Best GETTING THINGS DONE Scanner Alternatives

Alternatives

The dominant alternative scanners if you are looking to use Evernote as your GETTING THINGS DONE reference filing system are:

  1. ScanSnap Evernote Edition $495 (*Note* that you get a year of Evernote worth $45)
  2. ScanSnap iX 500 $448
  3. Epson WorkForce DS-510 USB ($279) or WiFi ($399)
  4. Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000 $308
  5. NeatDesk Desktop Scanner $339
  6. HP ScanJet 3000s2 $350
  7. ScanSnaps on Craigslist

Which one should you buy to get GTD off the ground? Any of them! Even though they cost real money, the incredible lightness of being you will get from being paperless will more than compensate. Do it, click a link and order. Do it now!

Having purchased a scanner (ScanSnap iX 500) recently, my fourth Fujitsu ScanSnap, here is the decision process I went through.

Came out just after I purchased. I missed my chance to have all the drugs. This scanner today, is a great first choice for an Evernote person. There is a scanner control panel for the Evernote ScanSnap edition that looks like this on a mac:

Preferences

When the ScanSnap Evernote Edition came out, it was featured prominently on Evernote’s web site. It is much less prominent today. In fact, I had to Google to find the direct link to it. So this *might* be a white elephant that gets abandoned by the green elephant in the future. Still, it is a ScanSnap so you probably can’t go wrong.

And which routes documents, business cards, receipts, and photos automatically to Evernote notebooks that you specify. If automatic routing of documents to folders is something you are looking for, stop reading and buy the ScanSnap Evernote edition.

The reason to buy this scanner is that it is top rated. It has the highest satisfaction rating in document scanners on Amazon.com. When I’m buying a product on Amazon.com I look for as high a proportion of ratings as possible in 5 stars. And, the distribution of ratings has to be at least a triangle. Draw a line from upper right to lower left in the ratings bars, and if there is a bar over the line, I won’t buy that product. Look at the iX 500’s ratings:

Amazon_com__Fujitsu_ScanSnap_iX500_Scanner_for_PC_and_Mac__PA03656-B005___ElectronicsFullscreen_2014_09_09__9_13_PM

The iX 500 has the questions and most answered questions, and it is the best seller. Great machine, neutral price (because it is wicked good), and as you push click, you will think of the machine’s price for the last time. Having four successful ScanSnap purchases, this is what I bought last time around.

I looked at the Epson last time around. But it has less traffic, fewer ratings, fewer answered question. And is 1/2 star lower rated by Amazon customers.

Fullscreen_2014_09_09__9_12_PM

Still, this would be a better buy than the $250 ScanSnap scanner. The automatic document feeder on the lower level Fujitsu scanners is … um … not strong. I’ve owned two of the 300ish ScanSnaps and I’d rather gamble my money on the Epson DS-510 than re-buy a 300ish. Also, I like that there is a USB-only option for $120 less. Wireless connections are demon possessed by definition. I tried wireless on my ScanSnap iX 500 to make sure it works. And even got scan to phone working over wireless. But for everyday trouble free scanning, wireless can’t compete with USB.

If you go for the DS-560, you are just $50 away from the price of the defacto standard iX 500. So knowing I was going to like the iX 500, I just paid the extra money. Buy the best only cry once. But, I bet the DS-510 is a great product.

Like the Epson scanner, the Brother unit looks good. But again, fewer reviews, and less highly rated.

Fullscreen_2014_09_09__9_10_PM

Again I thought hard about this, but for $150 less, the 150 customers giving it 5 stars vs. the 1,070 giving the iX 500 5 stars, might give me pause.  Still, saving $150 bucks could be done. Amazon.com has great return privileges I hear. But I’m old and lazy so I did not go there.

NeatDesk does the most advertising, so many people see this as THE scanner to get. Until they check out the Amazon.com customer ratings:

Fullscreen_2014_09_09__9_21_PM

NeatDesk flunks my “triangle rule” as the number of 5 star reviews is actually lower than the number of 1 star reviews. Too bad, the slots that this scanner has for receipts of different sizes might be a great feature. Anyway, when I looked at the ratings, I knew this was not what I was looking for. Also, NeatDesk has separate versions of the scanner for Mac and PC which is always a bad omen.

Having worked at HP with HP’s Digital Sender 9200, I would like to love this scanner. The 9200 was the first product I ever saw scan to PDF and email the PDF. It was a network only device. An amazing work of art from HP Bergamo (may it rest in peace) and a software artist section manager.

A quick look at the Amazon.com feedback is instructive:

Fullscreen_2014_09_09__9_28_PM

Only eight 5 star ratings. And very few customer reviews. HP’s entry is a poor bet just because there is so much less user information about it.

  • Craigslist ScanSnaps

If you are no-money-down GTD person, Craigslist is for you! Yes, you can find ScanSnap scanners locally. Here are three that are available in Portland OR near me.

portland_for_sale___wanted__scansnap__-_craigslist

I’ve had students buy ScanSnap S1500 scanners for $100 and be very happy with them. I’ve also found ScanSnap S1500 in liquidation shops. New-in-box ready to get you on the GTD wagon for good!

Hope this helps you pull the trigger! Order the scanner of your choice, and then go to my Getting Started with GTD 2014 post and start at the top of the list.

bill

Mac users, use your ScanSnap iX500 to scan to phone: Part 2 How?

Screenshot_2014-03-07-15-56-28

Introduction:

This post will step-by-step Macintosh users through getting our most excellent ScanSnap iX500 scanners, to scan directly to our smart phones.

This journey began 2 posts ago with the discovery that when you set up ScanToPhone the first thing Fujitsu’s programmers want you to do is to update the firmware on your scanner. Then, 1 post ago I explored why anyone would want to scan directly to phone. Mostly, I just decided to close my eyes and try setting this up.

OK, this tutorial will assume that you have gone through how to update your firmware step by step and you now have your iX500 scanner all cutting edge and ready to go.

Step 1: Run “ScanSnap Wireless Setup Tool.app”

Go to /Applications/ScanSnap/ScanSnap Wireless Setup Tool.app and double click. Your should see this in your /Applications/ScanSnap folder:

ScanSnap

Step 2: See which door opens up. Door #1, Door #2, or Door #3

Presentation1

If you see Door #1 this is good! You either have a Ph.D. (license to be absent-minded), you have not turned on your ScanSnap iX500, or both. Next action? Open the ScanSnap iX500 so that it turns on.

Presentation1 3

Fantastic, you are ready to implement your X clicks and to begin scanning from ScanSnap to phone. **Note** If you saw Door #1 and then opened your ScanSnap, you will see Door #2 in about 2 seconds.

Presentation1 2

Oops, you need to update your firmware before you can set up ScanToPhone. Go to my step-by-step tutorial “Think Like A Fujitsu Programmer To Upgrade your iX500 Firmware“.

Step 3: Click “Wireless Network Setup Wizard” in Door #2

Presentation1

… and then follow the dialogs along … 

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… and find your network and click on it, then follow the dialog … 

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… then enter your security key and follow the dialog … 

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… then you will be informed that your ScanSnap is successfully connected, click on OK to continue … 

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… you will be shown a dialog like this to indicate you have successfully connected your ScanSnap wirelessly … 

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… next you will be asked if you want to scan to your mobile device (phone), click “OK” … 

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… after you click “Yes” on the previous dialog you will see a new dialog that will send us from configuring the iX500, to installing Fujitsu’s phone app …

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… so go to the iOS or Android store and download the free ScanSnap program to your phone … 

Presentation1

… once you have ScanSnap Connect Application installed on your phone you can click “Yes” on your Mac, (for having installed the app) and then click Continue …

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… the next dialog you see shows you two critical facts:

(1) Scanner Network Name and = GTDiX500 for my scanner
(2) Scanner Network Password = 4674
for my password <- write this down

Now you are ready to open the ScanSnap app on your phone (see Appendix A for step by step instructions for installation on an Android phone) …

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… and then click “Yes” and “Continue” in the dialog … 

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… and the Macintosh part of setup is almost done! …

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

ScanSnap_Wireless_Network_Setup

… Click finish and then the Macintosh side of ScanToPhone setup is complete. Now pick your phone up and open the ScanSnap Connect App, then your phone will find your ScanSnap and ask you for your four digit password … it should look like this …

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-05-40

Whoa, where was that password set? <<Panic>> Four digits? But, … I’ve got all my fingers … I’m confused!

Fear not! Setups involving two devices, are the worst. So take a chill pill and scroll up three dialog boxes. My password is 4647, your password will be different, but will be in that same dialog. Now wait, you wrote your password down right? :-) 

… enter your password phone your app screen will look like this …

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-06-07

… **note** the blue scanner icon in the lower right-hand corner. This is the indicator that your scanner is read to scan to your phone. Put your business card into your iX500 and then touch the blue icon on your phone …

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-07-28

… like magic, your phone will have a PDF scan of your business card. Mine looked like this …

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-07-21… if all went well, you should be done and the happy owner of a ScanToPhone new core competence. For maximum payoff, use this capability to “Wow” your peers and make them say “Whoa, I’ve never seen anything like it!”  

Or, if this did not work for you, contact me, or at least vote on why it did not work below:

Enjoy!

Support RestartGTD by buying at Amazon with this link!

bill meade
Data researcher seeking team
see http://goo.gl/JkkEI8

Appendix A: Installing Scansnap Connect Application on an Android phone 

Go to Google Play Store:

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-14-08_png_and_Nexus_4

… then click on “Apps” …

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-17-52_png_and_Android

… then search for “ScanSnap Connect Application” and choose “INSTALL” … 

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-05-01

… the app will then install … 

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-05-21

… and once installed will give you the option to open or uninstall … 

Screenshot_2014-03-11-12-22-10