This thing has been sitting on my desk for most of the summer, like a sad-eyed puppy. It wanted me to review it, but like a petulant, spoiled child, I ignored it. “You’re just a scanner,” I said. “Who cares?”
“You’ll care eventually,” said the NeatDesk For Mac. “And when you do, I may not be there for you.”
Software is a bit confusing
Paper jams every few batches
Smaller receipts can get crinkled
Then one day I slipped a paper into her maw and then another. Then a receipt, then a business card. I pressed the scan button and in a few seconds I had an OCRed copy of the document on my screen. I could add pages to Evernote or search with a few keystrokes. I could add – and throw away – all of the business cards I collected. I could build expense reports in a few minutes. “Why didn’t you tell me you could do this for me?” I said.
“You never asked,” said the scanner.
Sure, she sometimes jams, sometimes takes two cards at once instead of one. Sometimes my tiny taxi receipts get crumpled up. But it’s never jammed to the point of paper destruction and the NeatDesk has become my de facto spot for holding all of the papers I hold dear. Writing contracts? NeatDesk. Business cards? NeatDesk. Tax junk? NeatDesk.
“I told you you would love me,” said the scanner.
“But it’s not love,” I said. “There are plenty more like you. Before I had you, I had a ScanSnap scanner. A scanner is a scanner is a scanner.”
“I’m really good for receipts and business cards,” said the scanner. “I have a good desktop application, NeatWorks.”
“You are, but your OCR on documents was a bit rough,” I said. I scanned in a document printed in Courier and got back an acceptable facsimile of the same when I pasted the scanned text back into a text editor. However, my handwriting (“PORK LOIN” written in black ink) came back as “pC/<K U\,J" – not quite what I was looking for.
That said, having all of my scanned documents in one place is quite handy. The product is available for Macs and PCs and it is designed to look more like a sexy space pod than a scanner. Curved lines and edges make for a pleasing desktop accompaniment and a simple latch opens the scanner when it’s in need of service. A dedicated power switch makes it easy to turn off and two buttons – Scan and PDF – do exactly what they say. Scan scans a document into NeatWorks and PDF scans it to a folder.
“Look at how I scan receipts,” said the scanner.
“You certainly are good at that. I’m not doubting you’re great for smaller documents.”
“So we’re a couple then,” said the scanner.
“For a little while, until something better comes along. I’m trying to keep my options open, you know. I just want to have fun,” I said.
“You’ll be back.”
“I’m sure I will,” I said.
“Incidentally, it takes 75 pounds of opposing pressure to crush a human femur, less if it’s the bones of your hand,” said the scanner.
“You don’t have the motor for that,” I said.
“I have friends,” said the scanner.