ScanSnap Cloud: Scan Directly to Dropbox

I was stoked to see Katie Floyd's post about Fujitsu announcing ScanSnap Cloud. As I read Katie's headline I immediately knew that there was going to be some "trendy" annual or monthly subscription to be able to scan directly to Dropbox. But no, completely free! 

My Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 scans documents to my personal computer, and it seems that I always want to scan something when my work computer is open, and my personal computer is put away. I've thought through different solutions to scan to Dropbox, but none of them were very convenient. Enter ScanSnap Cloud. I started out by reading Brook Duncan's article, as recommended by Katie. He and Katie both link out to the Fujitsu ScanSnap Cloud site and I clicked on thorough. I was shocked to see that this all started via a Mac App in the Mac App Store. I downloaded the app and fired it up. Note that ScanSnap Cloud also supports iOS, Windows, and Android.

ScanSnap Cloud - Wi-Fi Connection
ScanSnap Cloud Wi-Fi Failure

As with anything new... Software Updates. I had to dig a USB cable out of the closet and plug in the scanner the old-fashioned way. Once the software update completed, I ran into a snag. Even though my Mac and ScanSnap are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, I was told the ScanSnap couldn't connect to the internet. The dialog confirmed that I was indeed connected to Wi-Fi, but the attempt to connect to the internet failed. 

  • Tried the same process again. No success.
  • Tried the same process yet again. No success. 
  • Power cycled the ScanSnap. No success.
  • Toggled the Wi-Fi switch. No success.
  • Moved the scanner closer to my Wi-Fi access point. No success.
  • Ran the ScanSnap Wireless Setup Tool's wizard and reconfigured the same Wi-Fi network. No Success. While I was in there I was reminded that my ScanSnap has a manually configured IP address for my local network.
  • Enabled DHCP assignment on the scanner, and disabled the static IP address. Success!

I was able to complete the account setup process rather painlessly. I had to swap out a couple symbols in the password generated by 1Password to some more "acceptable" symbols. The software wanted to email me a confirmation code, which came in really quickly. Now time to configure my cloud account!

You have the option to sort four types of documents into different places: documents, business cards, receipts, and photos. In my current paperless workflow everything goes into my "--Action" folder in Dropbox, and that's where I'm going to have everything continue to go for now. I've spent many years getting Hazel to sort my documents just the way I need them, no need to change this.

Fujitsu Purple Scan Button

I selected "Always Save to the Same Service" and proceeded to configure Dropbox. But you can also choose Evernote, Google Drive, OneDrive, Expensify, and Google Photos. I just might have to update to Goole Photos for Photos in the future. I was worried that I was going to have issues with Dropbox since I have 2 factor authentication enabled (which you should too), but I didn't. I entered my 2FA code and zipped right through setup. I was able to pick the folder for items to be be scanned to. I was told to unplug the USB cable and look for a brand new purple scan button, which I saw as soon as I unplugged. 

Before I started to scan documents, I wanted to explore the rest of the settings. I was looking for OCR and file output settings. I quickly found the Scan settings inside the Preferences of the ScanSnap Cloud app. I was able to find that I was able to specify the format, color mode, image quality, compression ratio, scanning side, auto image rotation, and blank page remove... but no OCR. Major sad face. For now, I'll have to go back to using an Apple Script with Hazel to scan my documents via PDFPen Pro once I open my Mac. 

I dropped the first document into my scanner, hit the purple button, and waited for the Dropbox icon to start indicating activity. From time I hit the Scan button on this one-page document to the time it was synced to my Mac, and was OCRed by PDFPen Pro by help of Hazel was about 15-20 seconds. Overall, nice work, Fujitsu!

A couple closing thoughts... you might want to disable notifications for the ScanSnap Cloud software in the System Preferences. I personally found it annoying to to have the classic tritone and a popup after each scan. Fujitsu also needs to fix the LAN IP issue and add on-device OCR capabilities, and this already awesome product just became even better.