For the boss whose drawers and briefcase are whitened with business cards and receipts, it might be time for this tech solution: Neat Receipts ($200; www.neatreceipts.com).
It’s a scanner and software system that helps you get rid of paper—everything from business cards and receipts to full documents—by scanning and then converting them to digital files on your computer.
It works with tools you already use to stay organized. Example: Neat Receipts will automatically convert business card or receipt data into your Outlook address book, Plaxo account, Excel spreadsheets or create vCards for a handheld device.
Working with business cards
It takes about 10 seconds to scan a business card. The card image then appears in one panel (great for seeing the notes you might have scribbled), with the contact info in another two areas. It then pulls out the name, address, e-mail, phone and fax numbers, and sticks them into the correct fields.
PC World writer Steve Bass says, “I found it amazing how Neat Receipts could extract information on the card and get it into the correct field.”
Another version is more stripped down. It scans cards and puts data into Outlook and ACT!, as well as converting it to vCards for on-the-go gadgets.
Working with receipts
Scan receipts in any direction—portrait or landscape—and the scanner’s software optically recognizes the vendor’s name, date, credit card type, expense category and payment amount. It even breaks out the tax. After scanning, you can send the data straight to QuickBooks, Quicken or Microsoft Money. Or you can convert a receipt to a PDF file, if you need to send it elsewhere.