What’s a scanner article doing in a leadership blog? After a computer and printer, a scanner is one of the best tools I have. If you don’t have one, you also might find this tool helpful.

I bought the ScanSnap iX500 July 4, 2013. The device will scan 25 pages per minute, front and back, holding up to 50 sheets. It saves documents in PDF or JPEG. PDF documents go through OCR (optical character recognition) making them searchable. They have other sizes with smaller capacities, speed, and prices.

Some ways I’ve used this:

  1. Sermons. Shortly after I bought this scanner, I went away for a week and scanned many of my sermons. Most of the sermons I’ve preached are in PDF files, stored in Dropbox, available on my computer, iPhone, or any other computer with internet. It’s handy when you want to look up something you’ve studied before.
  2. Illustrations. Dr. David Thomas taught Speech 101 at Freed-Hardeman in 1964. One project during the semester was to collect, type, and turn in 50 illustrations that might be used in a speech, listing topic, text, and source. I’ve never stopped this practice. Since then, when I read a book, I bracketed sentences and paragraphs I wanted to recall. When the book was finished, I typed (later secretaries did this for me) “mustard seeds” I picked up in the book. They were filed on 4” x 6” cards in a cabinet. I filled six drawers. After buying the scanner, I copied a few cards each day until I scanned all and stored on my computer and in Dropbox. This is handy when looking for illustrations.
  3. File cabinet. I have seven drawers of files. I move these every eighteen months. For the past few months, I’ve been going through the first drawer. My goal is to look at ten pages a day. What’s out-of-date, duplicates, or unusable, I throw away. What’s valuable, I scan, store on my computer, back up to Dropbox. I file these resources alphabetically, as they are in the file cabinet. I also tag files. This permits me to find them under many topics when I do a search. I am nearly through with one of drawer #1. When I find new clippings and illustrations, I store them in my virtual “file cabinet.” I look forward to having everything useful scanned with no file boxes to move, everything stored digitally. (Finished, January 5, 2021, 11:45 a.m.!)
  4. Business. Tax records, receipts, contracts, pages of checks from bank statements, insurance policies, and other records for an IRS audit or moments of forgetfulness are stored on my computer, external hard drives, and in the cloud in different places. I sleep much easier knowing in the event of fire, flood, or tornado, my records are tucked away in different places in different states on many sources.”
  5. Sharing. I notice people asking questions on Facebook or I get requests by email about a topic. Most of what I’ve said or written is scanned, stored, and available.
  6. Activities, events, and records in calendars. My OmniFocus planner on my iPhone is prophecy—this is what I plan to do each day. I print a calendar every two weeks for a 3-ring binder, a page per day, printed front and back. This is history, what I actually did. I write when I start to work, when I pause, what I did, how many miles I drove, what sermons I preached, what classes I taught. I have every day scanned since 1996. I keep a record of tax-deductible meals, miles, motel expenses, and entertainment. I keep records of goals completed, visits made, and other interesting items I might like to remember. Within the first fifteen days each month, I record everything in appropriate spreadsheets. I scan the preceding month’s calendar along with appropriate summaries. These PDF documents are stored on my computer and backed up. Often it’s helpful to recall what I did or when I preached something. I can check it with a few clicks on the computer.
  7. Pictures. The iX500 isn’t  the best picture scanner. But it will scan pictures to JPEG files, to use and share.

The scanner is low maintenance. I’ve cleaned the rollers twice since I bought it. There are other types and brands of scanners. I’ve been pleased with the performance and durability of this device.

I bought mine from Amazon: Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Color Duplex Desk Scanner for Mac and PC.

           A new model is now available from Amazon: ad# Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1400 Simple One-Touch Button Document Scanner for Mac and PC, Black .

If you have questions, I’d be happy to discuss this.

What tools have you found helpful to do your work?


(Visited 555 times, 49 visits today)
Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

2 Responses to “Scanner

  • The computer era is a marvel. In school in the late 80s, Bro Rex Turner had us make note cards on our reading. I was using an Apple IIc with an Imagewriter printer. It was difficult to print my notes on the cards – very time consuming. I I printed out my notes on paper and showed it to him and made a recommendation. He announced that day was the end of note cards. On another occasion we were studying Colossians. During a 10 minute break, I went down to the school library and found a couple files on the Theological abstracts files and printed them out and then made comment in class about what was written. Rex asked how I could do that so fast. I told him. He remarked, “I was born 40 years to early.” He we are 35 years later. Seems like I too was born 40 years to early

    • Thank you for reading and responding.

      It sounds we started with computers about the same time. I bought my first computer in March 1985. I was a Leading Edge — an HP clone. I converted to Apple in August 2011.

      It is wonderful. I enjoy reading a book in a Kindle app, highlighting quotes for future reference, and filing them on my computer.

Please comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: