Do you ever wish you could manage your receipts and business cards effectively online? Enter Shoeboxed, a startup that begin in 2007 specializing in organizing paper documents. I had the pleasure of taking the web application for test drive for this review. Like any good web application it must solve a real world problem, be simple to use and intuitive for the user. Shoeboxed met the “form factor test” with flying colors, but how about the “function factor test”?
The functionality of Shoeboxed did an outstanding job of consolidating a user’s “offline” paper trail. You have the ability to scan documents or take a picture with your phone and email to your shoeboxed email address. I snapped a photo of a Hotel receipt with my Motorola Droid phone and emailed to my assigned Shoeboxed email address. It was there within 24 hours and I had the ability to export it back as a PDF or upload to Evernote.
If snapping photos sounds a bit time consuming for your needs you can always mail in an envelope (supplied by shoeboxed) with your paper receipts and have it digitized in bulk. You’re physical receipts and paper documents will be mailed back or recycled after that.
To see if Shoeboxed was up to the challenge I mailed about a dozen business cards from a recent China business trip. I figured it would be more challenging and wondered if the OCR scanning could handle Chinese symbols on the business cards. The English version translated fine and a digital snap shot of the business cards preserved the Chinese characters.It took about three business days from the time Shoeboxed received the envelope to post to my account. The business cards were in a nice data friendly format and very manageable. In addition a visual scan of the business card was available. This is extremely helpful in remembering a name with a logo. I exported from Shoeboxed via CSV to my Google apps gmail. I actually use Insightly as my CRM manager in the cloud (free from Google app marketplace) the import was seamless.
Now that the business cards are actual contacts you can also export the contact list from shoeboxed to outlook, Blackbery, Gmail, iPhone or other formats and services. This is truly a nice feature and a highlight for of the service because most people don’t have time to enter all the business cards collected in a given week.
In addition, this increases the follow-up efficiency and networking with contacts you may have never bothered to call back because a business card was buried in a drawer at your office.
Once you start to acquire an arsenal of business cards and receipts, you simply login to your account and review your documents or export to various formats to repurpose elsewhere. Aside from simplifying your business world of receipts, business contacts and documents it is an extremely useful tool during tax season as well making tax deductions and expense accounts a breeze. Another feature I didn’t test but thought was helpful is using your Shoeboxed email address when you shop online. All receipts will go to your account, you can also forward old receipts from your personal email address, or scan in paper ones to build up your records right away.
So now the rubber meets the road how much will this service cost you?
Price and features range from $9.95 – $49.95 a month depending on your volume and support needs.
Disclosure: Startup Addict Musings was provided a one month trial “Classic” for this review.