Right now, my desk is strewn with receipts, freelance contracts, business cards and printed scheduling information that I'm processing for some upcoming conferences and stories. Sooner or later, I'll need to scan a bunch of them in order to pass them along to my editors and clients. Here at home, I use a multifunction printer to manage this, but that's kind of a pain when I want a break from my computer.
I'm exactly the target customer, I suppose, for a new $499 wireless scanner and digital filing system from Neat called NeatConnect (pictured above).
The purpose of the scanner is pretty simple. It's meant for helping turn paper documents, receipts and business cards into digital files that can be send directly to a cloud storage service or emailed someplace -- all without having to be attached to a desktop or notebook computer. (It does require a WiFi connection, of course).
The solution works with Neat's own digital filing system, called NeatCloud, plus it supports the usual suspects when it comes to cloud storage, including Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and SkyDrive (or whatever it winds up being called after Microsoft changes the name). You can also store scanned documents on an SD card or send it to an FTP site.
Here are some other features:
- Touchscreen interface for selecting cloud and email destinations for scanned documents
- Optical character recognition and parsing software
- Management dashboard that lets you organize folders
- The ability to view NeatCloud documents via any Internet-connected device at a later time (including smartphones and tablet computers)
- Folder sharing capabilities
- Ability to export to accounting software applications including QuickBooks, Quicken or TurboTax
The NeatConnect pricetag above includes a three-month subscription for two users to the NeatCloud service; there are free mobile apps for Apple iOS and Android. The product is scheduled to ship in October.