My Paperless Workflow (Revisited)

Submitted by mathew on Thu, 21/12/2017 - 14:47

It's been over five years since I wrote my original post about my paperless workflow. I still have a paperless office and it's been working really well.

The basic idea is to keep everything digitally instead of keeping physical paperwork. I've found it to be a time saver and I'm much more organised with paperwork than I used to be.

Some things have changed. I still pay for an Evernote account but I don't use it for bookkeeping anymore. Since I updated Easy Books with the new Attachments feature I'm storing all my receipts and statements in it, and the system works better than ever now each receipt is "attached" to the transaction it refers to. If anyone needs to see an original receipt for an entry, it's right there!

New Scanner!

I had a minor setback when Apple updated to macOS 'High Sierra'. My three month old HP scanner isn't supported on High Sierra so I bought a new Epson DS-570W to replace it. Epson appear to be more 'on the ball' when it comes to OS updates, and I have more confidence they will maintain drivers and apps for new versions of macOS.

You can use the DS-570W with a USB connection to a Mac or PC, but it can also connect to the WiFi network. Having done this, I can scan direct into an iOS app, bypassing the Mac completely.

Easy Books

The latest versions of Easy Books on Mac and iOS allow files to be attached to transactions. Only iOS features a document scanner which uses computer vision to identify the edges of receipts (see video). I use this a lot for capturing small receipts but when I have several pages to scan at once, I use the scanner.

Both apps allow copy and paste, so for receipts that arrive by email, I copy any attached files or the email itself and paste it into Easy Books. Drag and drop is also supported, for both files and content. The Mac is still king for me for this kind of thing, but I updated the iPad to support drag and drop, and you can drag things like images, text, web content and PDF files into the attachments screen in Easy Books. For other apps that don't support drag and drop, I support importing from the Files app, and most other apps can at least share their content with it, which provides a useful staging area.

I'm very pleased with this workflow, it's quick and easy to use. Attached files are backed up online and they're available on all my devices.

I also scan and attach bank statements once I've reconciled them in Easy Books. But I keep a few most recent paper statements because they're useful as proof of identity. They get shredded eventually!

The new "Attachments" feature is available to everyone with a Gold Plan subscription.