Scan Away the Clutter 1

Paper has taken control of my life, again.  Every time I get on top of it the slippery sucker just seems to weasel back into my life in even larger quantities.  Besides notes, fliers, handouts, and papers I have collected there are also the odd document that I receive for my family research.  I know what you are thinking, make it all digital!  Well of course, but the question is what would be the best way.

While I do have my iPhone/iPad scanner  for fragile or large items and books there are somethings that would just be easier to simply scan.  Currently I have an old scanner/copier/fax/printer all in one machine.  It has worked great for the last 10 years but the scanner only does one size, one side, and is very slow.  That is when I stumbled on the [amazon_link id="B00E1GL0SU" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]VuPoint Solutions Magic InstaScan Portable Scanner[/amazon_link].

Simply, I love this gadget, and I think if you gave it a try you would love it too.  It is lightweight, portable, and easy to use right out of the box.  In many ways it is the perfect tool to take to a relative’s house and scan those loose documents while you are visiting this holiday season. It is even light and compact enough to put in your carry on.  Even better is that it runs on 4 AA batteries so no need to worry about finding an outlet to plug it in.  Mine fit perfectly into my lap top bag along with my computer, iPad, mouse, and cables.

I also liked the fact that you do not need a computer to use it.  Working off a micro SD card (not included) the scanner stores the images as JPG or PDF and in black and white or color.  Then you can upload the images to your computer via the enclosed USB cable or via the SD card.  Included with my scanner was Scan Direct software that when installed allows you to also scan directly to your computer with the enclosed USB cable.

You do have to manually feed the documents into the scanner resulting in an average speed of 7 sheets per minute according to the label.  While that is not always convenient to sit and feed papers into a machine, that is the price you pay for being so portable.  However, think of all the talking or TV you could catch up on while you are scanning.

Most major office supply stores carry this scanner as well as many of the online options.  While prices vary they do run right around the $100 range and add around an additional $20 for the ones with included software.  Which I feel is quite reasonable for a device like this.

So happy scanning!



About Shannon Combs Bennett

Shannon Combs-Bennett, owner of T2 Family History, is a speaker and author based out of Virginia. She enjoys teaching about a wide range of topics from DNA to methodology. Currently Shannon is the Creative Director for The In-Depth Genealogist. You can learn more about her at

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One thought on “Scan Away the Clutter

  • NikiMarie

    I use something similar! It has been a great help as I’m working my way through the National Genealogical Society’s Home Study Course and need to scan in several documents. It’s a wonderful tool for me to use when I visit relatives as well and can scan in any documents they are willing to share with me.