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Old 04-11-2011, 05:06 PM
Default Update Paperless office... document management ? (High speed scanner)

I'm going to share my experience in case someone else is contemplating
going paperless like we were.

The Dell 3335dn (printer, scanner, copier, fax machine/server )arrived
last week.

Disclaimer. I have no affiliation with Dell.

I did a quick, dirty and incomplete setup on it and started scanning to
a USB mass storage device, ie flash thumb drive. (The 3335 also supports
scanning to an ftp server !)

The 3335dn is an incredible scanner. The touchscreen UI is very
intuitive and flexible. The (duplex!) document feeder works very well.
The scans are high quality and fast, though double sided scans are a bit
slower due to the speed of how the duplexer turns the page over.

In 2 hours I scanned about 100 documents. About 10 pounds of paper
considering the envelopes, advertising, inserts, etc. The documents
consisted of bulky insurance documents, contracts. bank statements,
brochures, invoices, receipts, monthly statements and correspondence.
Sizes ranged from the usual legal and letter stuff to various odd sizes.
B&W and color. Single sided and double sided. Landscape and portrait.
The 3335dn handles it all.

I've since scanned about 300 documents.

Everything has come out great.

Here is a great example. I have this paper catalog that I frequently
use. The vendor doesn't or won't provide a digital copy. Mine
frequently gets lost and other people want to use it. Its about 100
pages, 8.5 x 11, color, double sided.

I pulled the staples out of my copy and cut it in half down the binding
center. I trimmed up the edges a bit and slipped half of them into the
document feeder and pressed "Scan It" When the first half was done, I
scanned the second half. I got 2 really good color pdf files, 50 pages
each !

The 3335 isn't perfect.

For one thing the document feeder has a single roller wheel in the
center. It works fairly well except that if the edges of the pages
aren't great (like if you cut apart a catalog), the pages tend to go
through a bit crooked. Its no big deal, but it would be great if the
feed drive had several rollers instead of just a central one. Having
said all this, the 3335 document feeder jammed only once and I was
feeding some pretty horrendous paper through it.

It also isn't the fastest printer when warm up times are taken into
account. But once through the warm up sequence, its great.

A really neat thing about the 3335 is that it will print the first copy
of a job and then wait for input on whether to "Finish the job." At
first I found it annoying, but now I find it very useful in that I don't
waste paper with an incorrect copy or print job.

Back to the issue at hand... thanks to the 3335dn, we have now converted
a ton of paper into pdf and jpg files. Its incredible how much that
cleaned up my office.

While we haven't done much organizing other than sorting them into
folders (something that can be done right at the 3335 when scanning them
if desired), our office is much tidier and the documents are much, much
more accessable. The utility of this simple step alone is huge.

Prior to scanning our documents we were contemplating the purchase of an
industrial sized filing cabinet and we dreaded searching for specific
pieces of paper. Our office is much, much more efficient now and I only
see it getting better as we do more with the documents.

So far going paperless has been a huge success and we don't regret it
for a second.

The best thing is the elimination of piles of paper as a means to
organize things. One of the things I find myself doing is keeping a
Todo list in Writer and with every item I now have a link to the
documents that concern it. Very, very handy. That fact alone reduces
the barriers to getting things done.

Its also very handy to be able to send an email to someone and attach
the actual document that is being discussed.

Of course this story isn't complete. I'll update our progress as we go
along, including how we integrate the documents into other software
applications we use.


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