Easy ways to go paperless

The paperless office has long been a dream – here are some easy ways to make it a reality at home.

Going paperless has long been a digital dream. There are so many benefits of scanning in the bills, receipts and other paperwork you collect at home. Here are some fast and easy ways to do it – with everything from a high powered document scanner to just your phone.

We talked to Michael Sidejas, who has worked with Fujitsu on their ScanSnap line of scanners for many years. He explained the benefits of going paperless: less stuff around the house, safely stored documents that are instantly searchable.

ScanSnap iX1500

This is the granddaddy of scanners. It can handle many pages per minute with auto feed, so it’s great for an office or if you want to go fully digital and have a ton of old papers to scan. The great thing about this device is the touch screen – everyone in the office or family can have their own profile, which means documents are automatically and wirelessly sent to the appropriate cloud storage account of that user. It also scans both sides of the page at once.

ScanSnap iX100

This is a portable and wireless scanner.  No need to connect it to your computer. Just set it up with your home WiFi and every time you scan a document, it will be sent right to the cloud. It’s small, sleek and handles a wide variety of documents. Don’t forget to sign up for the free ScanSnap Cloud service so you can have your documents automatically cropped, rotated and cleaned up.

iPhone Notes App

You can scan documents using the built-in Notes app on iPhone. Just open a new note, then hit the “plus” sign above the keyboard. Tap Scan Documents and you’re ready to scan!

Zoho Doc Scanner

This is a new app from Zoho and it works really well. Just aim it at a document and it will immediately scan the page into a PDF. The basic functionality is free and the scans are super clear. You can then manually share out your pages to your cloud service, but it will be one by one. You can pay for upgrades including the ability to e-sign, extract text, translate and faster sharing to the cloud. (iOS only for now)

Samsung Bixby 

Newer Samsung phones can scan documents using the built-in camera. To make sure it’s set up, just open your camera app and head into the settings. It’s the little icon that looks like a gear in the corner. Then, look for the option under Intelligent Features called Scene optimizer. Tap it to bring up Bixby options and make sure Document scan is toggled on. Now, just hold your phone over a piece of paper and you’ll see a big yellow Scan button appear. Tap it to scan your document!

Google Drive

On all other Android phones, simply look for the Google Drive app. It might be labeled Drive. Open it up and hit the big “plus” sign in the lower right-hand corner. Now, tap “Scan” and you can scan papers into PDF. Bonus: any PDFs you store in Google Drive get the magic of Google Search so you can easily find words inside of them.