I recently realized that I have been using my awesome Fujitsu ScanSnap s1300i scanner for a little over a year now. One year later, it is still awesome and one of the most important tools I have to keep me paperless.
Given that I’ve been using the scanner now for over a year, here’s a few thoughts on my experience with the scanner and how things have changes in the year that I have been using it.
- The s1300i is still the primary way I go paperless, converting any paper I get into digital form by running it through the scanner and getting rid of the paper.
- In the year that I’ve been using the scanner, I cannot recall a single occasion upon which I have had a problem. The scanner rarely jams; its paper feeder is excellent. And on the rare occasions it has jammed, it has almost always been user error.
- I have learned to speed up the scanning process by turning off the features in the scanner software that create searchable PDFs. This slows down the scanning, and once the document is scanned to Evernote, the resulting PDF will become searchable, thanks to a similar feature that runs on Evernote’s servers. This allows me to scan paper in quickly, but still get searchable documents out of them.
- Part of what makes the scanner so successful is that it is incredibly simple to get documents into Evernote. I set the paper in the feeder, push the scanner button, the document is scanned and it automatically appears in Evernote. Done.
- When I started using the scanner, I had a bin on my desk in which I’d collect the paper I needed to scan. A year later, I no longer have the bin because I no longer get that much paper. Today, when I have paper I need to scan, if I don’t scan it right away, I simply set the paper on top of my s1300i, and it is there waiting for me the next time I am ready to scan.
I think we often take for granted tools that just work without any problems. Televisions and refrigerators are two such appliances that I’ve had little occasion to complain about. And my ScanSnap s1300i is another one to add to this list. It just works, no problems, and has done so for over a year.
I wanted to try to figure out just how many pages I’ve scanned in that year, but I ran out of time. Extrapolating from some data I pulled from Evernote, however, I think I’ve scanned on the order of 500 documents, probably totalling somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 pages. The frequency of scanning has gone down considerably because I get less and less paper, but that still averages to between 3-5 pages per day.
Kudos to the Fujitsu people for making such a reliable, useful scanner. It has been a big part of why I have been able to go paperless.
Recently, the good folks over at Fujitsu sent me a ScanSnap S1300i portable scanner. Until recently, I have been using my Canon ImageFormula P-150M. I’ve been very happy with the Canon scanner, but there has been one recurring problem I’ve had with it: page feeding. Half the time I load multiple pages into the feeder, they either pull through simultaneously or get jammed on their way through. Since many of the documents I scan are multipage, you can imagine this can be frustrating.
So I decided to try the ScanSnap S1300i, mostly to see if it solved this problem. It is comparable in most ways to the Canon, perhaps just slightly bigger. But when it comes to scanning multiple pages, it does a far superior job. In the 10 days that I’ve had the ScanSnap, I’ve fed dozens of multiple page documents through it, including documents that would jam the Canon and have not once had a jam. Nor has the scanner decided to pull through multiple pages at once. As far as I can tell, the page feeder is on the ScanSnap is better than the one on my Canon and this makes me very happy because it solves the only real problem I had with my scanning. I even scanned documents that were creased and folded at some point–these documents always stymied by Canon scanner, but no so the Fujitsu ScanSnap.
Beyond the ability to successfully scan multiple pages without issues, the ScanSnap S1300i also does the things I absolutely must have my scanner do:
- Scans directly to Evernote. Load the paper, click the button and the document is automatically scanned into Evernote as a searchable PDF.
- Duplex scanning in a single pass (scans both sides of the page at the same time, and knows to ignore blank pages)
- Can handle different page sizes.
- Will straighten out crooked scans.
- Nice power management features.
While I like my Canon scanner, I think the ScanSnap S1300i is better because it doesn’t have issues with the page feeder. This saves me time and allows me to get my scans into Evernote on the first try.
There are lots of other features of the ScanSnap that I haven’t tried yet, but that look good. You can stitch PDFs together, you can scan in business cards and capture the information. You can use multiple scanning profiles. But for what I do–my 10 minutes of scanning each day–the features that I described above are all I need and they work great. I would recommend the ScanSnap S1300i for people looking for a reliable, portable, duplex scanner that can scan directly into Evernote. It’s a great little scanner.
In my capacity as Evernote’s paperless lifestyle ambassador, I get enough questions about the scanner that I’ve used to go paperless that it probably warrants its own short post.
I use the Canon ImageFormulaP-150M. The “M” designates its compatibility with a Macintosh, which is the machine it is connected to at home.
Why did I choose this particular scanner?
- I wanted something small, that wouldn’t take a lot of space on my desk
- I wanted something that would handle the volume that I typically have–usually less than 10 pages/day
- I required a scanner that was compatible with a Mac.
- I wanted a scanner that could scan directly into Evernote.
The Canon ImageFormula P-150M meets all of these requirements. It can scan high quality images, and can scan something like 14 pages per minute, which meets my needs. It has a programmable button that allows you to put your pages in the scanner, push the button and have the resulting PDF send directly to Evernote. I’ve been using this scanner for months and have never had a problem with it. It works very well and I have no problem recommending it for others who have similar requirements.
Here’s what the scanner looks like in action: