The Pain out of Going Paperless

I'm helping Mom go paperless.  This can be a real challenge when you're dealing with a compulsive clipper and information horder.  It's been less than a month, and I've had to up the quota on my Evernote account twice.  

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Here's the setup that I've been using.  That's a Scansnap S1500M on the corner of the desk.  I almost balked at the price, but boy am I glad I didn't.  It can just plow through page after page, scanning both sides as it goes.  If I were trying this with a flatbed scanner, I know I'd have given up maybe 10% into the project.  I'm old enough to remember the days when printers could consistently make it maybe 10 pages before jamming, and that was with nice fresh paper of uniform size and thickness.  I found myself "testing the boundaries" of what I could feed the scanner by giving it a stack that might contain card stock, business cards, notepad pages, and magazine and newspaper clippings of various sizes and shapes.  I was stunned at the rarity of jams.  

Of course, there are limits.  Some newspaper clippings are full pages, which just don't fit the 8.5 inch capacity.  Oh well, I guess I'll just have to improvise a flatbed for this.  That's the tripod on the left of the picture.  Some of these clippings have been in  folders for decades and so are well creased. I enlisted the help of an acrylic sheet to hold them flat.  The blue painters tape shows me the edges of my scan area.  

Where is all this data going?  I set up a notebook in my Evernote account called "Mom". For multipage documents, I hit the "pdf" button and it is compiled into a single, OCR'd document.  Single pages I just drop in as jpegs and let Evernote handle the OCRing for searches.  Mom's birthday present is going to be a refurbished iPad with the Evernote app already pointing to her notebook.  Instead of repeatedly second guessing the boxes a given document belongs in, she can just add tags.  You can have multiple tags on a document without having to run to the copy shop, and tags don't create quite the tripping hazard.