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Funnily enough, I use a commercial app with the same name (Paperless) that does exactly that. It scans the documents, applies OCR and saves the pdfs in a folder that, in my case, is automatically synced with dropbox and backed up to a local NAS.

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.

Banks don't keep original paper checks any more, just a scanned copy. Fax is good enough for contracts and other legal paperwork. I was pretty sure that scanned documents are legally equivalant to originals. Is this not true?

AFAIK, depends on the country and legislation. In Ireland (and Spain) I've had to produce originals where the signature was clearly hand-written (they looked for pen pressure points, for example).

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.

You are correct. (In the United States at least.)

> [...] 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.


Many (most?) banks, insurance companies have done away with physical paper and are using document management solutions of one kind or another. From a UK perspective a good starting point is BS 10008[1]. However, there is no guaranteed way that every company interprets the multitude of legal and compliance obligations. I work in this space.

[1] http://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/bs-10008-electronic-informatio...

It was also the name I choose for a similar app https://github.com/garnieretienne/paperless

There's an added issue with this kind of solutions, in most cases you still need to keep the original.

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.

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