If it's on paper, NeatReceipts will scan and file it, eliminating the paper.

Business contact junky? Convert your business cards into contact lists and a searchable database. Instead of flipping through card after card, you'll easily do an intelligent search of your card holdings that quickly brings up what you need. On top of that, you can export your card database to Outlook, Plaxo, even Mac Address Book.

NeatReceipts links up with your laptop or other PC (Windows XP, Vista, or 7) with a USB cable.  Yep, it works with Mac, too, catch the fine details down below. The actual scanner is a flyweight 10.6 ounces and takes up very little space--less than 11" long, 2" wide, and 2" thick. Despite the compact size and weight, you can scan up to four receipts a minute.

Hard to use? Nope. The Neat Company provided us with one of these scanners for evaluation. Neither one of us is a techno-proficient by any stretch, and yet we soon had the scanning and filing routine down. One afternoon we were able to scan and electronically file away hundreds of receipts representing months of transactions. When tax time came it took but a few minutes to prepare and export a year's worth of records into our tax software--a job that used to take us hours of frustrating and mind-numbing effort.

Price? Suggested at less than $200, we've seen them for sale on the Internet for as low as $180.00. We're sold on this system--it has literally saved us tons of time, frustration--and plenty of space otherwise taken up with paper.

System Requirements:

For Windows:
Microsoft® Windows® XP , Vista® or Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit)
Pentium® IV 2.0+ GHz or faster (Dual Core recommended)
1 GB RAM; 2 GB highly recommended
1 GB hard disk space to install
CD-ROM drive or DVD drive required for installation
Available USB port

For Mac:
Mac computer
1 GB of RAM; 4 GB recommended
Mac OS X v10.6 or later
650 MB of available disk space for installation, 1 GB recommended for
user data
CD-ROM or DVD drive required for installation
Available USB port

For more specifics and information, visit the Neat Company website.

3 comments:

  1. Check out Evernote.com, you can use any scanner and store many other things than Neat. It is free, but there is an upgrade subscription to. You can access everything from your computer, phones, tablets, pads, etc. With your phone you can shoot photos of receipts at restaurants, etc. and just toss them right away.

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  2. I've been using the Neat Receipts scanner (small traveling one) for years now. I love it! Everything is scanned at right at my fingertips. I can also easily email a pdf file to my CPA firm for tax time which always saves time and money.

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  3. You don't have undertake a pc or be close to just one as a way to use the best mobile scanner. All you should do is usually press just one key and you'll scan no matter what documents you intend to scan.

    ReplyDelete