Managing your digital/paper documents with Paperless-ng

less than 1 minute read

Close to when we were moving I decided to do something about my rather huge paper archive (bills, receipts, …). I set about digitizing it all using a flatbed scanner, my cellphone and Swiftscan (formerly known as Scanbot) to turn them all into PDF’s.

Life was well, but the resulting mass of PDF’s wasn’t super practical to search something. I classified them all using year, source, some extra naming, but still, not super practical.

I had a look a few times in the past at document management systems but found the majority not to my liking:

In the end and after some testing i settled on paperless-ng, running as a set of docker containers.

One thing I did notice that it is rather picky with some older PDF’s - definitely those with funky ICC profiles. Luckely they can be quickly fixed using ghostscript:

$ gs \
  -o output.pdf \
  -sDEVICE=pdfwrite \
  -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress \
   input.pdf

and paperless-ng stops complaining about them. Still need to figure out how to integrate this by default into the workflow.

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