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In my effort to reduce my life's clutter, I've bought a scanner, and scanned the thousands of paper documents scattered around my house.

To make this worthwhile I need a software which will enable me to save all these documents securely, as well as allow me to find the ones I need when I need them.

I need a program which can:

  • Store and index thousands of documents (PDF, PNG, etc. either OCRed or not)
  • Be secure (some of those documents are very private - bank statements, etc.) - meaning client side encryption.
  • Provide some back-up solution (for the possibility of my PC frying with all my paper history...)
  • Allow for day-to-day management and addition of new documents
  • Store document's date (which should be editable, since it might not be the date it was scanned/inserted to the system)
  • Have some cloud features (search anywhere) - advantage

I'm using a Windows 7 machine.

Note

Although I've posted the answer of what I use as a solution, I am very interested to hear of other solutions, as mine is a little convoluted... Anyone?

  • This is for the paper in the home clutter - mine, and still most people's home computer is Windows - hence the requirement. Web-apps are allowed, though I would be interested to see how they can uphold the security requirement... – Uri Agassi Feb 18 '14 at 11:16
8

Currently I use Evernote to store and index all my documents.

How does it match the requirements?

  • Store and index thousands of documents: that's its main usecase
  • Allow for day-to-day management: very easily add and tag documents
  • Store document's date: in Evernote, you can easily edit an entry's Created at field, which elegantly solves the initial porting problem.
  • Cloud features: by default all documents are available online.

Where it falls short

  • Be secure - client side encryption: Evernote does not provide client side encryption. Since this is very critical for me, I use Evernote's private notebook feature for my scanned documents. This of course negates the backup feature of Evernote...
  • Provide backup solution: Since I'm not using Evernote's cloud feature, I need to provide my own backup solution. For that I use CrashPlan Pro, with which I backup Evernote's database file (%PROGRAM_DATA%/Evernote/Databases). CrashPlan uses client-encryption, and incremental change support, so it is very well fitted for this need.

Here are my experiences at scanning, backing up and indexing my paperless office.

I would like to know if there is a more stream-lined solution out there, which does not require me to weave two programs to fit all my needs...

  • I'm in the same position as you are and looking for exactly for the same software / solution. Evernote seems like a solution, but like you described there are some downsides. One year after your original post, have you found something better / more suited? – Ratnanil Sep 8 '16 at 7:04
  • @Ratnanil - I have still not found a better solution, though I still think my current solution is not ideal. I'll be very glad to see any new posts on this subject here or elsewhere... How are you handling this situation? – Uri Agassi Sep 8 '16 at 12:19
  • At the moment, I'm doing it in the worst manner possible: With dropbox. This "solution" has the benefit of being cloud based, cross plattform and it comes along with some backup features. The main downside is the lack of the "tag"-capability. In addition, I seriously question the secureness (considering how easy it is to create a public link to any file stored within the dropbox). I'd like to reanimate your question, how would I best go about this? Is rephrasing it ok? – Ratnanil Sep 8 '16 at 14:34
  • @Ratnanil - the canonical way to do that here is using bounties. – Uri Agassi Sep 8 '16 at 18:37
  • I'm still unsure of how my perfect solution would look like. I'm actually looking into evernote business. Which plan are you using? – Ratnanil Oct 7 '16 at 14:07

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