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The Paper Trail Stops Here

May 13th, 2013 by Evan Kramer

Over here at Neat, we’re always excited to hear back from our customers. We love hearing your stories about how you conquered paper and digital clutter to lead more organized and productive lives, as well as learning the unique ways you make Neat work for you.

Recently, one user, Stephanie Humphrey, caught our eye on Twitter, and we just had to know more about how Neat has helped solve her paper problems. Stephanie graciously shared her story with us on how she became more organized and productive with Neat.

We hope you enjoy hearing about her experience with Neat as much as we did.

Until Next Time…Keep it Neat!

-Kevin

 

The Paper Trail Stops Here

By Stephanie Humphrey

At times, I can be somewhat obsessive-compulsive about different things. When it happens and how those things I obsess about get decided is a completely random process that only the recesses of my brain are privy to. What I can tell you is that at no time in my life has the organization of my receipts ever made it to the list. That task somehow manages to remain in the top ten on my procrastination list every year. Until this year.

If you can believe it, I – an established tech-life expert – have for years had a decidedly non-tech way of storing and organizing my receipts. In one of those plastic expandable accordion-style folders. With the paper cutouts for each month that go into the divider tabs. Yeah… I can’t necessarily say that I was proud of my system or that it worked particularly well, but I hadn’t yet happened upon anything else that made sense to me.

Enter my NeatDesk scanner. I had seen the commercials before and thought “Hey, what a neat concept” (no pun intended), but for whatever reason had never taken the plunge and purchased one for myself. But on one fateful trip through my local big-box office supply store, things were different. I suppose the frustration with my current method of record keeping had finally caught up to me, and I walked out of the store with an excitement for receipt organization that I had never known before.

And I wasn’t disappointed. That first day, I scanned six months’ worth of receipts and half of at least 200 business cards. The ease of use with the Neat scanner was pretty remarkable, and I was especially impressed with the recognition rate of the software. Its ability to correctly identify names and phone numbers or dollar amounts and dates truly amazed me. But the real test was still yet to come.

Fast forward to April and my most hated record keeping chore – tax season preparation. With my old system, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I would enter all of the data from my receipts into an Excel spreadsheet by hand (!), and then give the spreadsheet to my accountant. That is, if the receipt hadn’t faded beyond recognition, causing a big headache and a missed deduction. But none of that was a concern this year, as all of my receipts were previously scanned, fields populated, and a picture copy stored for my records. The slickest part of the process happened when I realized I could categorize my deductions based on actual IRS Schedule designations. Print out the customized report, and voilà – my life just became infinitely easier and my accountant infinitely happier.

I can say with all honesty and without any prompting or compensation by the Neat Company that my NeatDesk scanner is one of the best investments I have ever made. It has saved me time, effort, and aggravation, and has made what was once a dreaded chore quick and simple. Now if they could just make something for my closet…

 

Stephanie Humphrey is an on-air tech contributor to Fox 29 (WTXF Philadelphia), and the weekly technology columnist for EBONY.com. You can follow her on Twitter @TechLifeSteph. 

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