Scanning and organizing your files

This is a kind of product review and includes Amazon affiliate links (I’m not an affiliate of FileCenter.) You have been warned!

Below the fold, I describe how I use Lucion’s FileCenter program to automatically name my scans and sort them into separate files by name.

I’m a satisfied user of Lucion’s FileCenter software and have been for several years now. One of the things I like about it and the main reason I use it, I guess, is the ability to automatically name files that I’ve scanned, based on whatever criteria you choose. I have FileCenter name my file based on the location of the file.

I use a slim portable

 Canon scanner that I chose because it will fit onto my crowded workspace next to my printer. I have one of those all-in-one printer/scanners but I rarely use it for scanning because it has no sheet feeder (plus it won’t integrate with FileCenter – more on that below). The DR-P215 will take at least a dozen sheets at a time and hardly ever spits out more than one (when it does, you have to stop it and re-feed the sheets that came out at the same time as the top sheet – a real pain) which means… You know what it means, don’t you? Yup, you have to stand next to the machine to make sure every single sheet was scanned SINGLY. Of course, when you stand next it, it always works perfectly. It’s when you leave it for a minute that it will certainly take advantage of your absence to sneak 2 or more sheets through at once, and when you come back, you won’t know it’s done it or if it did, which sheets didn’t get scanned, because, unlike the larger

ScanSnap scanner I have, it doesn’t stop automatically when it’s taken in more sheets than it can scan.

OK, here’s a run-through of how I use FileCenter. Here’s a screenshot of one of my work folders for a school I teach at: under the “Folders” column, you can see I’ve selected the “Student Writing” folder which is nested inside the “AS2” folder inside the 2018_DWC folder.

I scan the students’ papers: I start the scan from within FileCenter (see screenshot)

Next, I dump the blank pages, by clicking on the tiny x below each page’s thumbnail – click the picture below to see a bigger version (a little tricky, but a useful feature – I thought I selected “ignore blank pages” in the profile I set up, but I can’t remember how I did that, and anyway it doesn’t seem to work too well; hey-ho!)Then I select the type of name I want:

 

FileCenter will also do cool things like separate pages into different folders. This can be useful, tho it takes time to setup and I haven’t done it for a while. I teach and, as I need to give each student a grade at the end of the semester, it’s useful to have all a student’s work all together in his or her unique folder. But when I collect students’ work at the end of each class, the papers are not in order and of course they’re all together. I scan the lot without separating usually, but if I want to separate them (and it’s much easier to do this BEFORE you scan than after – it’s still possible but that’s a matter for another blog post), I need to add a special blank page with identifying information for FileCenter to read. This page is called a (wait for it…) SEPARATOR! and it goes in front of the student’s hand-written scrawl carefully written classwork, and it should be the same size as the student’s paper (mine usually use B5 loose leaf). When you’ve added the separators, you cram all those papers into your scanner and hey presto! FileCenter should name them and send each student’s papers as PDFs into each student’s folder on your hard drive.

Lucion have a helpful video on this: https://www.lucion.com/training.php or watch it on YT (Actually, it does not recommend using this option when you have a lot of different destination folders, otherwise you’ll be forever juggling your separators. True. Maybe I should have watched this earlier. 🙁 )

Now, back to the issue of scanners that will and will not work with FileCenter. A recent email from FileCenter said

Multifunction machines produce more technical support frustrations than any other scanner. These are the ultimate example of “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

There is not a single multifunction machine that we will recommend.

and I have found that to be the case, even tho my all-in-one thingy is a Canon. See the whole article.

Brooks Duncan of DocumentSnap taught me how to go paperless, and recommended ScanSnap, then went wittering on about a Mac-only piece of wunder-software called Hazel which sliced and diced and tucked you up in bed at night with a hot chocolate (or nearly), but the closest I could find for Windows was FileCenter, which is not at all bad, tho quite expensive and probably qualifies as bloat-ware as it has tons of functions I never use.

Brooks recently blogged about DropIt, a Windows program that will do some of the things that Hazel does, apparently. I don’t think I’ll bother (I  remember the frustrations I had with trying to get FileJuggler to work for me) but you’re welcome to give it a whirl.


I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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