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Paperless is a solid paper-organizer

Stuart Gripman | Jan. 4, 2013
Given how electronic screens permeate our lives and a whole generation has grown up with the Internet in their homes, it seems that paper should be obsolete. Yet we still get account statements in the mail and little strips of paper every time we make a purchase (Apple Stores notwithstanding). Mariner Software's Paperless 2.2.1 can't prevent those papers from coming into your life, but it can hasten their trip to the recycling bin.

A reporting function geared toward expense reporting attempts to aggregate information from your receipts and display them in a useful way. The Expenses report lists the items you've found for your report at the top, then lists them again with a small image of each just below. If you've taken the time to enter each receipt line item as metadata, each line item appears separately with an image of the receipt it was on. Thus, if you have five items on one receipt, the expense report will display five images of the exact same receipt. Switching to the Table report does away with the images and just shows the aggregated list--a View Options button lets you choose which metadata gets displayed. The Chart report displays a pie chart with the items grouped by the field of your choice. While accurate, the chart doesn't resize to fit its own labels and information gets cut off. Print any of the reports and it will waste ink by printing the configuration buttons that appear at the top.

Paperless' design and use of Mac features like Quick Look make using it easy and comfortable. Several times, however, things simply didn't work. Clicking the button to create a custom field sometimes had no apparent action until I closed and reopened the customization window to find the new, untitled field. Twice during my evaluation a dialog popped up informing me that Paperless had encountered an error and offering to transmit a report of the incident back to Mariner Software. After both events, the program remained open and unstable and it was up to me to force quit and re-launch.

Bottom line

Paperless is a solid effort, but glitchy behavior casts a shadow. If you can live with that, have a compatible scanner and the desire to get out from under paper mountain, download the free demo and see if Paperless hits the spot for you.


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