My own “paperless” Hack

After reading GTD “Paperless” Hack I thought, why not take this one step further. In John Federico’s blog, he suggest that by using one of the online faxing services and software with his Mac to create the image file (rename to TIF) and then tag the image correctly you can then search and find it when needed. But why not go the next step and run OCR on the image?
I haven’t tested this yet (since it’s 2am) but I did do a few searches. In theory someone could signup for J2 fax to email, once the the fax comes to your email, rename to a TIF file. Then upload the TIF file to one of the couple online OCR programs. Some lister here and one that adds an upload widget to your Google homepage here. Once the files are read, the text file is then emailed to you.
This does involve another step, but you don’t have to worry about missing a tag when you can search the entire document. This is also for those away from home, because yes a scanner would probably be much easier.
It all seems like a good idea but depending on how well the image from the fax is and how well the recent OCR software works, this could be just a wish

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One Comment to “My own “paperless” Hack”

  1. John Federico 8 January 2007 at 10:46 pm #


    I like it!

    My only concern would be the length of time it takes to upload the files to one of the online OCR services. I might investigate some desktop solutions for the Mac before I go the upload route.

    Either way, good idea.



    John Federico

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