by Nino Vidovic
For years now, companies have been aiming to achieve the coveted “paperless office”. In such an office, you can easily store documents, e.g., reports, faxes, invoices, letters, etc. digitally on a local disk and in cloud storage, eliminating the need for cumbersome paper documents and their associated bulky storage.
Once you begin implementing a paperless office, you can improve your speed, security, accuracy, and ease of document search and retrieval. As an additional bonus, you ultimately eliminate the need for additional physical storage space for your physical files.
The idea that paper could be removed entirely from the everyday work-life is still somewhat illusory. Nevertheless, the concept continues to draw the attention of technology companies, and productivity minded people. It is debatable if the entirely digital workflow is achievable. However, technologies already exist to enable a seamless and efficient digital workflow. Those could offer considerable cost-saving and efficiency increases to the most business of any size: SOHO, SMB to very large enterprises.
The good news is, there are affordable technologies available today, such as filePod™ personal pocket-cloud storage device, Adobe Acrobat DC desktop applications, and Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Scan mobile apps.
Here we will illustrate one way you can implement your own paperless personal digital workspace.
What is FilePod™ for Adobe Document Cloud
What is filePod™?
FilePod is your programmable, miniature, mobile, personal pocket-cloud storage device. It also works as an own WebDAV server and can connect to many devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and many other networked devices such as Multi-Functional Printers (MFP).
Furthermore, FilePod™ securely connects to numerous cloud storage services, both public (i.e., Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and MS OneDrive) and private (i.e., SharePoint, NextCloud) and any other WebDAV compliant storage via SSL or private VPN connection.
FilePod™is smart on its own but can become even more intelligent by downloading additional applications from its private Appstore. FilePod™ supports different categories of applications such as file sync and share, security, and VPN client apps.
What is Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud?
Millions of organizations around the world are relying on Acrobat Document Cloud (DC) to create and edit smart PDFs, convert PDFs to other formats (e.g., Microsoft Office), and do so much more. When you are on the go, and you need to collaborate with your co-workers, technology, or business partners in other locations, Acrobat DC can make it happen.
Adobe Document Cloud brings an all-digital document experience to any size business
Whether you are individual consultant, SOHO, SMB, or a large enterprise, it is a good chance you have collaborators spread across the remote locations as well as across multiple screens. Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe Sign, and other apps assure that projects and businesses can execute in a distributed and multi-device world.
Whether in the office or on the go, collaboration with colleagues and clients is easy. Acrobat DC enables viewing, reviewing, signing of your PDF documents and helps you track and manage digital document workflows.
Acrobat Reader mobile app has all the tools you need to view, annotate, sign, and share PDFs on the go. With Acrobat Pro DC, you can create, export, organize, and combine as well as edit PDFs on tablets and smartphones.
Going Paperless with filePod and Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud
Meet the User
Janney has been searching for a better way to manage digital documents workflow and get rid of the physical papers in her workspace. She wants to scan her bills, travel receipts, contracts, NDAs and other important documents, to clean her desk. Ideally, she would like to scan all her papers with a scanner that can deliver the scanned files directly into a folder. She also wants to be able to search all documents by type, sender or date and sort by name and category.
Overall, the most important objective would be to index the files sent from a printer/scanner, thereby saving time when searching for something. She hopes to reduce the clutter in her workspace and at the same time protecting the environment.
Getting started with filePod
Since this is her first time using the filePod, Janney needs to insert an SD card and then connect the filePod with her laptop using the supplied USB cable. On her computer, in Chrome, she punches following URL https://myfilePodTM.io:8080/.
NOTE: For the first-time users – watch the GETTING STARTED video on the main page.
After connecting to the local office WiFi router and registering her account on the FilePod™, she is ready to log in and do the work.
It’s important to point out that filePod™ also functions as a secure “tunnel” into the Internet; no more worrying about snooping and prying “cyber eyes” – she is safely connected to all your Internet services. Best of all, she does not need to configure anything on her laptop, tablet, or smartphone. There is no additional software to download and install. There are no new applications to set or update regularly. The FilePod™ is now doing all the hard work.
Configuring Adobe Document Cloud and other Cloud Storage accounts
FilePod enables you to connect to many cloud storages accounts (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive, MS OneDrive).
Janney’s company is using Google Drive as the company’s primary cloud file sync and share storage service. Some of her external team members are also using Dropbox.
In addition, Janney has a personal account on Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud.
After performing simple ‘add cloud-storage account‘ procedure, she adds both of her Google Drive and Dropbox accounts to filePod.
NOTE: In filePod adding cloud storage account is a simple and straightforward procedure: select cloud storage service, login into your account, select what content you wish to synchronize and accept those settings. (See video ‘How to add cloud storage account’ on http://www.filepod.io website).
With that, her basic setup is now complete, and she can start using FilePod™ as if it is an ordinary USB-attached device. To her laptop, tablet, or smartphone, filePod ™ appears as an attached disk drive.
Using filePod as a USB drive
There are two ways to access files on FilePod’s SD card. One way is using the standard USB Mass Storage Mode. The other way is to use a built-in WebDAV server. In both cases you can access the SD card using your computer’s standard native file manager application.
Popular desktop operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux have built-in WebDAV support, so you don’t need any third-party software. For example, on a macOS X computer, in Finder, filePod will show as a mounted network drive “myfilepod.io”. There you can browse its content, download, upload, copy, paste, delete, edit and save files directly from the Finder window into the FilePod’s SD card.
This makes it extremely simple to work with all of your files whether they are stored in Dropbox, Google Drive or Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud. All files are also stored and accessed locally in filePod.
Using Finder application, Janney creates “MFP SCANS” directory on filePod’s SD card where she wants to put all the MFP scanned documents.
She can also organize her directories so that all the documents end-up automatically synchronized (i.e., backed-up) into cloud storage service of her choice e.g. Google Drive.
Accessing filePod from Acrobat DC application
To process newly scanned files in filePod, Jenny is using Adobe Acrobat DC application on her MacBook Air laptop.
NOTE: In Adobe Acrobat, select “My Computer” and browse directory hierarchy to /Volumes/myfilepod.io/MFP SCANS directory.
Converting paper documents to PDF
So if you receive lots of paper documents and don’t have their electronic originals, you can use the MFP’s scanner feature to create digital versions. MFP devices, which can scan bulk documents, will helpfully scan both sides of multiple sheets simultaneously and combine them into a single digital document.
To start, first, connect filePod™ to your office local network or the Internet. The easiest way is to connect filePod™ to the office’s internal WiFi access point.
She loads a stack of paper containing multiple documents into the MFP tray and enters her filePod address, user login information and presses scan.
After the MFP is done scanning, the scanned document is uploaded and now appears as one large file in your “MFP SCANS” directory. From her laptop, she opens a Finder window, navigates to “myfilepod.io:3000” mounted network drive, and goes to “MFP SCANS” where she finds the newly uploaded file.
NOTE: When she is on the go, she uses the Adobe Scan app to scan documents from her mobile device and synchronize with her Creative Cloud account. These “scanned” images appear in her Adobe Document Cloud account in directory “Adobe Scan”.
Processing and organizing scanned documents with Adobe Acrobat Tools
Adobe Acrobat has rich set of tools for processing and organizing all of your digital documents. Adobe Acrobat tools allows you to:
- Create and edit pdfs
- Convert to other formats
- Create forms
- Process signatures
- Share and review
- Collaborate and comment
Convert scans to editable text.
Having scanned her paper copies, she uses Acrobat DC’s Enhance Scans feature to convert the content into searchable text. She can then export to plain text or Word documents if she needs to do more work.
There she can use Adobe Acrobat DC application to open the file and then “cut” it and save it as individual files in any of the directories e.g., invoices, contracts, NDAs, expenses, payroll stubs, tax return.
Create electronic forms.
Some of the documents that contain forms can be converted into digitally fillable forms using Acrobat DC’s form wizard. Use it to add text fields, multiple choice options, check boxes, radio buttons and more to PDFs which can then be completed and returned using Acrobat Reader for free.
Collaborate and comment
She can also use Acrobat Pro, Acrobat Reader or the Adobe Acrobat Reader to collaborate with colleagues to add comments, drawings, images and even audio.
Store and share PDFs
To access files in Acrobat Document Cloud, Jenny launches Adobe Acrobat DC application on her MacBook Air laptop and login into her Adobe DC account.
In Adobe Document Cloud she has two directories: “Adobe Scan” contains all the scans done uploaded from her mobile phone. She has also created new directory “My filePod Documents” which contains all the PDF documents she is working on.
She stores her digital documents online through her Adobe DC storage account or on any other cloud services such as DropBox and Google Drive. She can then share them with the rest of the team.
Using filePod and Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud you are one step closer to achieving paperless office.
Why paperless office and how
 FilePod™ supports high-capacity SDXC cards up to 2TB, and Jenny is starting with SanDisk 512GB.
 For details on how to configure more features check out the “How to section” and videos on the FilePod™ website (https://www.filepod.io.)