Monday, April 29, 2013

Filing, -photographing documents en-mass

Filing is something that I'm both good at, and bad at.

There comes a point in most peoples lives when they are quite literally bogged down with paper. from bank statements, credit card statements, phone bills, TV bills, water and gas bills, old insurance documents...

All pretty important stuff important at the time to keep in case of dispute, and important later on as an aid to memory, (like remembering how much something cost when you bought it!)
having a receipt past the warranty period seems silly. But given a few years ago my house was robbed and I lost several possessions, it now seems worthwhile keeping receipts for things, just in case the worst should happen and I end up in the position again of trying to remember, exactly what model of tool did I have...

Because -let's face it. with an expensive tool like a welder you don't want to say I had a 260Amp MIG welder (when in fact I had a 150 Amp welder), if the original items were ever recovered you'd have some explaining to do as to how you claimed for something that you just didn't have! on the other hand, you don't want to err on the side of caution and say I think it was the 90Amp model, because then you won't have the same tools that you started off with.

So, it seems logical to scan or photograph documents.

To that end on Sunday I had a filing day. a day where I take the large bag of bills, bank statements and receipts that I've let pile up over the past few months or year and commit them to a digital format. Rather than scan them as I have done in the past this time I decided that I'd photograph them as this would be faster.

So I rigged up a little ledge to put my phone on such that it was at a distance that a single letter would fill the photo taken.

This involved a length of wood which I balanced on top of a few items with my iPhone sat on top of it. to take a photo I could just press the screen, and then move documents into view, press, put another document in view (on top of the previous letter so I didn't even need to fiddle with the document to align the letter in the phone screen), then press the take photo button.

It ended up as a pretty slick process, I got a whole ream of documents, (yeah actually 500!) scanned in a few hours.

The only think left to do is sort them into folders:
(for example my bank statements are sorted into a folder called bank, and they are named by the date the statement was sent. yyyy-mm-dd that way when sorted into folders they appear in chronological order and can be viewed sequentially.)

Here's a picture of the make shift camera holding set-up that I used to speed up the photo taking process.

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