Organizing the World: The Faces of Shoeboxed part X
With Shoeboxed there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after scanning millions of receipts and business cards since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!
Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.
With that in mind, Shoeboxed is both pleased and honored to launch a series that spotlights our wonderful users, their success stories and countless ways satisfied Shoeboxed customers worldwide are utilizing our service to stay organized.
The Art of Making Clever Simple & Simple Clever: Keith Harper & Well Crafted
“I like simple things, and Shoeboxed is a beautifully simple product.” Keith Harper
Introducing: Keith Harper
Profession: Graphic designer
Location: New York, New York
About Keith: Keith Harper is an independent graphic designer with over eight years of experience across print and digital media. He’s worked at design firms, for startups, in agencies, and has also pursued his own freelance work. Currently, Keith is running Well Crafted, a simple customizable portfolio, with the drive to take digital portfolios to the next level.
SBX: Before you started Well Crafted, you said your background was as a graphic designer. What inspired you to pursue the entrepreneurial route and create your own company?
My background is rooted in graphic design, but I consider myself a maker now as well (the word “entrepreneur” is far too complicated). When my wife Jana and I moved to New York in 2009 we decided to start our own company, which we call Duo. The goal was to take on our own client projects, but we quickly realized there was a greater opportunity at hand. We have a unique blend of skills in both design and development,
so we decided to put them together and start making our own products.
SBX: Excellent! How’d your first company endeavor transpire?
Our first product attempt, a simple financial tool for young people, failed before we could even build a prototype. The business model was simply not viable, and we didn’t have the resources required to remedy this. It was good to fail quickly though, and we switched gears to a project that had been sitting in our back pocket.
We then spent the next thirteen months bootstrapping Well Crafted – a simple, customizable portfolio. Funding your own endeavors via client work takes longer, but is worth it in the end. We answer only to ourselves and our customers. Our goal is to build the best portfolio system on the planet, as well as a sustainable business. Maintaining a business requires quite a bit of time and effort, but this is where the amazingness of the internet comes into play.
SBX: We can certainly attest to that! And after Well Crafted gained momentum, did you start finding yourself up to your ears in paperwork?
Moving to New York was a great catalyst for a new crusade against clutter. I became obsessed with digitizing everything. I bought a Neat scanner after randomly seeing them in an airport kiosk. Finally, I could digitize my documents! The scanner works tremendously well for letter-size documents, but scanning countless smaller receipts was a chore.
Shoeboxed takes that pain away – it automates everything but the first step for me. I can’t tell you how much I love stuffing those bright blue envelopes with receipts every month. I only have to concern myself with separating business from personal receipts, and I can manage that part easily.
SBX: Do you utilize any other online tools to simplify your paperwork management?
We utilize a myriad of niche web services for both Well Crafted and our client work. Harvest handles our time-tracking and client invoicing. Outright automatically tracks business expenses from our bank account. They are both invaluable tools for managing our business, but I still needed a way to track physical receipts in case we are audited by the IRS.
SBX: Hey, that sounds familiar!
Well I believe that great businesses solve a pain point. That’s why we started our first (failed) product, and also why we created Well Crafted. Updating my portfolio was invariably labor-intensive and painful. Scanning receipts was an absolute hassle – it was a manual, multi-step process. First I had to identify which receipts were business expenses. Then I had to scan them. Next, I had to name the PDF files. And finally, I had to shred them, because the whole point was to digitize them.
After Shoeboxed receives my envelope they scan, upload, and shred my receipts. I sleep well knowing that if we have to return an item – or if we are audited – I have an acceptable, searchable, digital copy of every business expense at the ready.
I like simple things, and Shoeboxed is a beautifully simple product.
SBX: Thank you, Keith! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and will be anxiously awaiting your next batch of receipts and invoices!
Are you a Shoeboxed user who has a success story and would like to be featured on our blog? Then we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Until then, stay tuned… and stay organized!