Uploading to the Cloud by Email

This post is about a problem and a solution.

I’m trying to go digital and replace my paper documents with digital ones. I have access to a fast scanner with an auto-document feeder but unfortunately essentially the only way that I’m able to get document off the scanner is by using scan to email. For a while, I had documents spent to my gmail. But that was suboptimal for a number of reasons. Firstly, it cluttered my inbox. Disk space was less of a concern here than clutter in general. Secondly, finding files was difficult since the scanner generated emails with identical subjects, no body text, and PDF file attachments with auto-generated names. Finally getting files out of gmail can be a hassle especially if they are spread out over many different messages.

Thankfully I found a solution that enables me to have the files stored directly in a cloud storage drive.

I signed up for a Dropbox account and then used the third party service sendtodropbox.com to facilitate email uploads. sendtodrop.com is a great little service. It gives you a special email address and then uploads any attachments sent to it to your  Dropbox. It also has a number of special features such as allowing the folder location to be automatically determined based on sender or date.

Now, I simply have the scanner scan documents and upload them to this address and voila they’re conveniently stored in Dropbox.

Alternatives:

SugarSync and Box.net have email uploading built in so there is no need to use a third party service. However, I decided to go with  Dropbox despite this. SugarSync does not have a Linux client and I knew this would end of driving me crazy since Ubuntu is my primary OS. The free versions of Box.net seemed to be overly limited and the paid versions were expensive. Finally, I just wanted to try  Dropbox since I’ve known many people who use it and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Credits:
Finding this solution took a lot of Googling but the following articles were hopeful.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-ways-send-files-dropbox-dropbox/
http://www.codingbeaver.com/myblog/index.php/2011/12/09/sugarsync-vs-dropbox-vs-spideroak-which-should-i-choose/
http://gizmodo.com/5828035/the-best-way-to-store-stuff-in-the-cloud