Shoeboxed vs. ScanSnap–An Epiphany

I was writing a post on the weekend about ways to get organized in the New Year. It’s not up yet, in case you’re trying to find it.


During the post, I had included Shoeboxed in my list of suggested services. No, it’s not a service I have personally used yet, but from my research and the reviews I’ve read, I feel safe recommending it. At some point after finishing the post, I had an epiphany.

scansnap1500I’ve been wanting a Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500 for what seems like forever now. Well, that or a NeatDesk. Basically, I really wanted a high powered scanner that would digitize my receipts, business cards, and invoices in a snap. Going through crumpled up receipts is such a large part of my daily routine, and any product or service that would streamline this is a big deal. Unfortunately, these two scanners run somewhere in the neighbourhood of $500. Yikes!

To be fair, these are meant to be business grade products. These aren’t your $99 scanners you get for free when you buy a PC, but that’s still a lot of money. Plus, with all things tech, I don’t really expect it to be useful for anymore than 2 years. Within 24 months, my guess is that it will fall apart, or just stop measuring up to my needs.

My Epiphany:

Shoeboxed IS a ScanSnap 1500. Well, ok, not literally. But is there that much of a difference? For a monthly fee, you send all of your crumpled up papers to them, and they do what the Scansnap does (and maybe even better). Plus, I don’t have to sit next to them while the papers go through. I don’t have to clear up paper jams, and I don’t have to talk to someone trying to sell me an extended warranty on my Shoeboxed.

Based on their prices, I think I’d end up needing either the Lite or Classic plan, which are $9.95 and $29.95 per month respectively. Or, if I pay annually, $99 or $299 per year. Using my 2 year scenario, that would be $600 for 2 years, instead of the $500 for the Scansnap.

This might just be the answer I’ve been looking for. Setting aside $500 for a scanner is tough (at least for me it is), but $30/month is doable. Plus, all the time I would have spent scanning the documents is freed up for other work. If I even bill out 1 extra hour a month due to my extra free time, it just paid for itself.

So, what do you think? Does my epiphany make sense? Is the freed up time worth the extra $50-60/year? Do any of you use Shoeboxed? How about a ScanSnap or a NeatDesk? I’d love to hear your experiences and your opinions.