Important documents often need to be stored for 5-10-20 years. Why put everything in this shiny new software, when it may change in 1 or 2 years?
I think it's best to just put scanned pdfs in folders based on year and topic. Those can be easily and transparently backed up and searched.
But on a few months timescale this software could be useful.
It doesn't have search functionality (well, it does, but it's basically useless) but allows to set categories and tags, which is more than enough for me.
There's an added issue with this kind of solutions, in most cases you still need to keep the original. Having them scanned is great for record keeping and for communicating with you own accountant, but if there is a problem (tax audit, proving ownership, etc, etc) you'll have to produce the paper original.
I've even had kafkaesque situations where I was asked for the original of a document that was only available online. In those cases I had to present a printed copy of the document and a signed document (from the bank in this case) saying that they didn't send hard copies/originals.
> [...] maintain books and records by using an electronic storage system that either images their hardcopy (paper) books and records, or transfers their computerized books and records, to an electronic storage media, such as an optical disk.
Isn't the solution just banker's boxes in the attic to house the originals? I've never quite thought of that as an issue. Every quarter or so I move a stack of papers from the home office into a box I'll probably never have to retrieve anything from.
Though, I generally agree with you, PDF/A is quite a good way of storing documents for long-term. But, that doesn't mean that PNG files along with text files, even with x:y coordinates next to the pieces of text, aren't a feasible alternative.
Djvu also supports a text layer just like PDF.
Note that 150PPI is barely better than FAX, so your documents will likely look 'faxed' if you ever have to output hardcopies for some reason.
In the US, permanently retained documents like court records are kept in PDF. It will be around.
Those can be easily and transparently backed up and searched.
My printer can scan to a shared drive on my home LAN, saving files as PDFs. These are then uploaded Google Drive where everything else happens automatically (e.g. if you search for something, it will find it in scanned PDFs automatically).
Its super-useful especially since the mobile clients for drive is rock solid. I can be on the phone to someone and pull up basically any document I've had since the 90s in a couple of seconds, for free. Its kinda fun being on the phone to a call centre and being able to pull up data quicker than they can. Tax returns are an absolute doddle when everything is paperless.
The only thing that is missing for me from Google Drive is like a "Knowledge Graph" for my own documents - I can search by keyword or filename etc sure, but I'd like to get some "intelligence" next like we're used to with Google Now, but for my scanned docs, like "show me my bank statements with a payment to Amazon in the last 3 months" etc.
It matters for the same reason I think banning encryption in the UK is a problem, even though I don't live there.
It matters for the same reason I think the millions of people riding around on motor scooters here without any protective equipment/clothing, often against traffic in the parking/emergency lane is a problem.
The more data people give to an organisation like Google, the more power it gets.
The more power it gets, the more data it gets.
The more data it gets, ....
I personally use Scanbot for this, it automatically recognizes, crops and OCRs documents (on the device) and stores them as PDF with the extracted text in the location of your choosing. Works well enough.
Scannable works really fast and Evernote indexes PDFs.
If only Evernote's editor didn't make me want to switch away every time I use it...
Disclaimer: I work at google, although not on the Google docs team.
But for a household -- there are very few documents you need to keep long term. Better to just keep those in a fireproof file box, and shred and discard everything else rather than devote any resources or mental energy to keeping them around in either paper or digital form.
I disagree. While I'm a huge fan of purging, there are many, many cases where you need/want documents.
Theft/fire/casualty: old receipts prove ownership and value.
Maintenance: who worked on the furnace 4 yrs ago?
Warranty: our windows have a 20 year warranty (and we're using it!)
Basis for home improvements: when you sell your home, if you can document improvements, you can raise your basis and lower your capital gains.
Repair: where's the part number & diagram for the faucet that's leaking?
School records for your children.
All other items are either delivered electronically, like bills, or scanned and shredded upon arrival, like insurance policies. (Sometimes I take a picture of manual covers or packaging so I can have part and serial numbers.) I keep copies of the files in various encrypted places, including a USB stick that goes with me.
But I was really more thinking about everyday utility bills, other statements and invoices -- I just trash all that stuff as soon as it's paid. I have better things to do than organize papers that I will never look at again.
A magic folder system, like Dropbox or Syncplicity, makes sure that the pdfs are safely backed up for me.
(Full Disclosure: I work at Docady and part of its team)
I have a HP envy I'd like to glue to the cloud.
I mention Scanbot specifically because I bought and tried about 5 or 6 of the available document scanning apps on iOS before settling on it. It really does do literally everything I want in a document scanning app short of tagging the documents (which would, of course, be a file-system specific thing).