Product Placement: Have the Neatest Desk Around

I had the pleasure of receiving a (temporary) sample of a high-ticket item to review over at Modern Materialist. As I feel that the NeatDesk is one primo toy for the at-home entrepreneur, I’ve pasted the bulk of my test drive post after the jump.

Read on for all the fun I had with this high-tech information management system/high-speed scanner.


I pulled the scanner out of the box, and placed it on top of the paper tray. After plugging in the USB cable and power cord (the only difficulty lying in the fact that I didn’t have enough outlets, which was annoying, and which I could only find out by crawling around under my desk amongst the dust bunnies and scattered litter), things were basically good to go, aside from the installation of the software.

Which was easy. Once popping in your installation CD, the installation wizard prompts you to either check for an updated version online, which you can then download and install, or to go ahead and install what you have. While some steps can take awhile (I made tea while I waited), it’s all very straightforward.

After that, all that’s left to be done is the calibration of your scanner (I swear, this is the last step). Your package should come with a sheet of calibration paper, which you put into the paper input tray before pressing the “calibrate” button on your NeatDesk dashboard. If it runs all the way through, your scanner is calibrated.

Mine did it on the second try.

NeatDesk In Action:

Okay. Here comes the way exciting part (and by “way exciting,” I mean that it was way exciting for me because I am a huge dork when it comes to office supplies and organizational tools).

The NeatDesk dashboard consists of five tabs: Inbox, Receipts, Business Cards, Documents, and Tax Reports. I dutifully grabbed a business card off the pile sprayed across my desk. It was my shrink’s, and contained her name, phone number, and mailing address. The scanner has three input slots for different-sized documents (see photo above), and I placed the card — face up — into the business card slot. It fed through quickly and, within moments, the file appeared in my Inbox tab.

I was then able to open up the file, and edit the information it had pulled from the image. The scanner had already successfully pulled my shrink’s name, address, and phone number, so all I had to do was type in her e-mail address, which did not appear on her card. I then filed it away, sending it to the Business Cards tab.

This caused me no end of delight. I clapped my hands like a 3-year-old, and looked around my desk for additional items to scan in. I immediately happened upon the pile of receipts I was saving from all of my Christmas-related purchases. I scanned each one of them in using the receipt-sized slot, laughing giddily each time it flew through, and then checked each file. The software had pulled the store name, method of payment, and total cost from each receipt. I was then able to create a folder for these receipts (Christmas Purchases, of course) and file them away in the Receipts tab.

Finally, I scanned in my mother’s recipe for Tassies, the Christmas cookie that we can never get enough of. Of course, we momentarily lose the recipe every year, resulting in a frantic top-to-bottom search of my condo, my parents’ house, etc. If I scanned it in for safekeeping, we would never have this problem again.

The Wrap-Up:

Aside from the glee I apparently derive from scanning things at high speeds, I should probably tell you about some of the other features.

The scanner itself allows you to scan things in batches. You can fit in 10 receipts, 10 business cards, and 10 documents at a time, or you can remove the inner tray and put in 50 document pages at a time.

Once you’ve scanned in your receipts and filed them away in the appropriate tab, you can use them to track business expenses and generate expense reports, or you can export the information to other programs, such as Excel, QuickBooks, etc. Because the information in your images is now digitized, you can also easily search these files.

As far as your business cards go, you can export the information contained within these files to other applications, such as Microsoft Outlook.

When it comes to your documents, you can create .pdfs from your files. You can find out more here.

The only think that keeps me from picking up this particular scanner for myself is the price: $449.95. Then again, my at-home business is incredibly small-potatoes. You tell me: Would you consider the price tag worth it?


  1. That is super cool! I suspect my husband will want to add it to his long list of coveted tech gadgets.

    Can you use it as a ‘regular’ scanner – i.e for photos or images?

  2. @michelle: Their FAQ page doesn’t mention image scanning, and the input trays are sized specifically for business cards, receipts, and documents. You may be able to scan in a photo as a document (as it creates an image file anyway), but I’m not sure.

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