I have written often about Evernote, one of my favorite computer tools. I've been using Evernote for more than four years now and love it. Sometimes I wonder how I ever got along before Evernote. While Evernote has many uses, I use it primarily as a digital filing system. In fact, I find that it is a perfect complement to almost any genealogy program, often compensating for the shortcomings of whatever genealogy program you might use to track your research.
Evernote is also useful for filing any sort of document, including receipts for income tax records, insurance documents, automobile registrations, children's report cards, warranty documents for items you purchased, business cards, eyeglass prescriptions, and much, much more. You can save thousands of documents in Evernote and retrieve any of them almost instantly. It works equally well with notes you enter manually on the keyboard, with email messages, with word processing documents saved on your computer's hard drive, and with images scanned with a digital scanner.
You can find my past articles about Evernote by starting at https://www.google.com/#q=site%3Aeogn.com+Evernote.
Now the folks at Evernote have worked with Fujitsu to produce a desktop scanner designed just for use with Evernote. Insert a stack of documents into the scanner, press a button, and all the documents are digitized and inserted into Evernote automatically. It scans, senses, and autofiles your photos, receipts, business cards, and documents into your designated Evernote notebooks. Best of all, everything you scan is immediately available, searchable, and shareable in Evernote on your Windows or Macintosh computer and mobile devices.
The ScanSnap Evernote Edition is based on Fujitsu's very popular ScanSnap desktop scanner. The primary differences in the ScanSnap Evernote Edition are:
- New drivers and software written for use with Evernote
- Automatic document type detection and auto-filing: the scanner automatically identifies documents, business cards, receipts, and photographs and files them into the appropriate Evernote notebook
- One-step wifi scanning that stores your documents in Evernote without requiring a wired connection to your computer
- Business cards are automatically turned into rich contact notes with information from LinkedIn (Macintosh only, coming soon to Windows)
- The Evernote Edition includes an industry leading text recognition engine from ABBYY to make text in documents searchable and selectable
To be sure, I have been scanning documents and saving them in Evernote for years. However, it has always been a multi-step process: load the scanner software, scan a document, save the document someplace on my computer's hard drive, exit the scanner software, open Evernote, import the newly-created file into Evernote. In contrast, the ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner simplifies the process: place a stack of documents into the scanner, press a button, and brew yourself a cup of coffee while the scanner does all the work for you. Your computer receives a completion notice after the last document has been scanned, digitized, and converted to text.
Along with scanning to Evernote, you can also specify a destination directory for raw scanned files. You can do this by choosing to save copies of scanned files from the General tab of the ScanSnap Manager Evernote Edition. In other words, you can have TWO copies of each scanned document or photograph: one in Evernote and a second in a directory (folder) of your choice on your hard drive. I might choose the Dropbox folder.
Another advantage of the ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner is that it has a 50-sheet auto feeding paper chute: you can insert a stack of documents and scan all of them in one step instead of inserting them one at a time and pressing a button to scan only one piece of paper or photograph at a time.
It also recognizes the difference between a document, a receipt, a photo, and a business card, so everything you scan is organized and autofiled into the appropriate Evernote notebook for easy searching and syncing.
The ScanSnap Evernote Edition will digitize BOTH SIDES of documents at the rate of 25 pages per minute for A4/Letter size scanning. It saves the images in either 300 dpi color/grayscale or up to 600 dpi Monochrome. Best of all, it will scan anything from business cards up to oversized documents up to 11-inches by 17-inches.
However, there are some significant disadvantages of the ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner that you need to consider before making a purchase:
- It is expensive at $495 list price plus tax plus shipping (although I suspect it will be available soon at discounted prices from the online retailers).
- The documents or photographs to be digitized are fed through the scanner using a series of rollers. This is not suitable for older, fragile documents nor for photographs printed on thick photo paper.
- It weighs 6.62 pounds. (3kg). That isn't terribly heavy but you won't stuff it into a briefcase. I would call it "semi-portable."
The ScanSnap Evernote Edition is brand-new and apparently not yet available from the discount retailers. However, you can purchase it for $495 directly from Evernote at https://www.evernote.com/market/feature/scanner?sku=SCAN00101&.
Yes, I ordered mine this morning. Maybe I'll write about it after it arrives and I get to use it for a few days.
You can see the ScanSnap Evernote Edition in action in a YouTube video at http://youtu.be/a5SYo0rwbAA or click on the video player below.