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Does anyone have experience with NeatDesk?
vanity | 9-28-12 | self

Posted on 09/28/2012 7:21:51 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

First of all, I apologize for posting a vanity, but I have a serious question for the technology buffs on FRee Republic.

Has anyone here had any experience with the scanner and OCR conversion software called NeatDesk? I am considering buying one of these digital filing devices, to clear the clutter, but I don't know how difficult it will be to actually produce reports for taxes, etc. from this device. How does it find dates, titles, and other data points from a scanned document, especially when they are all so different and the info is found in different places on the page?

TryNeat.com

I recently acquired the Power of Attorney for my 99 year old mother who lives in another state. Her mail is coming here, and I brought most of her important papers home with me. She is in assisted living, but I am overwhelmed with paper work. As tax season approaches, I have to get this under some kind of control, or I will be in deep trouble.

I talked to my usual computer consultant, and he expressed reservations about products like this. However, he admits that he has only lilmited experience with a business card scanner many years ago on which to base his opinion.

Does anyone out there in FReeper land have actual experience with this product, and to you love it, or hate it? Or, is there another product that will tame this mountain of bills, receipts, medical reports, etc.?


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: consumers; technology

1 posted on 09/28/2012 7:21:55 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I can do the same with the $59 all-in-one Epson printer, copier, scanner I have. It may take longer, but it will get the same results for a lot less money. The same holds true for the Epson printer, scanner, copier I have. Simply put, all you have to do is scan documents then save them in a categorized directory. And for around $79 you can buy a graphics program such as Coral PaintShop Pro that will effortlessly manage your graphic files.


2 posted on 09/28/2012 7:26:23 AM PDT by bcsco (Bourbon gets better with age...I age better with Bourbon.)
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To: Fiddlstix; Hunton Peck; Diana in Wisconsin; P from Sheb; Shady; DonkeyBonker; Wisconsinlady; JPG; ..

I am just pinging random folks to this thread, hoping that somebody can advise me. Please feel free to extend my ping to anyone who is computer savvy.


3 posted on 09/28/2012 7:27:21 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: Fiddlstix; Hunton Peck; Diana in Wisconsin; P from Sheb; Shady; DonkeyBonker; Wisconsinlady; JPG; ..

I am just pinging random folks to this thread, hoping that somebody can advise me. Please feel free to extend my ping to anyone who is computer savvy.


4 posted on 09/28/2012 7:27:21 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I had a neat desk once. Before I put stuff on it.


5 posted on 09/28/2012 7:30:38 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (I will fear no muslim))
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I don’t know anything about this particular product, and there are cheaper ways to do the same thing that this product has to offer.

But I think the one question that does need to be answered is whether or not this product will help you become more productive. If it saves you time, then it could be a product worth getting.

I often go to www.cnet.com and see product reviews for software I am interested in.


6 posted on 09/28/2012 7:31:02 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: bcsco

Thanks for your input. My computer consultant has said something similar. I can’t get my mind around how I make a spread sheet out of the information from such an array of diffeering docuents. Could you be a little more explicit? Are you manually pulling the info out of each document and putting into a spread sheet?


7 posted on 09/28/2012 7:31:50 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: Hardraade

Saw a sign once that I really want to get. It said something like: If a cluttered desk signifies a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk signify?


8 posted on 09/28/2012 7:33:35 AM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I saw the video and one question I have is whether or not you really have to buy the scanner. Can you buy just the software, or equivalent software?

That part, if you already own a scanner, seems to be a waste of money to me.


9 posted on 09/28/2012 7:34:06 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

A neat desk is a sign of a sick mind. I know nothing of the software.


10 posted on 09/28/2012 7:38:50 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: knittnmom
If a cluttered desk signifies a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk signify?

Probably has the same meaning as an empty chair.


11 posted on 09/28/2012 7:40:17 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Jonty30
Thanks for the really good tip. The C-Net review was devastating and I will not consider this product any longer. Review
12 posted on 09/28/2012 7:42:34 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I know a woman who bought one. She loves to play with electronic stuff and software. She said it worked very well and she was glad she bought it. I haven’t seen the woman for a couple of months, so I don’t know if her opinion still holds.

My filing system is simple. I pile it up on the desk until it starts bugging my husband, who then files every thing in the proper location. Simple. (I’m grateful that he’s willing to do that because he’s much better at organizing then me).


13 posted on 09/28/2012 7:42:46 AM PDT by stansblugrassgrl (PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMUNITION!!! YEEEEEHAW!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

For that you need an OCR scanning program. I use Abby Fine Reader Sprint. It came bundled with a printer, but I upgraded it online. It works great.

I place a document on the bed of my printer, then run Abby Fine Reader. It scans the document and converts it to a text format that allows it to be inserted into Word or Excel. In fact, Abby does the insertion with just the click of a button.

A few days ago I copied several pages from an operations manual and converted them to a Word document (American Legion meeting agenda guidelines so my fellow Legion officers can have a copy of them). Abbey converted and transferred every page flawlessly, no errors or misreads.

But, as I read your post again, I’m not sure that’s what you mean. Another way would be to scan the document with PaintShop Pro (or consider Gimp, which is free) and save it as a graphic file. Then, in Excel, create a line item description of the document, then a link to the graphic. IE “Expenditure: 09/28/2012 - Wal-Mart {next cell} wm09-28-12.jpg”.


14 posted on 09/28/2012 7:46:33 AM PDT by bcsco (Bourbon gets better with age...I age better with Bourbon.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

What exactly are you going to scan? Financial statements from large companies/credit cards/utilities/hospitals are already in electronic format. You just have to ask for them to be sent that way instead of on paper. My only paper receipts are for occasional purchases/donations for cash.


15 posted on 09/28/2012 7:47:38 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I ordered the tried the Neat Desk....It did not work perform the tasks I needed it to perform. I hoped to scan my invoices into it and be able to easily access them to eliminate paper...however, there was no way to choose the fields you wanted it to capture....On routine receipts like Walmart, grocery store, etc. it seemed to be able to pick those up quite easily but not on my invoices. I communicated with the company and they tried to help me figure it out but then admitted it was not programmed to do what I wanted it to do....


16 posted on 09/28/2012 7:49:18 AM PDT by jhrutkay
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To: stansblugrassgrl
I gave my wife a box and when it gets filled about every other month, I dump it into the garbage.

That causes a bit of anxiety from time to time but it works.

17 posted on 09/28/2012 7:52:01 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Obama at the UN: The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

C-Net is your friend. They have helped me a number of times.


18 posted on 09/28/2012 7:58:17 AM PDT by rightly_dividing
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To: afraidfortherepublic
As tax season approaches ...
If your mother is 99 y/o, I wouldn't even bother sending in a tax return. Screw the IRS and FUBO.
19 posted on 09/28/2012 7:59:02 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: jhrutkay; Kirkwood

I have a mountain of paper on my dining room table — hospital bills, insurance statements (”this is not a bill...”), retirement payments, bank statements, ambulance, doctor bills, etc, etc. I was planning to put them all into electronic and searchable form so that I could stack up all the paper and put it in a box and store it in the back of a closet.

I guess I’ll have to address this the old fashioned way. Any suggestions? Looks like I need a file box and lots of folders!


20 posted on 09/28/2012 7:59:02 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: rightly_dividing

Yes. Their user reviews were shocking! I should have thought of them in the first place.


21 posted on 09/28/2012 8:02:08 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I have the business card scanner and it is excellent, if that helps you.


22 posted on 09/28/2012 8:10:46 AM PDT by COUNTrecount (What Clint Said !!!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Here is my experience with the Neat Desk. Our tiny local radio station has a swap shop every day. A woman called in selling hers. She said she paid X for it and was wanting to sell it for 1/2X. She called in several days before she gave up or it sold, don’t know which.


23 posted on 09/28/2012 8:14:05 AM PDT by eartrumpet
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To: afraidfortherepublic

First thing I would do is make sure all future billing is done electronically. Then see if you can get past month’s statements and bills sent to you electronically. Usually this just involves setting up a password account for you. 99% of what you describe is already electronically stored somewhere. Then hire a cpa to take of this backlog. It is just data entry and will not cost much. The cpa will organize this for you in a couple of weeks. One of the smartest things I ever did was to hire a cpa instead of doing this kind of stuff myself.


24 posted on 09/28/2012 8:17:43 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I think filing systems are as personal as your choice of car or favorite food

for me, throing everything in a pile is best- I can usually find something by wading through in chronoligical order

but then again, I gave up caring long ago


25 posted on 09/28/2012 8:22:48 AM PDT by Mr. K ("The only thing the World would hate more than the USA in charge is the USA NOT in charge")
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To: afraidfortherepublic

There are software programs that do OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and convert scanned images into excel files.

They are pretty good but not perfect.

You will also need to design a good file / folder / storage system on your computer so that you can find the stored documents later. Folders for medical bills, hospital bills, doctors, healthcare supplies,

Descriptive file names help also.

2012_09_28_Greenview_Nursing_Invoice.xls


26 posted on 09/28/2012 8:27:23 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I bought the compact one from Woot.com for about $75 but haven’t used it yet.


27 posted on 09/28/2012 8:38:02 AM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Don’t think that you are going to just dump a pile of documents into a scanner and have it magically sort and file them logically without some user input.

It probably isn’t going to happen.


28 posted on 09/28/2012 8:46:08 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
This is what I use:

Hardware - Brother DS 600 scanner

Software - Paper Valet Pro

Caveat - I store things in PDF format only, not OCR, so although this combo has an OCR option, I can't report on it. Paper Valet makes it easy enough to label and organize the PDFs for future lookup that I am fine with that format.

29 posted on 09/28/2012 9:02:05 AM PDT by Eric Pode of Croydon
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To: oh8eleven

As tax season approaches ...
If your mother is 99 y/o, I wouldn’t even bother sending in a tax return. Screw the IRS and FUBO. “

Best answer to anything I have seen for a long time. Still laughing about it! Thanks.


30 posted on 09/28/2012 9:39:38 AM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Grams A
Best answer to anything I have seen for a long time. Still laughing about it! Thanks.
My pleasure ... and I speak from experience.
BTW, do you think the IRS would dare come after anyone 99+ y/o? Nev'a happen.
31 posted on 09/28/2012 9:47:43 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Hardraade

Empty desk, empty mind.


32 posted on 09/28/2012 9:52:29 AM PDT by monocle
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To: oh8eleven

It’s a good possibility it may complicate her affairs after she passes though.


33 posted on 09/28/2012 9:53:55 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Ignorance is bliss- I'm stoked)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
My suggestions:
  1. Focus less on the scanning part and more on the “where am I scanning all this stuff to and how do I access it later?” part.
  2. To that end, create an Evernote account (free)
  3. Find a decent scanner that allows you to scan directly to your Evernote notes (Here's a good start: http://michaelhyatt.com/how-to-scan-documents-directly-into-evernote.html)

I hope this helps. Good luck.

34 posted on 09/28/2012 9:54:54 AM PDT by rpierce (We have taglines now? :)
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To: listenhillary
Don’t think that you are going to just dump a pile of documents into a scanner and have it magically sort and file them logically without some user input.

I can dream, can't I?

35 posted on 09/28/2012 10:03:55 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: rpierce

Your suggestion sounds workable. But, once I have every thing into my folders, etc. how do I get it out into a usable report? IOW, how do I group medical expenses, nursing home expenses, income, etc. so that I can provide that to her tax preparer?


36 posted on 09/28/2012 10:24:38 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: rpierce

BTW, I would like to get all of this info consolidated on my lap top so that I can have it with me at all times. IOW, when I travel to CA to see people in person, I can just pull out my laptop to access the records, rather than carrying box loads of papers with me all the time. When I visit the SS offices, I can pull up my POA. Et Cetera! Is this even possible?


37 posted on 09/28/2012 10:27:34 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Joe Biden is reported to be seeking asylum in a foreign country so he does not have to debate Ryan.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

You group them into folders when you store them.

All of the nursing home invoices in one folder
Hospital bills in one folder
Surgeon fees, doctor visits in one folder
Over the counter medication in one folder
Income in one folder
Property taxes in one folder
Charitable donations in one folder
Tax deductions in one folder

To the tax preparer? Burn it to a CD or copy it to a USB flash drive and mark them with her name on the outside. Don’t delete anything, just give the tax guy a copy.


38 posted on 09/28/2012 10:41:06 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The key will be to either tag each note for your needs (e.g. “medical”) and/or assign them to notebooks you make for specific purposes.

For example every receipt gets a tag of “receipt” and the year (e.g. “2012”).

To get a “usable report” just search by tags or select the notebooks and view/print only those notes.

Hope this helps.


39 posted on 09/28/2012 11:14:27 AM PDT by rpierce (We have taglines now? :)
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To: Hardraade
I had a neat desk once. Before I put stuff on it.

Yeah. Me too!


40 posted on 09/28/2012 11:25:57 AM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Obama A man without an American mission.)
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To: Focault's Pendulum

Lol. Home!


41 posted on 09/28/2012 11:56:30 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (I will fear no muslim))
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I have owned it for four years and am happy with it. I use it for expense reports. I scan my receipts with the mobile(small) scanner. The OCR software does a pretty good job of recognizing and itemizing the categories. It does take some reviewing but all of them do. For instance, I can do an expense report with 50 receipts in probably 30 or 40 minutes. The original receipt is copied and the data put in a searchable PDF. I can then email my expenses to the home office for payment.


42 posted on 09/28/2012 12:03:48 PM PDT by cornfedcowboy (Trust in God, but empty the clip.)
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To: knittnmom

It signifies you are the boss especially if a client is coming in. :)


43 posted on 09/28/2012 12:54:17 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: freekitty

LOL!


44 posted on 09/28/2012 1:31:18 PM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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To: oh8eleven

BTW, do you think the IRS would dare come after anyone 99+ y/o? Nev’a happen.”

Considering that everything from them is computer generated, I wouldn’t put it past them. My 19 year old grandson got a letter this year after we filed his tax return because I had missed including $14.42 of interest he earned on his savings account which he opened after he sold some sheep. I swear we never received a 1099 for it. Penalty and interest were slightly in excess of $37.00. He’s a college student and pays part of his school expenses by breeding and selling sheep.


45 posted on 09/28/2012 6:41:49 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Grams A
Considering that everything from them is computer generated, I wouldn’t put it past them.
I stopped doing my mom's return nine years before she died ... and my mother-in-law's for almost as long. Never heard a peep from IRS.
It's the checking of numbers on the return that triggers everything that follows.
46 posted on 09/29/2012 6:15:12 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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