Pixily - Paperless Document Organization
Editor's note: Pixily changed their name to OfficeDrop in 2010.
At the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Start-up Challenge finale tonight YieldEx was the big winner, providing a service that claims to help online publishers make more money. The service I thought looked most interesting is more mundane, a way to get rid of all the paper clutter in your office forever. Pixily is the new paperless service, which provides you envelopes to send them papers, scans the papers, and makes them searchable on a data infrastructure powered by AWS. I like the idea of the service. I know I have stacks of paper, organized into folders with some semblance of order, that still require time to sift through. I could scan them all in to my computer myself, but then I'd also have to make sure they are backed up somewhere. Pixily handles the backup, they handle the scanning, the only thing you have to do is send them a stack in one of their brightly colored envelopes. If some of your documents are already digital, you can upload them to your Pixily account as part of the overall pool of files you might need to search.
The only downside to the service is that it seems expensive. You can store up to 200 pages for free, with the first pay account starting at $4.95/month for up to 1000 pages. I say this is expensive because my average bank statement is 6 pages long, so a year's worth of bank records is at least 72 pages. My cell phone bill is typically another 8 pages on average, putting me at another 96 pages per year. Anything else and I'm into the money category. Thankfully those don't need to be scanned because they are available for electronic download, but they count against the cumulative total. At the high end, you could be spending $720 per year to store up to 20,000 documents. Pricey for the average consumer, but potentially a convenient alternative to someone wasting time digging through a file drawer if you have a business that relies on referring to old files frequently. Regardless of the cost, the service has merit, it remains to be seen whether someone can offer a more DIY version of Pixily where most of the scanning is done by the customer and the service is really about providing access to the data.