Is it possible to go paperless in the 21st century? We’re getting there. A week or so ago I wrote about going paperless and the steps we Mincey folks had to take to get on the paperless trail. The three steps to get there are basics.
First, find a way to scan or copy paper documents into digital documents. Second, create an organization system to keep documents stored in multiple places but easily accessible. And, third, remain disciplined about the process.
That’s a good way to start, but there are other options which can help, including a Mac app I found which helps to collect, store, and organize receipts for expenses, taxes, or accounting. And organize documents by automatically recognized values such as dates, amounts, payment details, and more. Sounds good, right? It is.
The app is called Receipts but it does more than just organize receipts. Does this look familiar?
Receipts works a bit like how you would organize the Documents folder on your Mac (although in English probably). Scanned receipts and other information can be rolled up into folders and organized by year and month.
The key here is being able to gather and store everything made of paper and within a storage hierarchy– whether folders in Documents, or organized within an app similar to Receipts– so you can easily search for items using filters and tags.
The first step is collecting pieces of paper into digital form; PDF, email, scans– whatever and likely all three. Receipts is smart enough to recognize dates, amounts, payment information, and assign digital pieces into various categories. It can even track payments.
Receipts has a decidedly financial bend to it, but we’ve found in our few months of moving from paper to paperless that a huge chunk of what we scan and organize is, well, receipts, so that’s a good place to start.
Receipts the app is Mac only and we’ve begun using Documents to make stored files available via iCloud to iPhones and iPads. So far, that has worked well, though your mileage may vary. Receipts has a decidedly German feel for organization and I consider that a plus. Even better, there’s a trial version so you can check it out first– just remember to give yourself sufficient time to see how you can use the app to make your paperless life a little easier to manage.
So far, the most difficult components are the most obvious. Discipline, scanning everything that comes in, scanning older documents, and getting it all organized for easy retrieval when needed.