Organization, like weight loss and laundry, requires daily effort.
This is a realization I’ve come to only recently.
I don’t like to work hard, so organization has been a constant struggle in which I feel like the loser in tug-of-war.
I work for a company that makes an organization app. I have several planners and organizational devices. I just haven’t been able to figure out why they couldn’t keep me organized.
I know the reason.
No matter how great the organizational system, it only works if I use it.
I’ve always been curious about the Neat company, having seen advertisements like this one, for the NeatDesk:
Is that not cool?
Earlier in the year, with tax season breathing down my neck and a huge pile of papers on my end table, I reached out to Neat. I needed help. They agreed to send me a NeatDesk.
The day it arrived, I set it up, attached it to my computer, and began tackling the mountain of “important” papers on my end table.
I used the scanner for a couple of weeks, processing receipts and business cards, bills and statements, maps and Grace’s artwork. The NeatDesk is so fast that it made easy work of all of these.
But then, the novelty wore off. I stopped using the NeatDesk every day, and I let the mountain of papers slowly accumulate on my end table again.
The NeatDesk wasn’t the panacea I had hoped because the problem is that I don’t do the work to stay organized.
When I came to this (painful) realization, I dusted off the NeatDesk and got back to scanning. It is amazing how fast it is, scanning a double-sided document in black and white or color in less than one second.
After you scan your documents, the NeatWorks software processes them, pre-filling information in its database using Intelligent Text Recognition. Whether you’re scanning business cards or receipts or workbook pages, the program guesses at the type of item (receipt, contact, or document), and pulls the information it thinks is most important. You can then use the program to file and keep your information or you can export the files and upload them to a cloud-based service like AboutOne.
Every month, I have to scan 10-15 pages at a time to send to Grace’s cyberschool teacher. The NeatDesk holds 50 pages at once (or a combination of 10 business cards, 10 receipts, and 10 full-sized pages). The NeatDesk scans them all in less than 30 seconds, whereas it took me a half hour or more to scan them when I had to use my flatbed scanner.
The only thing I’ve scanned that the NeatDesk had any trouble with was business cards with non-standard print. Some bloggers have creative fonts on their business cards, and the NeatWorks software misread those consistently. Everything else scanned well and interpreted correctly.
I’d like to tell you that the NeatDesk has revolutionized my life, and that I’m totally organized now.
I have to take 3 minutes to scan my papers and file them correctly; NeatDesk can’t do that work for me. Still, it is really, really cool and really helpful, and I’m glad to have it. You will be glad to have one, too.
© 2012 – 2016, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.