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Lifehack Product Review: The ScanSnap S1500

Lifehack Product Review: The ScanSnap S1500

Disclaimer: This ScanSnap S1500 was sent to me free of charge to review. Also, I’m coming at this review from a Mac-centric angle as that is the platform I used while testing. Enjoy.

If you want to get your act together and get closer to a paperless lifestyle, you are going to need a good scanner. I’m not talking about one of those flatbed $99 jobs. I’m talking a full fledge, duplex, sheet-fed scanner.

Fujitsu makes some of the best scanners in the industry and when I had the chance to review the infamous ScanSnap S1500 ($449.99 retail) I jumped at it. Here are my thoughts and impressions of the S1500.

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Design

    The ScanSnap S1500 is designed extremely well and you won’t feel like you received an inferior product when you pull it out of the box. It’s made of a “Apple-esque” gray plastic (not aluminum) and is built well. The S1500 is extremely compact, much more that you can tell from photos and doesn’t take up too much space. In fact, I simply put it on top of my Mac Pro’s case on the side of my desk and it fit well.

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    The S1500’s document feeder has several different adjustments to handle paper sizes of letter, A4, B5, A5, and standard business card sizes. These are the “supported” sizes, but you can really scan anything up to letter size. What’s also great is that if your paper is a tad misaligned with the scanner, the S1500 will take care of it for you and realign it.

    One thing that I truly love about the design of the S1500 is when you “fold” it back up to compact it and the different pieces sort of snap back together giving you some sort of acknowledgement that the pieces are in the proper place. This nice little touch makes it feel more of a high quality product. It’s almost the same experience that you have when you close a MacBook lid.

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    Software

    There is a decent amount of software that is included with the ScanSnap S1500. You can easily call this software a “suite” of tools that enhance the S1500. Installation of the software was simple and the defaults seemed to be pretty well thought out. After you have installed the software and want to start scanning, it’s as easy as loading up the scanner with a stack of papers (supposedly up to 50 pages), hit the scan button and wait until they are finished. Once your paper is scanned the ScanSnap Manger kicks off and gives you options to scan the documents to a folder, email, print, mobile device, Evernote (JPG or PDF), Google Docs, SalesForce Chatter, Word, Excel, iPhoto, or even use the included Cardiris tool for business cards.

      ScanSnap Manager

      I tend to scan PDFs to file and then manipulate my PDFs with PDFpenPro, but it’s great to be able to send this documents to some very popular services. When scanning to folder you can choose the path, either local or network folder, and even pull up a name history for keeping your documents named in some sort of organized fashion. I was highly impressed with ScanSnap Manager and used it almost primarily rather than using the built in Apple scanning service (which you can use if you are so inclined).

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      Cardiris is a great little add-on that pulls contact information out of business cards and syncs them with your contacts. If you get a lot of business cards, this thing is a total time save and is quite accurate. What’s nice about Cardiris is that you can set it to format your contact information to match it up with Apple’s address book or even Exchange. It’s versatile and powerful.

      Performance

      What can I say more about the ScanSnap S1500 other than it is a total workhorse. Mind you, it isn’t as fast as some of Fujitsu’s higher quality scanners, but for just under $400, you are getting a highly capable, fast machine. I did notice that there were some jams here and there, but mostly due to my over-zealousness and excitement of using the S1500 (paperclips won’t work and staples sometime get stuck). But about 99% of the time the S1500 just works.

      I would say I scanned nearly 1000 sheets of paper over the 30 or so days I reviewed the product and it held up fantastically.

      Conclusion

      If you are trying to live the paperless lifestyle that I talked about at the beginning of the year and you want a high quality scanner that won’t kill your pocket, this is the scanner to get. You could purchase a Doxie or some other cheaper scanner, but if you want high performance and a great software suite for going paperless, do not look further than the S1500. The out of box experience is all you need to get rid of the paper in your work and life.

      More by this author

      CM Smith

      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

      To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better Why Getting Things Done is the Best Productivity System For You

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

      Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

      Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

      In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

      1. ScheduleOnce

        ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

        ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

        ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

        Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

        Available on Web

        2. Calendly

          Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

          You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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          Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

          3. Assistant.to

            For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

            From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

            While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

            Available on Web

            4. Acuityscheduling

              Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

              It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

              Available on Web | iOS | Android

              5. Pick

                Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                Available on Web

                6. X.ai

                  For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                  This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                  Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                  Available on Web

                  7. YouCanBook.me

                    is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                    They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                    Available on Web

                    8. Doodle

                      Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                      It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                      You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                      While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                      Available on Web | iOS | Android

                      9. WhenAvailable

                        WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                        Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                        Available on Web

                        10. Rally

                          Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                          Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                          Available on Web

                          11. NeedtoMeet

                            Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                            NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                            While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                            Available on Web

                            Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                            In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                            To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                            Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                            A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                            Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                            If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                            Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                            With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                            The Bottom Line

                            Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                            Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                            Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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