a nursing informatics toolbox

Do I really Need a Portable Scanner?

One of the first things I did when I started working as a travelling consultant is to buy a portable scanner so I can scan my documents easily. I want to scan my receipts as soon as I can so I won’t lose it (BTW, I am terrible of keeping receipts). I saw a Visioneer Mobility Portable Scanner and I got if for $99 on sale. FYI, Xerox sells the same product under their name at a higher price. It is a portable scanner that does not need a computer or a power source to do its job. You scan your documents and it and it stores the scanned images into a USB drive or an SD card. It’s a great idea. I like it! It offers tremendous convenience for a rolling stone like me.

This is the same thinking, I believe, behind the deluge of different iterations of the same idea. Here are some examples of these document scanners.

Fujitsu ScanSnap-Portable scanner

Doxie Go– Cloud Based

Brother-Portable Scanner

I would say, Doxie Go is the most notable among the three due to its cloud based and connected feature.

Lifehacker describes Doxie Go as follows:

The original Doxie offered simple, portable scanning with software that made it easy to move those scans off the device and into all your favorite cloud and desktop applications. That long list included Evernote, Dropbox, HelloFax, Flickr, Tumblr, Basecamp, and more, along with any desktop app of your choice. All of that great stuff still exists, but the Doxie Go finally makes portable scanning something you can truly do from anywhere thanks to a built-in battery. You can scan in color or black and white (at 300 or 600 dpi) to Doxie’s internal memory and transfer your scans over via USB whenever you’re ready. Alternatively, you can insert a EyeFi SD cardto automatically transfer those scans over Wi-Fi instead. We’ve always liked portable scanners, such as the previously mentionedFujitsu ScanSnap series ($200), but they were nevertruly portable because they required a constant power source and computer connectivity for full functionality. Doxie Go actually cuts the cables entirely, and that actually makes it possible to digitize any paper you’ve got from anywhere you are.

That’s cool! It is really revolutionary as it is but the question is, DO I REALLY NEED IT?

I would say NO. Portable scanners are great but cellphone cameras are more portable and practical to use. I cannot take my scanner out of my suitcase every time I get my receipts. I would rather take a picture of it as soon a I get it (because I am sure I will lose it) than wait until I get home to scan it. With Evernote and other cloud-based note taking applications around, my portable scanner will never accompany me again in my travels. It will stay home for other jobs like “paper weight duties”, door stopper assignments.

So, before you start thinking of getting these babies, think again, do I really need a fancy paper weight?