Getting the right scanner is key if you want to have a smooth-running paperless law practice. Besides having the right paperless office scanner, there are other important steps.
Small law firms that own the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap scanner (click here to learn why it’s the best one) should use optimal scanner settings for maximum efficiency.
I’ll quickly explain what my optimal scanner settings are. Then I’ll tell you about an exceptional guidebook that you absolutely must have to get the most out of your ScanSnap scanner.
I have the iX500 model, which is the latest one. And I use it with my Mac computer. But the setup is basically the same for PCs.
Optimal Scanner Settings
Start by opening up the Preference pane for the scanner, and then you’ll see a box like the one below.
ScanSnap Preference Pane
Here’s a rundown on what each of the numbered options is all about.
1. Scanner: If you have more than one ScanSnap scanner connected to your computer, you can pick the one you want to use here. I have two scanners, but you’ll probably only have one in which case this option will be automatically set for you.
2. Profile: You can set up more than one scanning profile. For example, do you generally scan to black & white, but sometimes want to scan in color? Here’s where you can pick from among the preset options you use most. The things numbered from 4 to 11 are the options you’ll select as part of a scanning “Profile.”
3. Quick Menu: I uncheck this option and leave it unchecked. I prefer to tailor my scanning options via the “Profile” (see #2 above).
4. Application: this is where you tell the ScanSnap which application you want to scan to (if you look at #10 you’ll see I have this scanner set to scan to Evernote). And #11 is where you can tweak settings particular to a given application.
You can scan to Adobe Acrobat or any application you want. After the scan is complete you’ll see the document in the application. And the document will have been automatically saved, which is what the next option is about.
5. Save: this option is where you tell the scanner (#1) where to save the resulting PDF; you’ll almost always be scanning to a PDF document. You can see the file-path displayed in the screenshot below (#2), or browse for a new location if you need to change it. And finally, you can specify the File Name Format. I use the “Year-Month-Day-Hours-Minutes-Seconds” option (see #3 below) and I use a dash as the separator.
ScanSnap “Save” Settings
6. Scanning: here you specify image quality, color mode, scanning side, and image rotation. (I’ll explain the reason for my settings after this screenshot.
ScanSnap “Scanning” settings
I have my scanner set to automatically set the quality and color mode.
The “duplex” setting means that the scanner will automatically scan both sides of a page in one pass, and selecting the checkbox that says “Blank page removal” means that if the back of a page is blank that page will be tossed out.
I let the scanner automatically rotate any pages that were put in upside down so that they’re saved in the proper orientation.
The checkbox labeled “Continue scanning after last page” is unchecked because most of my documents are less than 50 pages and, therefore, fit in the automatic document feeder. If I had a document longer than 50 pages I’d select this option, and then the scanner would wait after each batch to let me put in more documents. I could set this as a “Profile” but I choose not to.
7. File Option: You have two choices, PDF or JPEG. You’ll always use PDF so once you set this up you’ll never change it.
8. Paper: the default is for the scanner to automatically detect the paper size, and I leave it in the default option and never mess with it.
9. Compression: another option that I leave in the default setting.
So those are my optimal scanner settings. Yours will probably be slightly different, but at least now you know something about the basic options.
Another Great Resource for Going Paperless
As you become more proficient with the basic operation of the ScanSnap I suggest you visit Brooks Duncan’s excellent DocumentSnap website and pick up a copy of his very affordable ScanSnap Guide. He has a version for both the PC and the Mac, and the cost is less than a cup of good coffee.
After reading his guide, you’ll absolutely know how to create the optimal scanner settings for your Fujitsu ScanSnap.
Brooks is a tech-savvy accountant and a really nice guy. His website is a fantastic resource for any professional that wants to become more efficient by getting rid of paper, and his free email newsletter is a must-read as well.
If you want to learn more click here to sign up for our free email course on paperless lawyering, which starts with us giving you a 1-page guide called 5 Keys to Creating a Paperless Law Office.
Fujitsu just released its new wireless portable scanner today, and I’ve had a chance to check it out for the past few weeks. Caveat: this iX100 Scanner review is focused on helping busy lawyers evaluate whether it makes sense for them to buy (so I don’t address all of its features).
The iX100 is the smallest scanner in the lineup of ScanSnap scanners, basically similar to the S1100 model, which sells for $199 on Amazon. The iX100 will initially be sold by Fujitsu authorized resellers for $229.
The new scanner is slightly thicker and slightly heavier. So what does the extra $30 buy you?
Look Ma, no wires!
Well, did you notice the word “wireless” in the opening sentence? Yep, the scanner will connect to your computer via WiFi.
It will also wirelessly connect to your iOS or Android device, or even a Kindle Fire. It can even transmit an “internal SSID” in situations where WiFi isn’t available. Translation: it can set up its own little mini WiFi hotspot if it has to.
The wireless capability of the iX100 is amazing when you consider how small it is.
Okay, so the old scanner (S1100) got its electrical power from the USB connection to your laptop. How does the new model get its power?
The iX100 has an internal, non-removable Lithium battery, which you charge by USB. Either you connect it to a computer that’s powered, or to a charging unit connected to a wall socket.
According to my contacts at Fujitsu, the battery will theoretically let you scan about 250 pages.
That’s pretty damn impressive. I’m guessing real world experience will be less, but even if it’s 125 pages on a charge that’s a lot.
Charging the iX100 after the battery has been completely drained takes about 3 hours. As with all things in life, the aforementioned battery specs are not set in stone. You’re mileage may vary slightly.
How do you set up the wireless?
To start, you need to set up the WiFi connection, which takes about 10 minutes. Maybe a little less if you’re tech-savvy, and good at following written instructions.
If you have a personal hotspot device, or if your phone or tablet can create a WiFi hotspot, then that’s the wireless connection you want to set up. But you can connect the iX100 to as many as 5 different hotspots. The scanner will remember each, and switch seamlessly between them.
I connected my unit to the personal WiFi hotspot on my iPad Mini. And it worked perfectly (see end of post for a video review that demonstrates the wireless scanning).
When you first turn it on, the scanner takes a few seconds to home in on the WiFi signal. Then it pops up a small window on your laptop to let you know that it connected to the wireless signal, and is ready to start scanning.
Scanning is pretty simple. You just feed in a sheet of paper with the side you want scanned facing up. The iX100 only scans one side of a page at a time.
But it’s pretty fast. And it will scan in color or black and white.
Once you’ve finished scanning all the pages you need just click a button that says “Finish Scanning.” Then the ScanSnap software will create a PDF document and save it to whatever destination you’ve set up in the preferences of your ScanSnap Manager software.
As I said, the iX100 is about the same size as the model it replaces: the S1100. You can attach the iX100 with a USB cable and have it work just like the S1100 if you want.
My guess is you’d probably want to have the USB cable handy when you’re out and about just in case you have trouble with the wireless connection. Or in case the battery on the scanner ran out.
I used the S1100 scanner regularly when I traveled, or was out of the office. I will use the new iX100 just as much, and time will tell how much I make use of the wireless capabilities.
Attaching it to a computer via the USB cable connection isn’t a big hassle, and eliminates any concern about battery life. And I’ll probably get the small carrying case once that comes out (the iX100 needs a different case than the old S1100 because it’s a little bigger).
Whatever way you might choose to use the iX100, you’ll probably appreciate the easy portability. Being able to scan a stack of papers (up to 250 pages!) when you’re at a deposition, or anywhere out of the office, is a huge convenience.
Below is a short video review of the iX100, demonstrating how the wireless scanning works.
iX100 Video Review – 7 mins
The Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners have been the most reliable scanners so we usually recommend that attorneys get the 1500 model, but there are three other models to choose from. Here is a two page PDF file with a Matrix chart that shows each model, and describes the pros and cons of each.
If you use a Mac you probably have an iPad. And probably, like many people with iPads, you’re thinking it’d be nice to be paperless. If so, then you need to order a copy of David Sparks new book (Paperless: The MacSparky Field Guide) right now. It’s available in the iBook Store for $4.99.
The book is a deep dive on paperless workflows for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. The book includes screenshots, interactive images, and short movies. Not only does this book tell you how to go paperless, it also shows you. Trust me, you can do a lot with this book. I can’t believe it only costs $5.
(Oh, and it’s a large file so don’t panic if it takes a little longer than usual to download).