As New Year?s resolutions go,�?going paperless? is a perennial Top 10 contender, somewhere between ?lose weight? and ?save money.? But if you?ve ever resolved to digitize your documents before, you've learned that talking about it is one thing. Actually doing it is a tricky proposition. If you?re like most people, you?re already comfortable with managing your incoming digital data; it?s the lingering paper that?s the problem. To be honest, you?ll probably never stop every last piece of paper from crossing your desk, so scanning it is essential.
Scanning can be a complex process that requires solid hardware, plenty of storage (either offline or online), and no small amount of personal dedication. Here?s how to streamline all of this and make scanning as painless as possible.
Select the right hardware
You?ll quickly be lamenting another failed resolution if your hardware isn?t up to the task. The good news is that most printer manufacturers now produce capable all-in-one devices that will give you quality scanning in the same chassis as a color printer, copier, and fax machine, often for $200 or less.
Reviewing scanners is outside the scope of this story, but PCWorld has fortunately done that heavy lifting for you. Be sure, as you page through the reviews, that you consider only devices that include a sheet feeder and a duplexer. The best intentions to reduce paper have been torpedoed by having to place originals on a flatbed scanner one at a time or dealing with discombobulated scans with their pages out of order.