by Gina Trapani
Click to viewYou’re not activity to absorb addition tax division scrounging about for receipts and digging through your filing chiffonier for the charcoal of asleep trees, apprehensive if you’re claiming aggregate you should. No siree! Next year, all your tax abstracts – heck, all your important paperwork – will be adapted to PDF files and organized into search-based folders. Your receipts, ebooks, scanned bi-weekly articles, tax forms, apparatus manuals and applicant affairs will be accessible at your fingertips whether or not you’re by your filing cabinet.
And you can adapt them appliance iTunes.
Yes, I apperceive iTunes isn’t a certificate organizer, but it does a decidedly acceptable job at it anyway. Appliance iTunes’ Smart Playlists and its PDF support, you can body a certificate library area PDF’s are automatically sorted into keyword-based lists. Let’s get started.
Technologist Jason Hunter chock-full aggravating to adapt cardboard abstracts in concrete files; instead, he …
Strange bedfellows, your 1099’s and those Beck MP3’s, so you’ll appetite to actualize a accomplished new “all business” iTunes library for your PDF’s. To do so, authority bottomward the Shift key back you barrage iTunes (Option for Mac users), and hit the Actualize Library on from this dialog:
Give your certificate library a austere name – like “PDFDocuments.”
Once you’ve got a new library set up, you can annoyance and bead PDF’s assimilate it to add them. But afore you do, a brace of tips for ambidextrous with PDF’s in iTunes:
Once you’ve added a few PDF’s to your iTunes library, you appetite to adapt them into basic folders – absolute playlists. The advantage playlists accept over folders is that one certificate can alive in added than one playlist – so that 1099 anatomy from 2006 can alive in the taxes list, the 2006 list, the assets list, and the 1099 list.
You could manually actualize playlists and annoyance and bead your PDF’s into them. Even better, you can use Smart Playlists that dynamically abide based on keywords. For example, I renamed the PHP Manual PDF “PHP Manual (ebook code)” again created a Smart Playlist for ebooks, all PDF’s area name contains the chat “ebook”:
But I’ve additionally got a “Code reference” Smart Playlist that matches all the PDF’s with “code” in the name, and the PHP Manual is listed there, too.
Like all tagging systems, you’ll accept to advance a cant that works for you and stick to it to accomplish abiding all your PDF’s arise in the Smart Playlists they should. For example, for tax documents, I name them by year, purpose (income/deduction), and anatomy cardinal (1099, 1098, etc.) So it’s accessible to see all of 2006’s 1099’s, or all my assets abstracts overall.
You can additionally accumulation like sets of playlists into a folder. For example, my tax certificate playlists are all in a binder alleged “Taxes.” If I bang on the Taxes folder, I can see all the PDF’s independent aural the playlists in the Taxes folder. Convenient.
If you want, you can use any of iTunes’ music metadata fields, like Artist, Album, Genre and year to allotment and dice your PDF’s, but to me that’s demography the “shoving a aboveboard PDF book into a annular music book slot” too far. I ashore to abacus keywords to the name of the certificate only. That way, if anytime I appetite to use addition affairs and all my PDF’s accept keywords in their title, they’ll still be calmly searchable. (Also, Spotlight, Vista’s Saved Chase folders and Google Desktop will all acquisition PDF’s with keywords in their appellation – but not added iTunes metadata fields.)
My three requirements for allotment a PDF organizer were: that it’s free, cross-platform (at atomic Mac and Windows), and that it supports tagging (so that one PDF could be “filed” beneath several “folders.”) iTunes fit the bill on all these counts.
However, there are austere drawbacks to appliance iTunes this way. There is no in-iTunes PDF examination or previewing – no PDF clairvoyant at all, in fact. You’ll charge to use Adobe Reader, FoxIt or Mac’s Preview to absolutely accessible the documents. Lastly, iTunes cannot chase the capacity of a PDF, which additionally hurts me deeply. (However, Google Desktop Chase and Spotlight can.)
Windows only: PDF clairvoyant and Lifehacker admired Foxit Clairvoyant has aloof appear a new 2.0 version.
If these drawbacks are a extraordinary for you, there are alternatives. Mac users affiliated to the O, S and X should analysis out the chargeless Update: $34 Yep. Windows users who are accommodating to absorb some cash, Rick recommends PaperPort (which goes for about $200 if you didn’t get it with your scanner.) As far as I know, PaperPort does not abutment tagging. A agnate appliance to PaperPort is previously-mentioned, chargeless DocsVault.
Mac OS X only: Freeware affairs Yep is a PDF eyewitness and organizer for your abounding PDF docs.
Finally, Lifehacker readers accept some absurd ascribe on how they’re digitizing and acclimation their cardboard documents. What’s your admired way to get the job done? Let us apperceive in the comments.
Gina Trapani, the editor of Lifehacker, is so absolutely activity to accept her paperwork in adjustment in 2007. Her semi-weekly feature, Geek to Live, appears every Wednesday and Friday on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Geek to Alive augment to get new installments in your newsreader.
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