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Neat Receipts

Cleaning your paperwork digitally. By John Haley

Receipts are easy to come by, and sometimes we find them tossed on the ground from someone who doesn't care about tracking of his or her purchases.  Most of the people I have talked with do keep there receipts, which they just toss into a shoe box or envelope.  Yet we all have our digital lives, and why not keep a digital copy of your receipt, I have come across the best method of keeping track of my purchases, categorizing what I buy, and seeing where my money is going. 

My handy compact tool is call NEAT Receipts.

Finally NEAT Receipts has made a move and created a version which works on the Mac, when I first heard about it is only ran for Windows OS,  yet a few months later they announced version 1.0 for mac plus a FREE upgrade to 2.0 early next year. The price was even a tad bit more reasonable $179.99 for mac and $229.99 for PC. So I made my purchase online, and took about a week to show up at my door. 

I already had a pile of receipts just sitting on the floor,  I have never been one to keep track of what I was buying, yet with the cost of everything these days I changed my mind, yet I know how much of a hassle keeping  this thin piece of paper can be, and the link  fades pretty quickly and usually they are already crinkled from being in my wallet.

At first that was my main reason for the purchase, then I realized how handy and care free it is at the end of the year. Well once it goes 2.0 it will give you a chart and totals for your categories.  It even does OCR (Optical Character Recognition) of your scanned receipt, but you can easy edit or add notes to each item incase you have a complex  scan.

Once I installed it and  set up my scanner, installed the 1.0.3 update I  was ready to get started with my pile of unorganized receipts, the scanner has one button on the top that you push when you are ready to scan, right after your receipt is scanned it crops, straightens, and then performs the OCR, which is just what I need. Also say you have a PDF you downloaded from your cell phone bill, or a screen grab from an e-mail purchase, all you have to do is just drag that into NEAT Receipts and enter the same information as any other item. 

click for larger view

No need for external power, and it even fits only the smallest desks or on the book shelf, I sometimes just leave it on my desk, along with the USB cable which comes with it, storage is super easy for this compact scanner. Say you make three purchases a day, just wait till the end of the week, 21 receipts, spend roughly 10 minutes scanning then in and you are done.  Worried you might loose all your work, back up is easy, at first launch there is automatically a "NEAT Library" created, which hold all of your information, Simple back that up how you wish.

If you are like me, tired of faded receipts,  and don't want to waste  the first month of a new year looking through a shoe box, and would rather live a NEAT simple, well organized life. I would highly consider looking into NEAT Receipts, it is very user friendly and simple to use.

John Haley is a freelance animator in Los Angeles, CA.  He works on Adobe After Effects and CINEMA4D.   He has tons of receipts to log - so he's an excellent judge of what makes NEAT Receipts good.  You can find his work at
You can check out more facts about the NEAT RECEIPT scanner and the NEAT BUSINESS CARD scanner at the NEAT Receipts site:

For rants, ramblings and general announcements - check out a chaotic blog in the BlogZone:

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John Haley is a freelance video effects artist, and demo artist. Recent projects have included creation of animations for many of Mattel's Sizzle Reels, designing motion slates, and animation of the Air Quality Index for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He has worked on promo, commercial and music video compositing as well. John is a graduate of Video Symphony's Motion Graphics Program in Burbank, CA.
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