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I have a ton of cooking magazines, and I want to get rid of them by putting my favorite recipes into Evernote. My scanner is slow, and it seems tedious to take pictures of them all. Any other ideas?

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Buy another scanner. (shrug)

If they are current magazines, you may be able to download the articles from their website. IDK.

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Also mentioned here many times before - digital camera snaps are a good option to scanning, unless you're dealing with bulk pages. Also camera phone snaps if they're clear. Make sure you check the focus - use a "macro" setting (if you have one) for small areas, and keep the camera sensor as square-on to the page as possible to minimise distortion. Dial the resolution down to between 800x480 and 2048x1232 (.5 to 2.5 megapixels) to keep the file size small. I was copying some broadsheet-size newspapers at one point, so built a copying frame out of glass duct taped to board lit by x5 spotlights - meant I could get a consistently reasonable shot. The camera was on a tripod, so the action of putting the paper in my glass frame, snapping the shot and removing the paper was as smooth and efficient as possible. [Plus: I am stunningly lazy.]

Seems like in this case you could browse through a magazine to identify your recipes, snap each page as you come to it, and upload the snaps to Evernote. (Keep the magazines for a short while, just in case; but once you've seen this works, bin the magazines!) Just sit in a comfortable seat with a good light on the magazine and snap away...

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I'd say it depends on how many recipes you are talking about. I agree with BurgersNFries: check to see if the recipes are available online and get them into Evernote by clipping them through your browser. If they aren't available and your scanner is too slow, then photographing the pages with the recipes will probably be the fastest way of getting them into Evernote.

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I bought the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 which was a great decision. It saves me a ton of time because it is fast and does both sides in one pass. Another option is a service that will scan for you but you may have to cut out the parts you wish to save since they will otherwise scan the entire page.

Here is a page in the Evernote Blog that outlines some good options for you: http://goo.gl/Khhv

Hope it helps!

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Fujitsu ScanSnap is fabulous. It is MUCH faster than a flatbed scanner AND easier because you can feed the pages through. Of course, this also requires the destruction of the magazine. I'm going paperless, though, so I let go of my book/magazine fetish a long time ago. It wasn't easy, but it has been worth it.

Digital cameras are the fastest, and if you have a tripod, it is possibly the easiest way. Rig the camera so that it is pointed down (extend one leg of the tripod and hook it through a chair or use a metal coathanger to hook it on the edge of the table). Just click and go. Experiment with settings and especially lighting to get the best pictures.

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I use a Xerox Documate 510 on Big Dog computer. (I name our cars & my computers.) It's got a good document feeder. Although it's not duplex, the software that comes with it (Paperport) allows you to "scan the other side" & it assembles the pages correctly. It's a flatbed, so you can scan things like pages from a book. I recently upgraded from Paperport 12 (that came with the Xerox when I bought it in January, 2007) to PP 14 Pro & like it a LOT better.)

I use the Scantini (Canon P150 - the same one Jamie uses, only the Windows version) on Old Dog computer or with my netbook. It's got an ok document feeder & is duplex (scans both sides during a single pass.) But I find I often need to only load a few pages in the ADF b/c it's not the best. (The Xerox one can handle 50 pages.) This is not a flatbed scanner, so it will not scan pages from a book, unless you rip the pages from the book. Since Big Dog is my main computer, I have Old Dog save the scans into Dropbox so they are then auto xferred to Big Dog. I can then move them from Dropbox to the appropriate place on Big Dog and drop a copy into Evernote, too. (That whole redundancy thing.)

The Scantini folds up fairly compact (4 x 11 x 1 1/2 inches). Paired with a netbook, you have a fairly compact scanning solution, if you don't want to use a camera.

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I use a ScanSnap S1500 scanner (love it) and currently use the ScanSnap software to manage the PDFs (hate it). I'd like to copy these scanned files over to EN since the search functionality is so awesome and it would give me a single environment for all document management.

However, for the last 2 years that I've been scanning all paperwork, I've created folders and subfolders for all files. I don't want to loose that structure. I don't care that the files are necessarily duplicated in Evernote, but I would at least want the files TAGGED to match their folder assignment. So a copy of my homeowners policy that is currently in /Household/Insurance would need to be tagged with Household and Insurance. With over 1GB of these files (5000+ files) it's not practical to do this manually. Any ideas on how I can make this happen automatically for the 5000 existing files? In other words, somehow use the folder structure to create tagging that matches....

To get the files into Evernote I was planning to use the "Import Folders" feature so that every time a new file was dropped into my "My Scans" folder, it would simply sync with EN. I'm ok if going forward new files drop into that folder without Tagging as I would just periodically go through and tag all untagged items after they OCR at EN.

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However, for the last 2 years that I've been scanning all paperwork, I've created folders and subfolders for all files. I don't want to loose that structure. I don't care that the files are necessarily duplicated in Evernote, but I would at least want the files TAGGED to match their folder assignment. So a copy of my homeowners policy that is currently in /Household/Insurance would need to be tagged with Household and Insurance. With over 1GB of these files (5000+ files) it's not practical to do this manually. Any ideas on how I can make this happen automatically for the 5000 existing files? In other words, somehow use the folder structure to create tagging that matches....

You may find this thread helpful.

FWIW, I have a tag "insurance - homeowners" & just use that one tag. Or you could use two tags "insurance" & "homeowner's". It's stored in my "house - street name" notebook. (To differentiate between other homes you own or have owned, if you've moved.) No need for "household" to be applied, IMO.

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I have a ton of cooking magazines, and I want to get rid of them by putting my favorite recipes into Evernote. My scanner is slow, and it seems tedious to take pictures of them all. Any other ideas?

http://1dollarscan.com/

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You may find this thread helpful.

FWIW, I have a tag "insurance - homeowners" & just use that one tag. Or you could use two tags "insurance" & "homeowner's". It's stored in my "house - street name" notebook. (To differentiate between other homes you own or have owned, if you've moved.) No need for "household" to be applied, IMO.

Thanks, I checked out that thread and some great points were made there. Especially the one about not trying to go overboard with structure until you know what you need...and you really need it! (I'm a little guilty of over-thinking some things up front).

As for the tags, my thought was that sometimes I may want to search on all things related to "household" where I may be sorting for invoices from insurance AND utility services. I guess it could be argued that I could just grab both of those tags when I search at a later date, but I think my brain appreciates having a hierarchy vs. just a flat list of tags.

Regardless of the approach, however, I still need a way to set up a top level folder as an import and have EN use some logic of the sub-folders when deciding what do to with them. I suspect if I don't do this, they'll all just end up in one notebook....right?

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1DollarScan says it doesn't do magazines.

Well, so much for that! Sorry, I must've missed that part.

Another tip: Just do a little scanning everyday. I did this, I spent about 15 minutes a day scanning in my papers. It took a few weeks, but eventually I got through it all.

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jelake - the tagging (auto or manual) has been an problem I've been looking to solve for several years. check out http://tabbles.net . I haven't used it yet, but it's on my to do list. let me know what you find

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I suspect if I don't do this, they'll all just end up in one notebook....right?

Using tags, accurate titles and/or keywords, it doesn't matter if the notes are all in one notebook. Many users have only one or two notebooks. If you have a bill for a new a/c unit, you can put it in a notebook labeled "everything else". You can tag it "household", "bills", "big ticket purchases" and "home - Maple Lane" or whatever. It doesn't matter. That's what's lovely about tags. In the link I posted, my Cox Cable bills are in the same notebook ("Bills") as my electric bills, phone bills, homeowners association bills, etc. No tags are used. I'm able to pluck the one I'm looking for easily & quickly b/c of the titles I use. No tags are used. No big deal.

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I have a ton of cooking magazines, and I want to get rid of them by putting my favorite recipes into Evernote. My scanner is slow, and it seems tedious to take pictures of them all. Any other ideas?

I had this same problem. I now use a mobile scanning app like JotNot Pro with my iPhone to capture only my favorite recipes from the issue. The app allows me to place it in my preferred notebook with tags then sends it to Evernote where it's searchable and so much easier to find than buried in a magazine on a shelf. I've also found this method to be quicker than using my actual scanner. Good luck!

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Regarding the issue of tagging: I've learned through lots of trial and error that (for me, at least) simpler is better. I love the concept of tagging, but its very freedom can be a challenge. The problem is really one of taxonomy and almost everyone has a different taxonomy for how they organize information. At the professional level, I would consult with a librarian or someone with a degree in library sciences to figure out how best to tag and organize my notebooks, but for the day-to-day stuff that I do, boots on the ground, I rely on a fairly simple taxonomy. In my case, I think the key was thinking about the scope of that taxonomy before arbitrarily creating tags.

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As recipes are not generally confidential or sensitive papers, consider outsourcing all or part of this to a teenager. Teens are generally confident when it comes to scanning to pdf or jpg, or taking digital pictures. They may even have some of their own equipment and be able to do it at their own house. You can trial a particular teen by grabbing 10-30 recipes and seeing how it goes.

Parts to the job:

scanning to a particular file format or photographing

If you scan all to one file, separating into separate files

naming the files from a generic name to a more specific name (recipes 11-1-11 01.pdf)

tagging the files with appropriate keywords (it should be your job coming up with a taxonomy)

uploading/emailing/moving/organizing files to Evernote

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Regarding the issue of tagging: I've learned through lots of trial and error that (for me, at least) simpler is better.

I have found the same to be true. If a word already appears in a note there's no sense tagging the note with that word. I use tags to group a concept (e.g. San Jose - July 2011 - Receipts) rather than use them to make a note searchable. Only about 1/3 of my notes even have tags.

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As recipes are not generally confidential or sensitive papers, consider outsourcing all or part of this to a teenager. Teens are generally confident when it comes to scanning to pdf or jpg, or taking digital pictures.

Haha this seems like a general rule that would be good for many, many things. Like mowing the lawn.

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However, for the last 2 years that I've been scanning all paperwork, I've created folders and subfolders for all files. I don't want to loose that structure. I don't care that the files are necessarily duplicated in Evernote, but I would at least want the files TAGGED to match their folder assignment. So a copy of my homeowners policy that is currently in /Household/Insurance would need to be tagged with Household and Insurance. With over 1GB of these files (5000+ files) it's not practical to do this manually. Any ideas on how I can make this happen automatically for the 5000 existing files? In other words, somehow use the folder structure to create tagging that matches....

Are you on a Mac? This is very doable with AppleScript.

Greg

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I have found the same to be true. If a word already appears in a note there's no sense tagging the note with that word. I use tags to group a concept (e.g. San Jose - July 2011 - Receipts) rather than use them to make a note searchable. Only about 1/3 of my notes even have tags.

Yes, exactly! I'd guess that one big hurdle people face when going paperless is the feeling that you need an elaborate tagging system. A simple one with a well thought-out process will suffice. I've found that Evernote's search capabilities are good enough to where it is often faster just to search for what you are looking for rather than tag everything. I have the same philosophy with my email in Gmail: I have an inbox and an archive folder. Very little mail gets tagged and I can find anything I need quickly by searching, or "starring" messages that are particularly important.

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However, for the last 2 years that I've been scanning all paperwork, I've created folders and subfolders for all files. I don't want to loose that structure. I don't care that the files are necessarily duplicated in Evernote, but I would at least want the files TAGGED to match their folder assignment. So a copy of my homeowners policy that is currently in /Household/Insurance would need to be tagged with Household and Insurance. With over 1GB of these files (5000+ files) it's not practical to do this manually. Any ideas on how I can make this happen automatically for the 5000 existing files? In other words, somehow use the folder structure to create tagging that matches....

Are you on a Mac? This is very doable with AppleScript.

Greg

Unfortunately I'm not on a Mac....stuck in PC world for now.

I can't disagree totally with the questions of how much you need to tag when the search function is so capable. Maybe it's just old school thinking to prefer having a "system" rather than lumping everything into a bucket that can be searched. I think I just get some peace of mind knowing I have a "cabinet/drawer/file" approach to document management. Maybe there's a pill for this illness?

I've still hesitated moving my scanned files to EN until I get comfortable with whatever system I end up utilizing. My biggest fear at the moment is dumping 5000 "folderized" files into a single bucket in EN and then deciding I don't like it that way. :-) Whatever I end up doing I must do with the knowledge that there's no turning back.

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To jelake's point, I think there are 2 criteria that matter when you are looking for something:

1. Can you find it quickly enough?

2. Are your results accurate (not to broad and not too exclusive to leave out important results)

If your own method for tagging or filing or searching meets these criteria, then you are ahead of the game, no matter what method you use.

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Unfortunately I'm not on a Mac....stuck in PC world for now.

I can't disagree totally with the questions of how much you need to tag when the search function is so capable. Maybe it's just old school thinking to prefer having a "system" rather than lumping everything into a bucket that can be searched. I think I just get some peace of mind knowing I have a "cabinet/drawer/file" approach to document management. Maybe there's a pill for this illness?

I've still hesitated moving my scanned files to EN until I get comfortable with whatever system I end up utilizing. My biggest fear at the moment is dumping 5000 "folderized" files into a single bucket in EN and then deciding I don't like it that way. :-) Whatever I end up doing I must do with the knowledge that there's no turning back.

I have several comments that I hope you find helpful:

  1. Maybe this is a great opportunity to buy a Mac. I am a long-time PC user, but have been using the MacBook Air for over a year now. It is the best computer I have ever used.
  2. Moving to the Mac would allow you to:
    • Import blocks of files to a specific Notebook with specific Tags
    • Set the Note Creation Date to the file Creation Date
    • Both of these require a 3rd party AppleScript (free)

[*]I agree that it is worth some time/effort to design your organization approach, but don't worry to much about it.

  • It's not like pouring concrete -- you can always change your organization later in EN

[*]If you are used to a fairly structured folder, sub-folder organization, you will likely not be satisfied with putting all of your Notes/Files into one or two Notebooks with no tags

  • While Search will find the Notes with the words of interest, it will also find Notes that have the same word(s), but not what you are looking for
  • Judicial use of Tags will greatly aid in searching for, and returning, only the Notes of interest.
  • This is particularly the case if the words you want to search for are common words likely to be in many Notes of different subjects.

[*]Start out Slow

  • Import a small block of files using whatever organizational scheme you select.
  • Try searching for subsets and evaluate the results.
  • Adjust your scheme/tags/notebooks as required.
  • One advantage of EN Win is the Assign Tags feature: CTRL+ALT+T
    • You could search/filter/select a block of Notes, and then in one easy Window assign/reassign/remove one or more tags to the entire block of Notes

Good luck.

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Maybe it's just old school thinking to prefer having a "system" rather than lumping everything into a bucket that can be searched. I think I just get some peace of mind knowing I have a "cabinet/drawer/file" approach to document management. Maybe there's a pill for this illness?

I do think it is old school thinking. I'm probably as old school as they come (I'm 55). When I got my first scanner (~1997), I dutifully named all files appropriately & put them in an appropriately named folder. As time went on, I realized I didn't know which folder to put them in. IE, photo of friends in Del Mar...does that go in the vacation/San Diego 2005 folder or the friends folder??? And the names...you can only come up with so many meaningful names, right? Then you add in getting digital cameras... That's when you realize folders/sub folders & file names are not helpful & tagging is essential.

I've still hesitated moving my scanned files to EN until I get comfortable with whatever system I end up utilizing. My biggest fear at the moment is dumping 5000 "folderized" files into a single bucket in EN and then deciding I don't like it that way. :-) Whatever I end up doing I must do with the knowledge that there's no turning back.

That's certainly understandable. And you shouldn't jump all in until you do feel comfortable. Even then, I suggest people take it slow. Make sure you're as pleased with your system six months/a year from now as you are today. And you don't have to feel there's no turning back. I utilize two systems. The system I used before Evernote (Paperport for docs & ACDSee Photo Manger for photos) as well as Evernote. And my Paperport/ACDSee data is backed up to Amazon 3 servers via Jungle Disk. Sure, it's double entry. But I've dealt with computers for over 35 years on a personal & professional level. I hesitate to 100% rely upon one single system. As I've said before, multiple times, this is not intended to be a reflection upon Evernote...just a reflection upon the technology. I've lost several backups of tapes & CDs & various backup systems (IE Backup Plus is just one I bought) that failed me at times when I needed them. So I prefer to have a couple of systems in play at any given time. JMO. YMMV.

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I have several comments that I hope you find helpful:

  1. Maybe this is a great opportunity to buy a Mac. I am a long-time PC user, but have been using the MacBook Air for over a year now. It is the best computer I have ever used.
  2. Moving to the Mac would allow you to:
    • Import blocks of files to a specific Notebook with specific Tags
    • Set the Note Creation Date to the file Creation Date
    • Both of these require a 3rd party AppleScript (free)

I'd love to get a Mac and expect my next computer purchase to be from Apple (already iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV and Airport Express users). But a new notebook just isn't in the budget at the moment so I'll have to suffer for the moment.

On the topic of the AppleScript functionality, surely there's a 3rd party app in Windows world that performs a similar function??

  • I agree that it is worth some time/effort to design your organization approach, but don't worry to much about it.
    • It's not like pouring concrete -- you can always change your organization later in EN

    [*]If you are used to a fairly structured folder, sub-folder organization, you will likely not be satisfied with putting all of your Notes/Files into one or two Notebooks with no tags

    • While Search will find the Notes with the words of interest, it will also find Notes that have the same word(s), but not what you are looking for
    • Judicial use of Tags will greatly aid in searching for, and returning, only the Notes of interest.
    • This is particularly the case if the words you want to search for are common words likely to be in many Notes of different subjects.

I'm not hung up on using sub-folders any longer. I'd be perfectly OK creating tags to match my folder names and using that approach instead. I also completely agree with your rationale about the need for tags to limit the search from producing too many results. (I've seen some ideas on how to refine search results, but they seem cumbersome for day-to-day use) My issue is the initial transfer of 5000 files with about 100 folders/sub-folders and finding a way to "import" that data with the files.

  • Start out Slow
    • Import a small block of files using whatever organizational scheme you select.
    • Try searching for subsets and evaluate the results.
    • Adjust your scheme/tags/notebooks as required.
    • One advantage of EN Win is the Assign Tags feature: CTRL+ALT+T
      • You could search/filter/select a block of Notes, and then in one easy Window assign/reassign/remove one or more tags to the entire block of Notes

I began this trial process tonight. I set up a notebook stack (My Scanned Files), created sub-notebooks (Household) and then created an import of my "Household" folder to my Household notebook. The files are actually stored in 20 sub-folders which will not replicate in any way in EN, but at least this consolidates the tagging effort somewhat.

It seems like there would be some data assigned to the files upon inport that would show where they came from....but I can't find that data anywhere. If I could find that import detail somehow (source folder) it sure would make the tagging process easy (ok, easier).

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I do think it is old school thinking. I'm probably as old school as they come (I'm 55). When I got my first scanner (~1997), I dutifully named all files appropriately & put them in an appropriately named folder. As time went on, I realized I didn't know which folder to put them in. IE, photo of friends in Del Mar...does that go in the vacation/San Diego 2005 folder or the friends folder??? And the names...you can only come up with so many meaningful names, right? Then you add in getting digital cameras... That's when you realize folders/sub folders & file names are not helpful & tagging is essential.

I agree. I actually think the use of tags is superior over folders. It provides much more functionality as items can be members of multiple tag groups. (Vacation, San Diego 2005 & Friends rather than one or the others). Again, once I figure out how to get 5000 files in folders assigned to matching tags upon initial import, I'll be good from this point forward using tags only.

That's certainly understandable. And you shouldn't jump all in until you do feel comfortable. Even then, I suggest people take it slow. Make sure you're as pleased with your system six months/a year from now as you are today. And you don't have to feel there's no turning back. I utilize two systems. The system I used before Evernote (Paperport for docs & ACDSee Photo Manger for photos) as well as Evernote. And my Paperport/ACDSee data is backed up to Amazon 3 servers via Jungle Disk. Sure, it's double entry. But I've dealt with computers for over 35 years on a personal & professional level. I hesitate to 100% rely upon one single system. As I've said before, multiple times, this is not intended to be a reflection upon Evernote...just a reflection upon the technology. I've lost several backups of tapes & CDs & various backup systems (IE Backup Plus is just one I bought) that failed me at times when I needed them. So I prefer to have a couple of systems in play at any given time. JMO. YMMV.

I'm similarly anal-retentive, er, thorough about data back ups. All of these scanned documents will also be backed up to my cloud-based sync/backup service (SugarSync).

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  • Clip what recipes you can from the magazines without destroying recipes on the flip side.
  • Separate the clippings into groups.
  • Arrange as many clippings as you can from the same group on the scanner and scan, preferably as a pdf file
  • Continue scanning with more recipes from the same group as part of the same pdf file
  • End scanning and create the pdf file when you've scanned all of the clippings from the same group

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I'm similarly anal-retentive, er, thorough about data back ups. All of these scanned documents will also be backed up to my cloud-based sync/backup service (SugarSync).

:)

Spoken like someone who's lost more data than they'd care to think about.

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