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GHall

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Everything posted by GHall

  1. Thanks. I would very much like to incorporate visual to do's but the limiting factor is making them searchable. Evernote searches by text. Suppose I could put a Post-It note on a project, let's say a broken door for example, and then take the photo with my iPhone and import. Then Evernote would OCR the text on the Post-It note, which would then be searchable. The work flow on this seems a little clunky. I guess the other obvious option would be to use tags, or add all visual notes to a specific notebook.
  2. Definitely agree with you about needing to update ones system periodically. It keeps it fresh and insures that one is not blindly plodding along. As for why I OCR my PDF's prior to import, I like controlling which OCR engine I use and knowing that my documents are searchable on my hard drive. The documents OCR'd in Evernote lose their OCR when exported. If there is a way to keep the Evernote OCR, I would consider going with Evernote OCR. Thoughts?
  3. Johnny, I like the energy you're putting into really thinking about your system, especially on the front end. But davidward makes a good point about getting past the planning stages and just getting things done. I've read Getting Things Done. The two things that I really took from the book, and it's been a while since I've read it, is don't touch the same thing over and over and over again: file it, shred it, mail it, post it, whatever; just, if you pick it up, then process it. The second is focus on next actions. What must I do next to move my project forward? As for using Evernote, I am a big proponent of simple systems. I'm tired of the endless levels of nested folders, such that I never utilize half of my system and keep forgetting to follow through with stuff because it's out of sight/out of mind. I just began using EN, so I'm pushing the use of very uniform naming schemes for all my notes and files, OCR all PDF's prior to importing into EN, and using the search function as my primary means of locating documents and notes. My first goal is to use EN to go 99.9% paperless or some such number very close to it. I've also installed EN on my iPhone and Hello too. I watched a couple videos with Phil Libin, founder and CEO of EN, and decided to focus on ways to implement notes that rely on intuitive forms of communication, not just text. I would like to use pictures to create to do notes rather than just lists. A work in progress.
  4. All my files get scanned to PDF and saved by default in a folder named something like "ScanSnap Temp". After 10-15 PDF files are completed and located in this temp folder, each file is renamed according to a uniform naming scheme for that files content. Then the files are OCR'd using Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro. The output folder where the named and newly OCR'd files are saved is called something like "OCR Files". Not very original but it helps me keep things straight. At this point the files in the folder "OCR Files" get run through the PDF Optimizer and saved by overwriting the file. Then all these PDF's in the OCR Files folder get moved to a folder called something like "OCR & IN EVERNOTE". This is where you would want to keep a permanent storage of those files outside of Evernote. This way if you decide to leave Evernote, you do not have to pull out all your documents, since they are saved on your hard drive outside Evernote. The final step is to copy these files to Evernote. This process can sound lengthy but is very short really and fast. I'm planning to automate this process using scripts when I do my next bulk scanning.
  5. Let me clarify, I process the standard PDF's to PDF's with OCR in batches, using the function in Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro located in the program menu as follows: "Document - OCR Text Recognition - Recognize Text in Multiple Files Using OCR..." Technically, this is not using the batch function. My meaning is that I process the files in batches or groups. I convert multiple files rather than one at a time. Sorry for confusion. As far as optimizing my files, I do not use the "Document - Reduce File Size..." command. Instead, I use "PDF Optimizer" located in the program menu: "Advanced - PDF Optimizer" There is Youtube video showing the basics of using PDF Optimizer, including how to use the "Audit Space Usage" function within PDF Optimizer. From my experience simply changing the file to be compatible with Acrobat 9.0 or later will greatly reduce the file size. This is because the newer versions of Acrobat have much better compression algorithms. Here's the URL for the video:
  6. deverill makes a good point about evaluating what one wants to accomplish and then finding a way within the system. My naming convention starts with "YYYY.MM.DD - ". I then use a uniform naming structure for the remainder of the file or note, and relavent to others of its kind. For example, all gas bills might look like "YYYY.MM.DD - Gas - Bill". This structure allows me to then write notes or create files from the gas company that might not be bills but hold to a similar naming structure, such as "YYYY.MM.DD - Gas - Newsletter". This kind of structure can be useful to use in conjunction with a tag "Gas". Then I get a list of notes with similar naming. I can put them in date order very easily and pick out the item in question. I think this would also work nicely in an educational setting. If I also wanted to track all receipts for automobile gas purchases, I could use "Fuel" in the naming structure and "Fuel" as the tag.
  7. My 2 cents: I look to the name of the program "Evernote" and it's structuring language "Notebooks" as a guide. If I keep individual focused notes, then I can arrange those individual notes in multiple ways. I can create notebooks. I can aggregate various bills for tax time or by month to expense out for work. Perhaps I'll create a vacation notebook for grandma and another slightly different vacation notebook for grandpa, each emphasizing aspects of the grandkids they each fancy. This is easier with keeping notes. The other really important thing about keeping notes is that I don't have to worry about structure. Instead I focus on naming convention coupled with very good OCR of all files.
  8. When planning my workflow (which is dynamic so always changing a little bit) I looked at how I could utilize Evernote as an asset but maintain Evernote independence should I decide to leave or if Evernote were to close shop one day. Searchable PDF's work well with Evernote and independently of it. Any system is going to be a series of compromises to achieve the balance between form and function.
  9. My work flow includes the use of the following tools: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro for Mac (included with scanner) Evernote (free version) 1. Scan to high quality PDF 2. OCR in Acrobat Pro 3. Optimize in Acrobat Pro 4. Save in a single folder on local hard drive titled something like "OCR & Evernote" 5. Copy to Evernote and sync File sizes are 1/10 or smaller of the original size and the Acrobat OCR is superior to ABBYY FineReader for Mac and PDF OCR X per my trials. Also, Acrobat 9 Pro for Mac works great on my Mac running Lion (10.7.3). I also like to see the archived PDF's in the original color schemes so I scan using "auto color detection". Currently I use the free version of Evernote, though despite my initial reservation, Evernote functions great, so I'll likely upgrade to the "yearly" option. I initially hesitated to install Acrobat 9 Pro on my Mac due to the large amount of negative net chatter that I read. Instead I spent hours trying out various other OCR options. In the end, I installed Acrobat 9 Pro and found it works better than the others that I tried. It's a robust program and comes free with the ScanSnap S1500M. One of the ways Acrobat 9 Pro is better than others that I've tried is its ability to OCR documents with multiple and inconsistent formatting. For example, some of my utility bills have headers with typical "to" and "from" info, usage charts that run the width of the document, narrow columns on one side of the document, additional tables of varying columns and rows and then paragraphs. This is all on one standard letter size document. Acrobat 9 Pro OCR'd 99% of the text correctly, including "$", "#", "@", and " " (spaces). I can not say the same for the other programs. The odd thing is I don't really want to like Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro. I want to prefer a program developed by a smaller, leaner competitor.
  10. So I understand your process, the PDF is scanned into an Evernote note first; and then you right click on the PDF located in the Evernote program and click "open with Adobe Acrobat"?
  11. From my experience, bleed through does not occur with automatic settings. It becomes an issue when manually increasing scan quality or adjusting brightness or exposure type settings. Am I saying that it can not occur using automatic settings? No. Automatic settings tend to be a compromise between image quality and usability, and thus eliminate a majority of artifact issues.
  12. I agree with this approach whole heartedly. Best to know your equipment and how it responds. Sometimes you will need to modify your settings to scan a "difficult case" so to speak. I have the ScanSnap S1500M, as I have a MacBook Pro. This version of ScanSnap shipped with Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro, which works great with Lion by the way if all the updates are installed. I scan my documents at the "Best" (300dpi/600dpi) setting with the auto color detection and duplex scanning. This generates a large file. Then I run batch OCR using Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro. The resulting file is about 1/5 of the original. I then run PDF Optimizer, which further reduces the file size by 50%. So the resulting files are nice quality, fully searchable and 1/10 of the original.
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