One thing that I’ve noticed in the past few years since my girls started school is that the amount of papers, artwork, projects, worksheets, etc. has multiplied exponentially – or at least it seems that way. Last year I came up with a solution for dealing with all of the paper in my house – I simply started taking digital photos of the girls’ school papers and then only keeping the really special or important ones.
However, what I’ve run into since then is the fact that I have all of these digital files now – and no way to keep track of them, other than by naming the files or putting them in folders on the hard drive. If I want to find all of my daughters’ Christmas artwork, or Halloween pictures, or journal entries about puppies – I have to actually open every single file and look.
Definitely not a wise use of my time. Which is why I was thrilled to discover that someone had already come up with a better way, called Scanalog.
What it is:
Scanalog is a CD-ROM software system to store, catalog and retrieve your favorite articles from magazines (and catalogs, kids’ school papers, etc.). It was created in 2000 by a woman who couldn’t find a specific article that she had saved, in order to make sure she (and others) never have to search through stacks of paper to find another article again.
Articles can either be scanned into Scanalog, or downloaded directly from the magazine website. You can also use Scanalog to categorize and organize your digital photos as well. There are eleven ‘Master Categories’ (which cover a range of women’s interests, from Home Decoration to Gardening to My Spirit or Parenting) and 102 sub-categories.
The software works with your existing scanner to bring in the article, catalog page or photo. Then you can add it to whichever category or sub-category is appropriate. You can also import any of your existing photos as well. Scanalog also lets you sort articles/photos by holiday, season or country – making it easier to find wintertime crafts or Easter recipes.
Along with categorizing articles, papers and photos, Scanalog lets you keep a list of books that you would like to purchase in the future, and also provides a database where you can save and track catalog items that you would like to purchase – thus allowing you to be able to throw away the actual catalogs themselves without losing the vital information about the product(s) you wish to buy. There is also a ‘Hopes and Dreams’ journal incorporated into the software, where you can record your thoughts, daily activities or anything else that you would like to save.
Thanks to the Family Review Network, I was able to try out the Scanalog software for myself.
Here’s my take on it:
I am literally sitting here wondering why nobody had ever come up with this idea before. Several years ago I found myself also frustrated at the sheer number of magazines I had piled up – each marked with the one or two articles that I just ‘had’ to save. At the time, I came up with the bright idea of typing the tips or information from each article into a Word document – thus having all of the information I needed at my fingertips.
I’m sure you can probably figure out exactly how long that particular idea lasted. In the end, I finally just started throwing away my magazines, figuring that I wasn’t any worse off than if I’d never read whatever article it was in the first place.
Scanalog is so much easier of a solution! Not only do I get to keep all of my magazine articles (without cluttering up one single countertop or table), but I also have the perfect way to sort and organize all of those digital photos of my kids’ schoolwork and art projects. I’ve only begun that particular project (did I mention I have hundreds of photos to sort through?!), but it’s been very easy to do so far, and I know that once I get caught up, I can simply scan all of their current and future work into Scanalog as they bring it home. It only takes moments to scan an article and add categories, keywords and other notes to it in Scanalog.
I’m not sure how much I’ll use the ‘book’ or ‘catalog’ features, but I can see them coming in handy around the holidays when I’m trying to remember which child wants what particular toy or book. And with having my own personal blog, I don’t know if the incorporated journal will get much use, but for those who don’t blog or have any other kind of online or digital journal, I think it would be very useful.
The bottom line:
Scanalog is a simple idea that can help to save so much time, space and reduce the clutter in your home from piles of magazines, articles and other papers. And you can organize and categorize your favorite tips, ideas, recipes or whatever else you want to keep right at hand so you can find it whenever you need to.
Where can you find it?:
You can purchase the Scanalog software directly from their website at http://www.scanalog.com for $49.95. It comes with the CD-ROM software program, a printed SCANALOG User Guide, the SCANTABS label system (to mark and label your articles to be scanned), and a SCANALOG mousepad. Scanalog is available for PCs only and is compatible with all versions of Windows.
Would you like to try it?:
Courtesy of Scanalog and the Family Review Network, I have the opportunity to give away a copy of this incredibly useful software to a lucky reader! If you’d like to use Scanalog to start keeping your magazine articles and catalogs on your computer instead of your counters, here are the rules:
- Enter by visiting the Scanalog site and leaving a comment here to let me know what you would like to scan and keep organized in Scanalog. Please don’t just say ‘choose me’, or your entry will be discarded.
- The contest will run until Saturday, February 28th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be selected through random drawing, contacted by e-mail, listed on this post and also submitted to PRIZEY.Fetch. Giveaway open to US and Canadian entries.
- Please leave a valid e-mail address or other way to contact you! If you don’t wish to leave your e-mail address, please make sure that you leave a unique name and check back with PRIZEYWinners to see if you won. If the winner hasn’t responded within 3 days, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing.
- If you’d like extra entries, you can:
- Subscribe to my RSS feed (click on the orange icon in the upper right sidebar) or subscribe via e-mail – leave me a separate comment to let me know.
- Mention this contest on your blog with a link back to this post, and leave a separate comment with the link to your post so I can find it.
- Either Twitter about, ‘Stumble’, ‘Digg’ or ‘Kirtsy’ this post – leave me a separate comment with your username at whichever site(s) you chose (one extra entry per method).
So that’s a total of 7 comments/entries if you do all of the extra entry options.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED – the random number generator has chosen comment #57 as the winner:
Congratulations to Dina who said, “I’d use it to save my kids’ artwork.“! I will be e-mailing you shortly to work out the details.