How to Go Completely Paperless with your Mac

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arein

I'd like to take to opportunity to promote my paperless office app https://milsapp.com which allows you to send any pdf file as a real (snail mail) letter.

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wsanders123

If you have the print version of the Mac Life magazine, you can go to Coverleaf and continue the digital subscription for free. Coverleaf simply verifies you are a paid subscriber and gives you the digitial magazine for free. Previously, Future Publishing (MacLife publishers) bundled the print and digital copies together. Essentially, they 'pre verified' your status with Coverleaf for you. Now you have to complete the request for digital manually. Other than that, no change.

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wsanders123

If you have the print version of the Mac Life magazine, you can go to Coverleaf and continue the digital subscription for free. Coverleaf simply verifies you are a paid subscriber and gives you the digitial magazine for free. Previously, Future Publishing (MacLife publishers) bundled the print and digital copies together. Essentially, they 'pre verified' your status with Coverleaf for you. Now you have to complete the request for digital manually. Other than that, no change.

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trixit

@eebow421

If encryption is not provided by the doc app of your choice then opt for encrypting the entire computer (that is what we do). Or you can create encrypted DMG volume and have all your docs there. There are several options you can do to have your docs secured.

One app is doing this: the iDocument from IcyBlaze Software does encryption. You should look into it.

Good luck going paperless - it's worthy!

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eebow421

@scdepatr; I agree whole heartedly!

I too paid the extra for the combo subscription only to be dismayed when I was forced to use the Coverleaf app to read the mag. Now that I have an iPad and Asus Transformer, I want to read ALL my subscriptions digitally, but it seems that the publishers don't want to support that in any fashion.

@Mac|Life; Let subscribers choose the version they which to receive - digital, print or both! AND give us the digital file of the mag rather than requiring a reader app like Coverleaf that isn't available for other OS's (like iOS or Android) on today's reader hardware. If I pay for the subscription, I want to keep the file I paid for.

@Article: I have wanted to go paperless for years, but have yet to find what I want. I have used trials of all the software mentioned in the article with the exception of NeatReceipts ($80). I have found fault with each, but I think that is related to my OCD nature of organization. NeatReceipts with the NeatDesk scanner looks very promising but they have a hefty price tag ($400).

Since I have mounds of personal military paperwork and family genealogy, I cannot / will not use any app that does not have adequate security / encryption. Once I read the Evernote user agreement (the fine print) and discovered that the company is authorized to use your data, I quit using the program and will never use it for anything important.

Otherwise, I currently use PDF for nearly every document I produce unless an external user needs a different format. With the built-in support for printing to PDF in MAC OS, I use a standardized file naming convention of my own making that tracks my documents. I'm able to search by the file name with Spotlight or other search mechanisms. The documents themselves are still not searchable as they would be with OCR.

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trixit

@eebow421

If encryption is not provided by the doc app of your choice then opt for encrypting the entire computer (that is what we do). Or you can create encrypted DMG volume and have all your docs there. There are several options you can do to have your docs secured.

One app is doing this: the iDocument from IcyBlaze Software does encryption. You should look into it.

Good luck going paperless - it's worthy!

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trixit

Hi guys!

I wanted to share our setup and day to day operations of our office.

We are a small office with 3 employees who use Macs. We have turned to paperless office over 2 years ago.

We are using Leap by Ironic Software, the makers of Yep, together with Dropbox on our MacBook Pro, Air and iMac. Computers run Lion and will be easily upgraded to Mountain Lion in the summer (our setup also worked great under Leopard and Snow Leopard).

You can get Leap, as well as Yep, on the Mac App Store. The reason we use Leap is because it works not only for PDFs, iWork, Word and Excel documents but for a wide variety of other file formats. Yep is limited in this regard but might work great for you. They are very similar apps. Try both, then decide.

Dropbox allows us to store docs in the cloud for easy access from mobile devices and easy sync in between the notebook and desktop computers. Dropbox also acts as a cloud backup storage. If you accidentally delete a doc you have up to 30 days to restore it. So, if your computer crashes you can easily restore from Dropbox. In over 2 years we have never lost a document. Also, thanks to Dropbox syncing with all the computers we basically have "3 local copies" and one cloud copy (in Dropbox) of each document. On top of that the iMac is running Time Machine backup every hour and also has continuous online backup with BackBlaze - online backup made easy service. Yes, we are data cautious... lol

All docs are scanned with the push of a "scan" button on the scanner and automatically saved to one Dropbox folder. (We use PDF format. PDF has been here for ages and will be here for many, many more years. Governments, large and small businesses and individuals all around the world are using the PDF format for archival purposes. We are not worried about its longevity now. If something better comes in the future there will surely be an easy way to switch all the files to the new file format. But for now the benefits are much bigger than worrying what will happen to PDF in the future.)

We don't care about folder hierarchy or structure when we scan docs. All business docs are simply saved to one folder in Dropbox. We let ScanSnap automatically name documents when they are saved (example: 2012_01_13_12_34_18.pdf). The numbers represent date and time of scanning. Then, all docs are tagged and given a brief description in Leap for fast and easy finding.

Our scanner is $400 Fujitsu Scansnap S1500M. It's a great scanner!

Once the docs are scanned and verified the original paper is shredded and put for recycling.

One other thing: I was looking recently at iDocument app by IcyBlaze Software. I have been playing with it a little and it seems it could work well for us, too (if we wanted to switch in the future). However, it's also limited in the number of file formats it can work with just like Yep. You might be interested in trying it out! There is a free Lite version on the Mac App Store.

Now, do it and go paperless! We couldn't be happier as it saves a lot of time and space!

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irritable

There is way too much enthusiasm in the way this article has been presented.

It is all well and good with the concept of going paperless... however as with using any technological solution bear in mind that you need to be able to cope with the concept that things will inevitably change over time.

Don't ever assume that once the paper has been digitised it will be there and ACCESSIBLE forever. In order to keep your data valid it will need to be refreshed on a regular basis ... File formats change (who says that PDF is a viable long term solution?), storage media technology changes (remember: 8" diskettes, bernoulli drives, MFM/RLL winchester disks?), companies go out of business (a rather large company called Ashton Tate did wonderful databases in their day), companies change their operating system compatibility (Apple and the Lion/Rosetta PPC emulation uproar).

I would argue that: Yes, digitising paper makes sense for the sheer ability to sort, file, analyse and retrieve data quickly. But if you have a paper document of value that may be required in say 10, 50, 100 years time keep the original and archive it appropriately.

Surely we should have learnt from the Egyptians who used papyrus five thousand years ago. Those records are still readable today!

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MaclifeUK

You don't necessarily need a scanner.

I use my digital camera, with flash and close-up setting, to photo receipts etc.
(Several, choose the best Q)

And I do not trust my iMac to always be faithful, you can't beat having paper copies of most things, especially "What to do if your iMac fails, or there's a Power Cut" !!!

But yes, it is easier to search for documents and information on my iMac, using Spotlight, or 3rd party EasyFind.

But.... a Power Cut is the biggest danger to just storing information on your iMac.

And having your precious Data, and computer stolen of course.

Password protection is essential, login, firmware, PDF documents, Excel & Word documents, Home inventory photo's .dmg etc.

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scdepatr

It would be great if you'd let me switch my print subscription to digital! Or at least let me read it digitally in addition to the print! I used to be able to read it on coverleaf but you've pulled that too! Why? I'd love to go paperless and just read my monthly MacLife digitally.

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