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HarperMind

paperless Scanning advise

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So started using Evernote business a few months ago in my company.  Things are working great.  Now I want to hire a company to go back through our paper company files and start scanning them.  I wonder if anyone might have some experience with this and be willing to share some advise?

 

I wonder if I can have a company just scan them into PDF's and that would work for making the documents searchable if I import them into Evernote.

 

Please let me know your thoughts.

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I would not rely on the OCR of a PDF's contents to be able to find it in the future.  Its getting better, but I personally don't think its good enough to rely on solely.  I would still use notebooks, tags, note titles and keywords to effectively index and locate notes and documents. 

 

My "day job" is document imaging for a state agency.  A lot of the historical documents that had been imaged were done so by outside contractors.  The indexing of those documents were hit and miss in a lot of cases. (this state agency uses a in-house built image database, not Evernote, but I think my observations are the same)  I don't know what kind of documents you are looking at imaging and how much granularity you want in the indexing.  If you are looking to have a fair amount of detail in the indexing, I would not rely on the outside contractor to do that.  Using Evernote, I would suggest have them scan the documents and put them in some general notebooks that can be further refined by someone in your organization - i.e letters, reports, invoices, receipts - whatever works for you.  Then if you need to take it further, do it yourself (or someone in your organization).  I don't think the outside contractor and the people they have do this would be dependable to index to much detail. 

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Gotta agree with gchamberlin. Whoever will be using Evernote should have an enormous hand in its categorization and organization - after all, they're the one(s) who will be dealing with it on a daily basis. It should be set up to work best for the company. By all means, get an intern or contractor to do the scanning, but you've gotta take the effort to tag and title items on a near individual basis if you want to get the most out of Evernote, IMHO. YMMV, but for me, Evernote works best on the items I've taken the time to tag and title properly. That way, it's set up for how my mind works - thus, how I'll tend to search for what I'm looking for.

 

If time constraints are an issue, I'd recommend scanning everything in as PDFs, and sort them by Typed and Handwritten items. Items that are letters, contracts, etc. where almost all of the content is typed, clean lettering, will search really well with the OCR. Items with handwriting, older documents, graphics behind text, etc. might not do as well, so prioritize tagging and sorting those, and get to the others when you have time.

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