Scanning Documents is Only Step One of Moving to a Paperless Office

The paperless office seems like the nirvana of any minimalist. The total lack of paper on my desk and the ability to use file drawers for more interesting stuff, has appealed to me for a long time. But I have been held back by many worries, most importantly is how to store all this information and how to keep it secured and backed up.

Instead of thinking about it, I’ve decided to actively go and try it out. I have too many boxes of low important documents, so it seems like a great idea to start with those. Productivity 501 has already done a few interesting posts on the subjects, so I’m going to let that be my inspiration.

Step one of the experiment is the acquisition of data. Scanning (or converting) all documents into a usable format is the stone on which the entire office is built. Unfortunately I’m already at a roadblock. Most sources tell me Adobe Acrobat and a scanner that can output OCR-ed PDF files is indispensable. Two things I don’t have and don’t want to pay for at this stage.

My inner geek was happy, time to search the open source sites and find a better and free alternative. However, my search didn’t turn out too many options. Please shoot me a message if you know of some good scanning and OCR open source software.

However, I stumbled upon Ocropus, the code that Google supposedly uses for its scanning and reading of books. I’ll soon let you all know how that works out for my own little library.