A Digital Hoarder’s Professed Passion with Document Scanning

A Digital Hoarder’s Professed Passion with Document Scanning

Okay, it’s true confession time.

My fascination with digital imaging and scanning began well before I was an employee here.

I clearly remember the day. It was the early 1990s and, as a self-proclaimed geeky teenager, I was excited to go to a nearby computer swap meet. It was the kind of show where one can find peripherals, motherboards and other bits and pieces that people like me could use to build our own computers.

There I was, walking through the aisles when I saw someone demonstrating what turned out to be a handheld scanner. I was immediately intrigued as this was my first encounter with this kind of technology. I remember it had a parallel interface as this was long before USB ones were invented—and small computer system interfaces (SCSI) weren’t available on low-end scanners like the one this gentleman was using.

Fascinated, I watched him scan a book. The scanner was about four inches wide, so he had to scan the left side of the book and then the right. The scanner then merged the pages together.

Well, needless to say, I left the show with one of those scanners. And that was the day I became mesmerized by the ability to capture paper and turn it into a digital image.

My passion for scanning continues to this day&ellips;

The truth is that I love the technology behind scanning. I love how it captures memories as well as information and knowledge. Besides being a tech geek, I’m also a self-professed digital hoarder at home. I like to reflect and preserve memories—and so does my family. We scan greeting cards from holidays, birthdays and other special events. My wife and I also scan the kids’ artwork and capture memories about the big moments in our children’s lives. We even scan some of their homework assignments. It’s neat to see how their handwriting evolves as they get older and it’s also fun to show these back to them so they can remember their old teachers and classmates.

We scan our incoming mail and other documents like owner’s manuals for new kitchen gadgets and appliances so we don’t have to physically store reams of paper in our house. I find it highly efficient to scan receipts too and export the data right into QuickBooks.

We know we can always easily find, reference, and retrieve whatever we need quickly because we tag and categorize everything we scan. Whether it’s photos and details about one of my kid’s swim meets or a new address on a holiday card from friends that moved, a search is quick and easy.

Scanners have come a long way since the 90s!

As you can imagine, the technology that scanners use today is much different than when I bought my first one in the early 1990s. (Note: I still have that scanner—it’s become a great paperweight!)

I have to admit, as a Technology Evangelist, our new models of scanners that were just released—the ScanSnap iX1400 and the iX1600—are pretty impressive, even for a long-time scanner enthusiast like me.

The earlier ScanSnap models have helped my family bring a lot of our physical information into the digital world and then marry it with photos and videos that are already digital. But these new models make scanning even better, because they are so fast and easy.

In fact, the real-world scanning times of the iX1400 and the iX1600 are much less than almost any other scanner on the market. There is almost no start up time, and no wait for initiating the scanning process or refreshing an image on a screen. I can just open the scanner, put in any kind of documents I want in one big bunch—bills, birthday cards and a hand-drawn picture by my daughter—press a button-and bam! They are scanned in seconds, and tagged and searchable almost as fast. The images are clear and I can find what I need when I need it. I really also enjoy the fact that the iX1600 allows me to scan to my phone or tablet, or even better, directly to the cloud without using a computer or a device!

New parents always hear from experienced ones that the children grow up fast. It’s true! But with ScanSnap, we’re able to capture a lot of our memories which allows us to slow things down and truly treasure those great life experiences.

For those that are working from home now, I’ll be sharing some insider tips in a future blog on what to look for when buying a scanner, so check that blog out too.

Meanwhile, you can get more information about our newly released models here.