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Dorota

organization Best scanner or other device for unusual documents (e.g. kids' art)

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I've been reading all the posts about best scanners that scan directly to Evernote (sounds like lots of people are fans of the ScanSnap by Fujitsu), and I'm leaning that way, but was wondering if there's another scanner out there that can accommodate unusual documents. I scan documents, receipts, photos like most people, but I also often get drawings my kids make. I keep some originals, but most I want to scan and toss. We just don't have a big enough house to store it all. Those are typically sized funny. I suppose a flatbed scanner would work, or maybe one of those camera contraptions. I am open to suggestions. (Oh, and I have a birthday coming up, so my family wants to get me a scanner and other goodies.) Thanks! 

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I recently went through something similar with artwork that my kids have done.  As luck would have it, the HP multi-function printer/scanner/copier I had been using for years finally failed and I was forced to replace it.   I went back and forth quite a bit trying to decide whether or not to buy another multi-function printer or to simply buy a printer and a ScanSnap scanner.    What I ended up with was an Epson Expression XP-800 multi-function printer (print/scan/copy/fax).  The printer is configurable via USB, wired, or wireless networks and can send scanned docs directly to Evernote.  It also has both a flatbed scanner and an automatic document feeder so it's the best of both worlds.   I can easily scan all the receipts and other docs I want to keep, and I use the flatbed scanner to scan the kids artwork.

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Dorota wrote: . . . I've been reading all the posts about best scanners that scan directly to Evernote (sounds like lots of people are fans of the ScanSnap by Fujitsu), and I'm leaning that way, but was wondering if there's another scanner out there that can accommodate unusual documents. I scan documents, receipts, photos like most people, but I also often get drawings my kids make. . .

 

Hi, Dorota. I have the ScanSnap 1500. There are smaller ScanSnaps, too. Mine handles all sizes of notes from business card size or small receipts up to 8.5" x 11". It copies single or both sides simultaneously, according to settings. It handles black and white or color, either automatically or individually according to settings. I love mine and recommend it highly. It's far superior to flatbed scanners I have, unless you need to scan a book or magazine or something else that won't go through the document feeder. Check it out. (Newegg is where I found the best price.)

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I currently  have a multi-function HP printer/scanner/copier, ie flatbed.  while I'd love to have one of the quickie document scanners that do both sides at once, this will have to do for now.  However, I wanted to point out that for kids' artwork, if it's anything like my kids' stuff, it far exceeds 8.5 x 11, which is the max size for all the personal scanners I'm aware of.  Easiest thing to do is just snap a picture with it, then put that into a note in Evernote.  You don't really need anything fancy to hold the camera if you're just shooting a picture of  picture, just hold it steady and take it close enough to fill the frame.  My phone camera has a button for Share, after taking the picture, which goes right to Evernote since I have that installed on the phone too.

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I'd be leery of anything but a flatbed scanner for children's art work. The materials that are used are often flaky and easy to disturb: glitter, tempura paint, etc. Or they are greasy like crayons. A scanner like a scansnap will either damage the art work or get damaged itself or both. 

 

I'd use the flatbed in a multipurpose printer, but then I already own one of those. The nice thing about a flatbed is you'll actually be able to scan some multidimensional pieces like jewelry. 

 

You'll also want to use your camera to capture 3 dimensional art work. I would suggest buying some poster board or foam core board to use as your background for those images and if possible take it outside into open shade for nice flat lighting. 

 

If the flatbed doesn't automatically trim them, I'd consider editing the edges or two dimensional works to remove background materials. 

 

Here are a couple of my children's pieces from when they were younger:

 

 

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I've had a fleet of scanners over the years. As Candid said, anything that could either damage or be damaged by my Fujitsu 1500 either gets scanned on my flatbed or I take photos of it.

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Have your family get you a ScanSnap. You won't regret it.

 

Use a flatbed scanner or take pictures of children's artwork. (I'm guessing that museum-archival quality is not the primary concern here. :) ) Using the ScanSnap on all your other paperwork will free up time and emotional energy for handling the artwork.

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Glad I read this.  Just received my ScanSnap Evernote edition and I absolutely love it.  Was scanning kids work - some with crayon; no glitter or anything like that.  After reading this thread, won't be scanning anymore crayon work.

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