Paperless Home (Letters, Bills)

Hey,

I´m searching over hours for a good system to manage papers. I want to scan my letters, bills for guarantees, and important documents to reduce physical space. Nextcloud is a good work and has got all things to implement something like this.

So what i want: I want to Scan all papers with a scanner which can send an email or put the scanned files to a FTP folder. There is already an app (https://github.com/nextcloud/files_frommail) for catching email attachments, but there you have to run your own mail server and that is a thing, I dont want to, because my raspberry pi hasn´t got so good system requirements. I think it will run out of RAM then.
The other reason is, that I run the pi in the local network and there is no sense to install a mail server, because it hasn´t got a toplevel domain. The result is, that every email send will touch down in the spam filter.

On Nextcloud 12 there was an app “Nextant” in the app store to index .pdf´s. I dont find it anymore, but its another good tool that has already existed to implement such things for a paperless home.
Another thought was using ftp, but then I need to scan the whole directory via a cronjob all 5/X minutes and I think this will reduce server performance.

I found some other open source projects:
https://github.com/danielquinn/paperless or
https://mayan.readthedocs.io/en/latest/

When I install one of them it will be like a “2 and a half… [clouds]” solution.
I know that it is already possible to tag files, but I think it would be better to have an app with its own overview, which sorts all letter by sender or datum. And for bills a retention period for the guarantees.

The main important thing is, to index files send from a printer/scanner.

I hope I can start here a good discussion to reduce papers and protect the environment and of course safe a looot of space in your own home :slight_smile:.
I think everyone want to index their physical letters and safe time by searching for something.

Edit: I have found this feature request:


I think it´s a good feature, when the text of bills will be indexed, it could be possible to import them to the “housekeeping book”

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Your use case is similar to mine. I’ve been using Evernote for years to file important documents which I scanned. We have a thread requesting an Evernote replacement if you would be interested in supporting that.

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For me as student I´m able to use Office365 costless. Onenote is a nice program and it´s similiar to Evernote. I never tried Evernote, but I think its similiar the same like Onenote.

I don´t think that my use case is similiar to yours, because you are talking about a note management system. For me are important documents not some ‘notes’.

Well, I think you doing it ‘manually’. Or is your printer able to support to import scanned files to Evernote/Onenote, *whatever? I think the feature to import stuff from a printer is also a cool feature for all kinds of buisnisses, universities and private people.
I know in Onenote you have their your note-‘book’ and all stuff in there is saved to one file.
So what do you think, why evernote is the solution for everything?

I think it has to be searchable and indexable and .pdf files are the easiest way for OCR or the old app nextant. I find there are already a lot of note apps in the store: QOwnNotesAPI, Notes, Grauphel: Tomboy note server, (Mindmaps)…
So the main task is fullfilled: Taking and saving notes and keep stuff in mind. Something to use printers combined with nextcloud doesn´t exist. So *Notes are not really a DMS as nextcloud it is.

What do you think about it?
What do the other companies take to controll letters and bills?
I´m interested in that to get to know new things. Buisness people dont care about costs and systems, so what do they use? And what can we do to have something similiar with lower requirements for the systems to provide nextcloud also as a solution for private people with a small raspberry pi?
Anyway thanks to you @aproposnix to open the discussion :slight_smile:

Have got anyone a Scansnap from Fujitsu?

The Video looks very cool and I think I should buy one. But I already have a printer by brother with integrated scanner, which supports FTP and E-Mail

@aproposnix You suggested me to use Evernote. I dont know very much about Evernot, but I informed me a little bit. Is it right that the data is stored at Evernote? So your ‘Bits’ aren´t on your own?
Have a look: https://evernote.com/intl/en/privacy

Some of these operations may require us to send your data to our normal business partners–such as a network operator–that we have contracted with to provide parts of the Evernote Service. Before we do this, we’ll always make sure that our contracts with such partners protect your ownership rights.

Well, thats not so good for privacy. And then I still prefer to have the files in the closet, than anywhere else, e.g. Dropbox, Onedrive or Google. So I want put the closet files into my nextcloud and the files would be still at home. Not anymore in the closet, but before it at home and that should be important.

Cheers :wink:

I don’t even bother to use my MFP anymore. Using my phone I use camscan to scan in and then export as pdf. I save/export my papers in directories based on the category (electric, ISP, etc.). Faster than me using the MFP, scanning to a network drive, renaming, and then moving the file.

You could run something like Fetchmail to download your mails from an external mail server and pipe them to the necessary PHP script.

Nextant is deprecated. The successor to it is called Fulltextsearch.

Another useful app to scan documents from a smartphone is Scanbot. It supports direct upload to Nextcloud.

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I had a similar use case in mind. But I just started to implement it.

My HP scanner is able to scan to a SMB share. This is a directory of Nextcloud. And once a day I have a cronjob for running OCRmyPDF and move the file. So I have a PDF with an image and a text layer.

So far so good, but that’s not really indexing and currently I rename and sort the files afterwards into a folder structure. This is the point where some ideas and work is still missing.

PS: currently I was not brave enough to shred the paper… :grin:

Send unencrypted photos over the internet is one thing, but important dokuments is for me not such a good idea. It has to be locally for security reasons. Otherwise, offices would no longer send letters, but e-mails. I´m not so incorporated in linux with emails to trace red thread for a local installation.

Why is Nextant obselete? is it being rewritten? Because its in alpha status.

Scanbot is a nice idea, but I think to much work for each document to make a photo of it. My smartphonecamera is also not the best :smiley:

This is the point why I´ve started the Thread. To collect ideas in the hope that I can implement it in a way of myself.

Back to the E-Mail idea. Is there a way to send the emails only over local network? Atm I have no idea to configure it ^^
FYI I´m running pihole as DNS Service and it is working that I can upload files over LAN when I´m at home in my WiFi-network.

I will extend Nextant for NC13, until Full text search supports Solr.

2 Likes

@Cult
Nice to hear! May i ask why Nextant will be EOL and Fulltextsearch new?

Is the reason, that Fulltextsearch will be a platform for more search engines and not only for solr?

Hi
I have a brother printer too. And my use case also was to print “directly” to nextcloud, which is not that easy because my brother only supports ftp or mail too. here is what I did:
https://www.dev-metal.ch/?p=720
It’s in german but maybe this helps :slight_smile:

@raoul1 Dank dir, du hast mich heute den Tag beschäftigt :smiley:

Well, after hours of trying to get this configure right and make it save…
I figured out that my brother printer doesn´t support FTPS. But now finally it works without SSL. I created an App password for the mount, but I think I will add a new Nextcloud User with shared folders, so that no one can leak my account on Nextcloud…

Now I got some questions:
What should I take for scanning documents? PDF or PDF/A? I do not know if that makes a difference.

I recognize, that the scanned documents are just scanned images, but not already searchable.
So my 2nd question to @Cult:
Is Nextant or Fulltextsearch making the pdfs searchable? Or how could I make a workflow for that?

The 3rd:
How I can make a workflow that will move the files to the right folders like Hazel on Mac?
Folders should be receipts/bills and contracts.

4rd:
How to remove blank space around receipt/bills automaticly.

I´m really thanksful. You makes my life easier :wink:
Herzlichen Dank! Ihr macht mein Leben echt einfacher :smiley:

It was just a recommendation on how you could do it using the files_frommail app. E-Mail is surely not a great way to handle sensitive documents, except you only use accounts on your own mailserver with transport encryption at least (so they never leave that server at all). Maybe the files_frommail app could be extended to support decryption of GPG or S/Mime-encrypted mails, then it would be more secure than sending stuff unencrypted.

As I said above, you could set up your own mail server with multiple accounts and transport encryption (TLS). That way your mails never leave your own server and connections are encrypted so they aren’t send over the wire in plain text.

I follow raoul1 approuch to use a ftp server which is mounted to nextcloud via webdav (davfs). I think its the best solution, rather to have a machine with FTP then a machine which can be abused for spam purpose. :slight_smile:

So the ‘how’ to implement it, I´ve already done. Now comes the part of how to manage it:

Cheers and thanks for your suggestions :slight_smile:

I have a scansnap ix500. Actually, I liked it so much, I have 4 of them for various offices, etc. I am only replying to your comment about whether or not I like the scansnap as a scanner. I would recommend (and do!)

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Seems like this post got off the rails. ScanSnap ix500 with NextCoud as a full featured document management solution like ScanSnap Manager used to be, like Paperless 3 or Devonthink or VueScan is what I’m after. I would think this would be natural functionality for NextCloud.

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Scanner support is already here: https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/scanner

You could pair this with the Fulltextsearch app for example to get a document scanning solution using Nextcloud.

Hi, You might consider filePod (www.filepod.io). It is a palm-size WebDAV server (supports SDXC up to 2TB). You can scan from any printer (MFP) with WebDAV connector directly into filePod(no need to use email or FTP or smb). From there, your filePod can automatically sync any file to popular cloud storage systems such as Dropbox, box, GoogleDrive, MS OneDrive (we are working on Amazon Drive app) and with your home computer/server (even if it is behind the firewall).
Also, we are testing nextCloud 2waysync app forfilePod (available via our appstore) which will be released in September.

Drop us a note if interested or have questions - info@filepod.io

Hi,
I am thinking about using nextcloud at home for all my files and my documents.
For me it is very important to have a document management system (DMS) like paperless. (also stated in the first post of STrike)

To have just one tool would be great but I do not know if nextcloud really offers the basic functionality for a DMS.
My requirements would be:

  • full text search
  • search documents by there tags, creation date, meta-data information
    Is it possible with elastic search to search by the creation date like
    (from 1.1.2019 till 1.6.2019)? e.g show all documents in specific time period?
  • tagging system. is it possible to autotag by pdf content, file name and meta-data info?
  • are workflows possible by tags?

Thanks a lot!