Quantcast Flatbed scanner vs. Neat Receipts (sheet fed scanner) vs. copy paste? - digitalFAQ Forum
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  #1  
10-17-2012, 12:27 AM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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I have a bunch of invoice slips from packages from online purchases, & receipts from local stores piling up in my quarters, so far I have just stuffed them in envelopes by year, but I have very little space, lots of silverfish, and paper.

I have heard & read mixed things in regards to what & how long to keep these items. I am not sure what to do with them.

I could go into my emails & copy paste all my invoices that I got through my email into a word processing program, this might be a little tedious, & throw out the printed paper from my packages.

I notice there is a device called neat receipts that is software for receipts, & business cards, and for a bit more it also comes with a sheet fed scanner.

or should I just copy & paste into Microsoft word my invoices for online purchases that I get in my e-mail?

what would be best? some kind of .tiff or jpg scans of everything, or would copy pastes of the receipts from my e-mails in a word processing program be just as good?

And if I go the route of scanning, would it be worth it to get the neat receipts software & sheet fed scanner? would it be anymore efficient than my Epson flatbed scanner?

I also notice that many of the cash register receipts that I get from local stores are on thermal paper, & can fade to almost blank in a short period of time,
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  #2  
10-22-2012, 06:20 AM
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The little receipt scanners have dreadful quality at B&W, and are terribly slow at grayscale or color, but the B&W quality is good enough for receipts. It's not Picasso. It does scan quickly. I bought one after I noticed receipts going blank after just a few months -- which sucked, because I needed them for filing tax returns (calculating deductions). The scans are stored as JPEG, sorted by year in folders, sub-sorted by purchase type (gas, food, etc), and yet again sub-sorted by merchant in some categories (office supplies).

The IRS wants your to keep receipts for 7 years. Scanning is the only way to make it happen, because almost all receipts are thermal these days, and the thermal impressions start to fade after just a few weeks. By the time a year or two passes, you have blank paper.

For email receipts, I just keep the emails in Outlook, sorted in folders by year (and merchant, under the year). And then Outlook gets backed up regularly, as exported PST files. Those make it onto redundant backup disks at multiple locations. The most important online receipts are also laser printed onto paper, and filed in the file cabinet with other important related warranty documentation.

I bought this IRIScan: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=digitalfaq-20
It's about $80 from Amazon.
I bought mine for $50, refurbished, from one of the Woot specials.

It has tons of negative reviews, because of unrealistic quality expectations, slowness on non-B&W, and Vista issues. It works fine in XP or Mac OS X. It probably works fine in Vista and Win7, too, if you manually force the drivers ... though I've not tried yet. I may install it on my Windows 7 laptop next month, and scan all of this year's receipts in one day by the coffee table.

I scan at the same time I tally for tax records. Note the amounts in a hand-written spreadsheet, scan it, trash the paper.

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  #3  
10-22-2012, 07:01 AM
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I went ahead and installed the scanner on Windows 7 x64 -- works fine.

I was right, too. You have to manually install the driver, but that's not a difficult process.
I did misplace my CD sleeve, so I don't have any serials to install the software that came with it. Not an issue, really.

The freeware tool FreeKapture connected just fine, and I scanned a B&W receipt at random. Attached is a receipt scan from a few weeks ago, when I bought a scoop of ice cream. I opened it in Photoshop and wiped out personal information, and then re-saved it. (I was going to try scanning in Photoshop CS4, but apparently CS4 only acknowledges WIA, not TWAIN. Oh well, not a big issue.)

When it comes time to scan for real, I may look for another freebie that auto-crops, but takes less clicks than FreeKapture.


Attached Files
File Type: rar BR001scan.rar (114.8 KB, 2 downloads)

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  #4  
10-22-2012, 04:52 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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so I would get by fine on a little portable scanner? I would also like to be able to scan the front and back of a sheet of paper at the same time, & more than one sheet of paper at a time.

so I will do the copy paste into Microsoft for my e-mail invoices, would Microsoft word work? what should I do with the printed ones that come in the boxes of my online purchases? can I get rid of these? as they are filling up folders & providing food for the silverfish.

could someone give a few steps on how to set up outlook with my e-mail, in the way it is done at digital faq, I am not familiar with outlook, I have a dsl yahoo account/e-mail.

I am a bit reluctant to just toss or put these into my recycling as they have my info on them.

should I get a paper shredder so I can safely dispose of papers with my info on them? and what model does this site suggest?

Last edited by Sossity; 10-22-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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  #5  
10-23-2012, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
So I would get by fine on a little portable scanner?
Yes. I do it just fine.

Quote:
I would also like to be able to scan the front and back of a sheet of paper at the same time
The only scanners I've ever seen like this cost a bunch of money. I'd rather just flip and scan twice. Plus most of them rely on mechanical flippers anyway, which don't always work with all paper types. It's just one more thing to be a nuisance, not work right, break, etc. I prefer to keep scanners simple. One source, one scan. At most, ICE is nice for film.

Quote:
so I will do the copy paste into Microsoft for my e-mail invoices, would Microsoft word work?
Why use MS anything? Just scan, save the images, done.

Quote:
what should I do with the printed ones that come in the boxes of my online purchases? can I get rid of these? as they are filling up folders & providing food for the silverfish.
Scan everything, keep paper copies of the most important docs (new computers, etc) that may be needed for warranty proof, and then trash or shred the rest. Be aware that simply removing the food supply won't kill the silverfish. You need to spray the perimeter of the home, as well as dehumidify the area where they are thriving. The love the moisture. DIYPC has a good article, and is a great place to buy high-end pesticides; what they sell is much better than the watered-down junk from Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. We had this issue, too, when I was growing up. We fought it, we won.

Quote:
could someone give a few steps on how to set up outlook with my e-mail, in the way it is done at digital faq, I am not familiar with outlook, I have a dsl yahoo account/e-mail.
You can setup folders in Yahoo, or whatever email program you're using. There's no need to use Outlook. In fact, Outlook is an "enterprise grade" email software, and mostly just confuses average users. I come from a heavy corporate-type background, and old habits are just hard to break. I happen to like Outlook after having used it for 15 years.

Quote:
I am a bit reluctant to just toss or put these into my recycling as they have my info on them. should I get a paper shredder so I can safely dispose of papers with my info on them? and what model does this site suggest?
Most receipts have nothing identifiable. I'd only shred ones that come from online purchases. But you can shread them if you want. Any cheap $25 shredder from an office supply store works fine. It shreds into long strips. True shredding, as used by banks, obliterates paper into no more than a pile of dust and confetti, and can destroy entire boxes at a time. It's like having a tree/limb mulcher. This paper isn't really recyclable anyway. It's full of toxic crap, including plastics.

A quick Google search returned a good L.A. Times article:

Quote:
Can I Recycle … receipts from stores?

Plain paper receipts printed with ink are largely a thing of the past, having been replaced by a shinier, coated variety called thermal paper. The paper is embedded with chemicals that interact when heated in machines such as thermal printers for cash registers, causing a color dye to darken in the receipt.

In Los Angeles, cash register receipts made from thermal paper are not recyclable and should be placed in the black trash bin. The Bureau of Sanitation recommends that residents seal the receipts in garbage bags or combine them with other pieces of trash so they don’t float away. Although many cities recycle thermal paper receipts because they make up so little of the paper recycling stream, they are not ideal for recycling because they contain contaminants and decrease the value of the higher-grade paper with which they are mixed. Some brands of thermal paper also use bisphenol-A, or BPA, to develop the dyes in the receipts. Although BPA has not been proved to be harmful in humans, recent studies have raised concerns with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration, which have taken steps to help reduce human exposure. L.A.’s Bureau of Sanitation is monitoring information about the potential effects of BPA on public health and the environment. Pending evaluation, it may change the way it handles thermal paper receipts.

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