Thanks to Bill Hanff for this guest blog post!
After going through the pains of doing my 2008 taxes, I needed to find a way of organizing myself better. So on the advice of Andy Ihnatko in a podcast, I got the Neat Receipts for Mac.Â At $170, it seemed a bit pricey for a low res-scaner, but I thought I would give it a try, and after spending just an hour with it, it is completely worth the money. Here's why:
Organization. It does a great job with receipts--it reads the receipt's total, date, and even separates out the sales tax. It also determines whether the receipt is for a meal, transportation, or general retail, making organizing the receipts fast and easy. It even does a pretty good job with taxi receipts, which are usually the worst printouts. Going through the first three months of receipts for this year took about an hour--including clean-up and review of the receipts to make sure everything was read correctly.
Design. The device is very "mac-like," with simple, clean lines and looks pretty attractive on the desk. It's a small and lightweight feed-style scanner, and is easily portable; I can toss it in my shoulderbag without a problem.
Features. I have not yet tried all of the features, but on top of doing receipts, the device also scans business cards and documents--exporting to excel and vcf files for the business cards.
Security. I have multiple backups of my hard drive, and feel much more secure having the digital copy of my receipts than hard-copies.
On the downside, the software for the scanner is great, but still feels very first-generation. I've had it crash on me twice so far, and there are a couple of things that could work a little better. Overall a good investment though, and just in time for April 15th!