Going Paperless with the Canon DR-C125 Desktop Scanner

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Canon; the opinions represented are 100% my own.

Almost two years ago, I began my first sustained effort to go paperless. Since then, I’ve scanned thousands of pages of receipts, documents, and other details that no longer need to exist in paper form. Along the way I’ve tested at least ten different scanners, in part to share the best ones with readers.

There are two important components to going paperless. You need a digital repository you can trust and you need reliable scanning equipment. My personal digital repository is Evernote, which I’ve talked about in the past. For scanning, you need a sheetfed scanner capable of scanning both sides of a page simultaneously, while automatically feeding in a stack of paper. OCR software is also nice to have if you use the free version of Evernote or simply want to be able to search the contents of the PDF files created from your paper documents.

Canon DR-C125The most recent scanner to visit my desk is the Canon DR-C125, which is a workhorse sheetfed scanner, with the added bonus of being compatible with both Evernote and Google Docs. Canon includes a number of pre-configured profiles to simplify scanning. OCR software is also included, which makes your PDF files fully searchable.

Configuring Evernote support for the Canon DR-C125 was a snap. The install disk included an Evernote plugin for the CaptureOn Touch utility, which allowed me to automatically choose Evernote as a destination for the scanned documents. Google Docs support wasn’t included on the install disk in the particular unit I tested, but the download is readily available on the Canon support site. Integration with both Evernote and Google Docs worked seamlessly.

Canon DR-C125 and Evernote

When you work with as many scanned pages as I have, you start to notice the quirks in the process where you can get slowed down. Paper jams are the most likely frustration, particularly if you feed in several very thin sheets like store receipts. The Canon DR-C125 handled receipts better than any other sheetfed scanner I’ve tried; not a single receipt caused a paper jam. Standard 8.5×11 pages also flowed through with ease.

Another area where scanning can be tricky is in properly orienting the scanned image. While you can always go back and correct the scanned PDF later, it’s far faster to have the scanning software automatically detect which direction a page should face for reading. The Canon DR-C125 combined with the ImageFormula CaptureOn Touch software had a 98% success rate in the 100 pages I tested. 98 of them were oriented correctly, 2 were not. One of the two pages I scanned had lots of graphics, so it’s possible the software couldn’t identify the orientation in that case.

The only place I ran into trouble with the Canon DR-C125 was in scanning in some printed awards I received. They were printed on paper that’s probably at least 65lb stock, rather than the standard 20lb paper I normally print to. These thick pages wouldn’t feed through the scanner. Other slightly thicker paper materials, like Ticketmaster tickets fed through just fine.

While this is a sponsored post, the Canon DR-C125 is one of two scanners I’m willing to recommend as being viable for any quest to achieve a paperless office. Even if you don’t use Evernote, you can easily scan files to a cloud shared folder like Dropbox or Box.net, making it easy to have a cloud backup of your PDFs. Canon further allows you to scan to any application that supports scanning. The ease in handling receipts was refreshing, as the DR-C125 seems to jam less frequently than the Fujitsu ScanSnap I’ve used for the past two years.

I also tested the Canon P-215, which is a portable scanner. I’m reasonably impressed with the P-215 as well. Google Docs support was included on the Canon P-215 software disk, which saved me a trip to the Canon website during testing. Here again, Evernote support is included as a default. While the P-215 doesn’t scan pages as quickly as the DR-C125 it also takes up far less space, so for business travel it’s a clear winner.

Recent initiatives to eliminate paper statements at major billers like power companies, banks, and telecommunications firms are making a significant dent in my personal quest to reduce paper. Even with digital billing, a scanner is still vital in my office. On average, I still acquire about 200 new pages per month. Having a scanner like the Canon DR-C125 or the Canon P-215 on my desk will likely remain an important component of my office for years to come.