Store Tag Clouds!

Our programmers are hard at work finishing up some very big improvements to Shoeboxed that should go up in the next couple of weeks, and I wanted to share one of the smaller ones with you. Advanced, insider info: that’s what you get for reading the Shoeboxed blog!

So it’s one thing to have all your receipts scanned and organized into neat tables. But it’s also helpful to have your information in a more visually useful layout. In addition to the many graphs available to you on your My Stats page, we are going to release a tag cloud feature so you can see your top stores.

It will look something like this:

You’ll be able to toggle between the Number of Receipts and the Amount Spent at each store. The more you shop at a store, the larger the text will be, and vice versa.

By the way, I wish this were MY tag cloud. I wish I could shop at Toys “R” Us all the time. Unfortunately, it’s not mine.

Insider Tips on How to Get Faster Scanning

Though we do our best to process your Receipt Mail-In envelopes in the order they arrive in our office, not all envelopes are equal, and we do fast-track envelopes that have receipts that are prepped well for fast scanning.

Here are some things that you can do to make sure your receipts are scanned as quickly as possible:

Remove staples and paper clips: We use feed scanners at Shoeboxed (as opposed to flat-bed scanners) to scan your receipts. As a result, we cannot put paper through there that has any staples or paper clips, as it might jam the scanner. When we receive receipts with staples or paper clips, we have to remove them manually, which understandably slows down the process of scanning.

Detach receipts from backing paper: For some reason, many offices force their employees to tape their receipts to some kind of backing paper. Oftentimes, this means that many receipts are taped to a single sheet. Shoeboxed treats each sheet that goes through the scanner as a single receipt, so when there are four or five of them, your data will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to organize in Shoeboxed. So, if your receipts are taped to paper, please remove them from backing paper before sending them in.

Flatten your receipts as much as possible: As mentioned before, your receipts will go through a feed scanner, and the flatter the receipt, the better the scan. If one of our scanner operators has to manually flatten your receipts, it may take much longer for your receipts to be scanned.

Orient your receipts in the same direction: If your receipts are all oriented in the same direction, it is much faster for our scanner operators to scan your receipts. Making sure they are all facing the same way and are all right-side-up helps speed up your processing time.

Organize receipts by similar widths: If you can stack your perfectly flattened receipts¬† grouped together by similar widths, you’ll be a favorite of our scanner operators. You’ll notice that there are four or five standard widths of receipts, so you’ll have distinct stacks.

Shoeboxed Receipts

Cab receipts are a standard small width.

Not only are these tips great for speeding up your processing time, it’s also a great way to show your love to the scanner operators here at Shoeboxed!

Check Your Receipt Information

I came across a blog entry this morning, and it struck me as very interesting. This blog took the time to point out how important it is to check the information on your receipts. This seemed so basic to me, but also extremely important. It’s something that we should not forget to do, as it can save us from a headache later on.

It’s easy to think sometimes that once you have all your receipts in one place, you’re good to go. You won’t have to worry about anything else because you’re the most organized person you know. Nobody else has a complete digital archive of all their receipts, and you know you’ll be better off come tax time, etcetera.

But this is all assuming one thing, right? You are making the big assumption that all your receipts have the correct information on them.

So, make sure you are consistent in checking your receipts to make sure that the store name, date, amount, and items are correct. When your receipt is printed out at the register, just scan it quickly to make sure those pieces of information look right. The receipt is oftentimes the only record you have of a purchase, so you want to make sure it’s right.

Here is another great example how this simple habit can save you some cash!