Brooks Duncan, creator of, has created another useful video – how to save search in Windows. (If you can, watch it in HD and full-screen, to see what he’s actually typing into the search box.)

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Brooks’ videos are just the right level of sophistication for a non-geek like me, plus the video format means I can see exactly what he’s doing and copy it. I much prefer howto videos to purely textual explanations.

Brooks has created a free email course on how to go paperless, which I warmly recommend if you’re thinking of going paperless (scanning as many of your important documents then trashing the paper originals) but haven’t girded up your loins yet, so to speak.  You can sign up for it on his homepage at

After I’d taken his 7-part email course on going paperless, bought my Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner and started scanning stuff,  I started gaily scanning everything I could lay my hands on. Wheee! This scanning stuff is easy! Then, a blog post of Brooks’ brought me back to earth: can I quickly and easily find what I’ve scanned? Do I have a backup system in place? Is the Pope a black woman? Maybe there’s more to this scanning lark?

I’m a strong believer in not re-inventing the wheel, and fortunately, Brooks has made lots of “wheels”: he’s tried a number of systems for sorting and organizing scanned files (mainly PDFs), including different software for Mac and Windows (Brooks seems to be a Mac user but he always provides tutorials for Windows users, too, which is very broadminded of him), as well as the ScanSnap Organizer software that comes with the Fujitsu ScanSnap (and tutorials for each of the models available so far).

Brooks put all this knowledge and experience together into a commercial package that includes workflow diagrams (what? I need workflows for scanning?  Can’t I just shove the paper in the feeder and hit the button? Well, not exactly, if you want to easily and quickly find what you just scanned and then be able to trash the original paper with spirit and decision. If you’re going to go, “Well, maybe I should keep the original, ya know, just in case or whatever…” then save the 15,000 yen for the ScanSnap and keep to a hard-copy, paper system.)

Once you’ve completed the 7-part free email course on going paperless, and you’re ready to go cold turkey, scan everything and throw away most of your paper, then you’ll want to check out Brooks’ Paperless Document Organization Guide – Specialist Package. For more details see my earlier blog post: Going paperless: tips from a OneNote and Evernote user. Brooks recommends the Fujitsu ScanSnap, but his tutorials are generic enough to be relevant whatever type of scanner you have.

The Fujitsu ScanSnap series is much more expensive than a flatbed scanner or those new 3-in-one printers which include a flatbed scanner. Is it worth it? Check out Brooks’ comparison blog post: Fujitsu ScanSnap vs All-in-One Flatbeds – Which is Better? And here’s one comparing the Fujitsu ScanSnap lineup: Fujitsu ScanSnap: How Are The S1300 and ScanSnap S1500 Models Different?