Last year I asked my readers what they would do in regards to dealing with paper clutter and keeping track of important paperwork. I explained the pros and cons of the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner vs the Neat Desk Desktop Scanner and read many great opinions from my readers on other alternatives I didn’t even know about.
After a bit of research I finally made a decision and made a purchase in November. What did I get?
Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner
I ended up purchasing the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner even though it isn’t the cheapest option out there. I’ve been very happy with my purchase. I’ve scanned a majority of my file cabinet since the purchase, as well as normal day to day receipts and statements, so I have a good feel for how the scanner works now and feel I can give an honest well-rounded review.
The first question you may have is why did I decide against the NeatDesk Desktop Scanner? I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t have enough paper to scan on a normal basis to make the additional capacity of the Neat Desk Desktop Scanner worth the additional cost of the scanner.
It would have made the initial scanning of my current file cabinet go by much faster, but it wasn’t that much trouble using the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner because I could watch TV or listen to music while I scanned.
One of the reasons why I don’t use my old flat bed scanner was it took up too much space. The Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner fits easily into a small desk drawer and doesn’t take up any desk space when I’m not using it.
Pros of the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner
- I love how small this scanner is! It fits right in my desk drawer and I can set it up in seconds whenever I want to use it. This is key because I didn’t use my old scanner because it was very large and cumbersome to use.
- To use my NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner all I have to do is start up the Neat software and plug the scanner into a USB port.
- The place where the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner shines is the Neat software. It is amazing compared to most scanner software packages.
- Before you scan your receipts, business cards or documents you can choose which type you will scan or you can allow the scanner to auto detect which item is being scanned.
- You can have the Neat software remove blank pages or combine multiple pages into a single item while scanning your papers. After you scan each page you can scan another page or click done to stop scanning to the current item and start a new item.
- The Neat software is basically a virtual file cabinet. I have over 30 file folders set up and just click on which file I want it to go into before I scan a document and the scanner automatically files it there.
- After you scan a receipt or business card the Neat software will pull relevant information off of the business card or receipt and populate some basic fields such as vendor, category, receipt date, payment type, sales tax and amount. You can edit any of these fields after the software pre-populates them and you can add a tax category if you’d like to track business or individual tax return receipts.
- You can scan either into the Neat software or you can scan directly to a PDF. This option is nice when you need to send someone else a scan of a legal document or other paperwork.
- If you have digital files you’d like to put in the Neat software you can import PDFs and images although I haven’t tried it personally.
- You can export the Neat images to an image, pdf, comma separated values (csv) file, excel, QuickBooks, Quicken, TurboTax or other Neat files. I haven’t tried the export feature but I imagine it works well. If you have a particular question let me know and I’ll test it out.
Cons of the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner
Overall I’ve really enjoyed using the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner but there are a few quirks that people have mentioned that I feel I should address.
- The scanner itself isn’t the highlight of the product. The scanner does its job well and can scan in color or black and white but other than that it performs like a mobile sheet fed scanner.
- The scanner doesn’t have a sliding guide for documents smaller than the full width of the scanner. You’re supposed to slide the documents all the way to one side of the scanner when feeding it and this should take most of the crookedness out of your scanned image. However, sometimes there is some distortion from a crooked scan but it hasn’t ever bothered me or made it illegible.
- When I first started using the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner it was sometimes a bit frustrating to get the scanner to pick up or catch the document to scan it. It just took a few pieces of paper to get used to how the scanner feeds and it hasn’t been a problem since.
- If there is more than one type of tax or tip the scanner doesn’t know which one to populate into the sales tax field. If this is important to you make sure you check this field and update your receipts as necessary.
- Sometimes when I selected the auto recognize feature to determine which type of item I was scanning (receipt, document or business card) the scanner would recognize a full page receipt as a document. The easy way to prevent this is to select which type of document you’re scanning before you scan a full page receipt. You can choose to convert the image from a document to a receipt and it will reprocess the document into a receipt.
- The biggest gripe I’ve read about the scanner is the time it takes to process a scanned image. Once you scan an image it goes into a queue for processing which can take a decent amount of time if you’re using a lot of your computer’s resources. It can also take a while to process multiple page documents that are larger than 15 or 20 pages but has always gotten the job done for me. If I run into this problem I just go do something else (either in my house or on my computer) and when I come back the document is ready for my review in the file I set for it.
Overall Impression of the Neat Receipts Mobile Scanner
Overall I really enjoy using my NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner and think it is a great tool for anyone with paper clutter. Ever since I bought my scanner I haven’t had any problems with credit card statements, bills or receipts piling up on all of the flat surfaces in my house. It is so easy to pull out the scanner and get the documents filed virtually that I no longer avoid the task.
Yes, there are a few small quirks but once you learn the ins and outs of your scanner they’re easy to avoid or work around. If you want everything to turn out perfect every time you probably need to use a flat bed scanner but I’d say the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner gets the job done right 99% of the time.
If you do a lot of filing you might want to consider the NeatDesk Desktop Scanner. It allows you to scan a larger volume of paper in a quicker time period.
I’d like to disclose that all links in this post to the Amazon pages for the Neat Scanners are affiliate links. I work hard to provide an objective review of this product, as well as valuable content on an ongoing basis. If you are planning to buy a Neat scanner and came out of your way to click through my affiliate link I’d like to thank you.
Do you have any questions about the scanner that I can answer? Let me know down in the comments below! Be as specific as possible so I can address your concern!
Do you use a similar scanning system? What works for you?