O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Take Control of Your Paperless Office, 3rd Edition

Book Description

Digitize your documents while reducing incoming and outgoing paper!

Join Joe Kissell as he helps you clear the chaos of an office overflowing with paper. With Joe's guidance you can develop a personal clean-up strategy and choose your Mac-compatible tools—a scanner and the software you need to perform OCR (optical character recognition)—plus devices and services for storing your digitized documents and tools to categorize, locate, and view your digital document collections.

Once you have your gear in hand, Joe shows you how to convert your paper documents to digitized files and gives you ideas for how to organize your office workflow, explaining how to develop day-to-day techniques that reduce the amount of time you spend pressing buttons, launching software, and managing documents.

Bonus! The book also comes with downloadable “folder action” AppleScripts that simplify the process of OCR-ing PDFs in Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY FineReader Express, PDFpen/PDFpenPro, and Readiris. Save or move a PDF in the appropriate folder, and the script does the rest!

You’ll master these paper-reducing skills:

  • Scanning or photographing documents you find while out and about—business cards, receipts, menus, flyers, and more—so you keep only digitized versions. Joe discusses a variety of mobile scanning options, with an emphasis on using a camera-equipped iOS device, but with mention of a few options for Android smartphones.

  • Creating a digitized image of your signature so you can sign and share documents digitally, rather than printing them for the sole purpose of signing them with a pen.

  • Setting up your computer to send and receive faxes so you can avoid using a physical fax machine with paper input and output. Joe describes online fax services and using a fax modem (note that fax modem support is not available in macOS 10.12 Sierra).

Joe also discusses standard techniques for reducing paper—paperless billing, online bank statements, reducing unwanted catalogs and junk mail, and more, as well as less common practices, such as paperless postal mail services and check depositing services.

You’ll find answers to numerous questions, including:

  • What is a "searchable PDF," and why is it key to a paperless office?
  • What differentiates "document scanners" from other types of scanners?
  • What’s a book scanner?
  • What if I need a mobile, portable scanner?
  • What does TWAIN stand for, and should my scanner support it?
  • Why do I need OCR software, and what features should I look for?
  • What scanners and OCR products does Joe recommend?
  • How can I automate my workflow for scanning documents?
  • How should I name and file my digitized documents?
  • What paper documents should I keep in physical form?
  • How do I use common tools to add a signature to a PDF?
  • How can I access my digital documents remotely?
  • How should I back up my important digital documents?

Table of Contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Basics
    3. What’s New in the Third Edition
  2. Introduction
  3. Paperless Office Quick Start
  4. Reassess Your Paperless Office Strategy
    1. What’s New in the Paperless Office
    2. Factors to Reevaluate
  5. Meet Your New Paperless Office
    1. Learn the Benefits of Ditching Paper
    2. Understand Searchable PDFs
    3. Consider Storage Options
    4. Envision a Paperless Future
  6. Head Off Most Paper Before It Reaches You
    1. Sign Up for Paperless Billing
    2. Choose Online Bank Statements
    3. Receive Invoices Electronically
    4. Explore Other Paperless Options
    5. Get Paperless Postal Mail
  7. Choose a Document Scanner
    1. Learn Why Document Scanners Are Different
    2. Consider Important Scanner Features
    3. Pick a Mac-compatible Scanner
  8. Choose OCR Software
    1. Determine Your Needs
    2. Consider Important OCR Features
    3. Pick a Mac OCR Package
    4. Joe’s OCR Software Recommendations
  9. Configure Your Software
    1. Understand the Scanning Process
    2. Choose Your Main Scanning Options
    3. Set the Destination
    4. Set the File Format
    5. Set Other Scanning Options
    6. Set OCR Options
    7. Choose a Naming and Filing Strategy
    8. Automate OCR
  10. Create a Workflow for Incoming Paper
    1. Create a Physical Paper Path
    2. Scan All Incoming Paper Immediately
    3. Back Up Scanned Data
    4. Keep Legally Important Documents
    5. Recycle or Shred Leftovers
  11. Work Through a Backlog
    1. Prune Unnecessary Documents
    2. Prioritize What’s Left
    3. Try Scanning 50 Sheets per Day
    4. Hire a Minion
    5. Outsource Scanning
  12. OCR on the Go
    1. Learn about Pocket-sized OCR Tools
    2. Pick an iOS Scanning App
    3. Use Android Devices
    4. Use Your Digital Camera
  13. Avoid Common Printing Needs
    1. Think (and Track) When You Print
    2. Review and Annotate Documents
    3. Take Notes without Paper
    4. Send Invoices Electronically
    5. Fax (Paperlessly) When Email Isn’t an Option
    6. Always Print to PDF When Possible
    7. Never Print “Just in Case”
    8. Carry a Mobile Device Instead of Paper
  14. Sign Documents without Paper
    1. Determine When a Pseudo-signature Is Acceptable
    2. Scan Your Signature
    3. Superimpose Your Signature on a PDF
    4. Learn about Digital Signatures
  15. Fax without Paper
    1. Receive Incoming Faxes
    2. Send Outgoing Faxes
  16. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author
    3. About the Publisher
  17. Copyright and Fine Print