I like to reduce unnecessary work as much as possible and one way to do that is going paperless. Having to deal with significant amount of paperwork, searching for files and other documents takes a lot of time.
You don’t need research like this to tell you that filing and searching for documents, waste a lot of time. I’m sure you have experienced hunting for a piece of document for more time than you like.
So, I’ve been slowly turning my documents to scanned images through a variety of ways including using a flatbed scanner, the smartphone and even a digital camera.
All these ways work but they have their downsides. With a smartphone or a digital camera, the image files are huge and need further manipulation to make them easier to store. The images also do not always come out clean and straight.
With a flatbed scanner, you get good images but scanning speed is slow. Figure about 20 to 30 seconds per page.
A document scanner I have my eye on is this one, the Canon P-215. It does duplex scanning, which means it scans both sides in one single pass and can create a nicely multipage pdf file, not just individual images for each page you scan. Sweet.
(Update – Canon has a newer unit called the P-215 II with slight improvements).
The downside, the price in Malaysia is simply exorbitant. What are the local dealers profit margin I wonder?
Standard retail price is just under RM 1,400 give or take. Local online shops are selling it for around the same price. I asked the branded store guy and he told me that is the best selling model which means, there is demand. Not like it is a slow moving item that nobody buys thus the higher price. (Update – Local prices have fallen to around RM 1,250 when I checked in 2017)
On Amazon, it is priced at US$ 199 excluding shipping to Malaysia. With the more pricey but faster Amazon Global Priority Shipping (which means it will get to me within a week) included, it is a grand total of US$ 254 at RM 3.3 to the dollar, that make it only RM 839 shipped to Malaysia.
If I’m willing to wait using slower shipping (which will take 2 weeks to reach me), it is only US$ 231 or RM 766 shipped. 44% cheaper, almost half the price compared to getting it here.
Things like document scanners makes one more productive. Imagine the time saved from filing and retrieving documents?
Besides that, you will probably reduce paper use and utilize space better by digitizing your documents.
Could it be the prices of such office equipment that makes us still less productive?
Yes, the alternative would be to get an AIO “all in one printer” for around RM 500 to RM 800. At this price range, these AIO printers do not do duplex scanning. Duplex scanning means scanning both sides of a piece of paper in one go.
Most all in on printers at this price range may not even have automatic sheet feeder function which mean you have to be there to feed your documents in page by page.
These AIO printers are good for the occasional document you need to scan and print. However if you are a small business or a home based business with significantly more documents or you want to get rid of manuals and such, then, a dedicated document scanner is better in the long run.
I cannot imagine the time required to sit besides a computer manually scanning inch thick training manuals or other documents. Calculate how much is your time worth to you and you’ll know it make sense.
This is the journey of how I went paperless.
Is dealing with document and filing consuming a significant amount of time? How do you plan to overcome it?
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