If you're on a quest to remove unneeded paper from your life, there's probably one thing standing in your way: receipts. Only a few stores have gotten on the text- or email receipt bandwagon. Most will saddle you with a paper receipt that seems miles long.
You probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of receipts cluttering your home. They clog your wallet, shoeboxes and anywhere else you can fit them. When it comes time to budget, do your taxes, or turn in your expense report, how do you ever expect to find them all? There are a few tricks to try.
In days past, you might have used a scanner to digitize and organize your receipts. Some companies even make dedicated receipt scanners. However, regular scanners are slow and you don't really want to spend more money when you don't have to.
Instead, take a look at some of these apps we've rounded up. They help you scan your receipts, get them electronically and organize them. You'll have no trouble pulling the exact receipt you need when you need it.
So without further ado, let's get to work reducing the receipt clutter.
1. Organize old paper receipts
Shoeboxed (Android, Apple; Free) lets you scan receipts with your phone's camera and extracts the information for easier organization. In addition to storing them, the app has certified professionals who can review up to five of your receipts every month. The app syncs to the web version of Shoeboxed automatically.
If you use QuickBooks, Excel or another tool to budget, you can export your data to that format with ease. And if you have endless stacks of old paper receipts, you can pay to let Shoeboxed digitize and organize them for you.
2. Easier expense reports
Tired of saving and juggling receipts for that business expense report? Expensify (Android, Apple, Windows Phone; Free) automatically creates reports right from the photo of a receipt. You can track the hours you worked with a tap, and it also tracks mileage using GPS or with a picture of the car's odometer.
Expensify will link up with your bank account or credit card to pull transactions that don't have a receipt. It can even generate IRS-guaranteed eReceipts. Finally, it's compatible with major accounting software for easy report submission, or you can create a PDF to submit.
3. General note-taking
You might not need to organize your receipts for business, but just want to keep them handy in digital form, or keep your own notes about them. In that case, Evernote (Android, Apple, Windows Phone; Free) is a good place to look.
This highly popular note-taking app and service lets you snap photos and add them to notebooks. You can add any text or annotations you want. These notes and notebooks sync to Evernote's servers so you can pull them up on any gadget, including your computer.
4. A simple scanner
Not everyone wants their information on a remote service. Don't forget you can use a simple scanning app like CamScanner (Android, Apple; Free) to scan receipts and other documents using your phone's camera. It will keep your files locally and let you organize them however you want.