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Shoeboxed: I’m really enjoying dumping the clutter

Have you checked out recently? It’s the service that takes physical paper clutter from you and then scans/organises it in an online locker. I’ve been using it for receipts, business cards, bills, invoices — all the sorts of things I tend to have to hoard just-in-case.

More recently I’ve been using either their app or the send-via-email functionality to take photos of every receipt in my pocket when I’m on the train. Shoeboxed then adds the meta data to the record online so that I can search the receipts by category, name of supplier/shop, date and so on. This organising is done in part through OCR and human review.

It’s then super simple to query everything online or extra the data as necessary. I’ve been finding this service hugely valuable.

In the States, they’ll send you a ton of free postage-pad envelopes to collect your receipts in. Here in the UK you can either post the receipts or simply snap-n-email as you go.

I’d like the mobile app to offer a lot more than just the basic stuff — there’s a lot more available on the web version — so I’m hopeful they’ll consider a feature upgrade for it soon.

Meanwhile I’m enjoying being organised. If you need their help, check them out!


  1. Hmmm…..I’ve been doing this for years using GMail. Just set up a rule to automatically tag and archive every email you send to yourself with the word ‘receipt’ in the subject line. Add in the store, and voila! Searchable, free, archived receipt storage.

  2. I do that too with many items — however with Shoeboxed, I like the way they pick key data out of the receipt and make it searchable so it gives me a little bit more granularity — e.g. what credit card I used to purchase the train ticket (useful for expense purposes)

  3. Understood. Getting into the habit of snapping a receipt for something you might need to warranty claim is hard, but invaluable. I just wish we had the receipt for the £400 Magimix we purchased 6years ago, who’s motor is now playing up. Another 4 yrs to go on the factory warranty, but no receipt = no warranty claim :-/

  4. But that’s Apple tracking *you*. It would be even more of an arse to give your details to every firm you purchased from.

  5. Well no hold on a moment… wouldn’t it be cool if my bank offered some kind of facility like this? So I could opt in to always receive full receipts from any retailer that I transact with using my Natwest card?

  6. Aye we’re definitely into assumption and wishing at this point 🙁

    If John Lewis did it, I’d probably aim to shop more with them.

  7. On a similar note. have you checked out LinkedIn’s Cardmunch app?

    Take a photo of a business card, and it will get transcribed via amazon mechanical turk. So a human being is transcribing it, leaving out much of the guesswork involved in OCR apps. It keeps a picture of the card there, too, for future reference. You can add notes, if you are of that bent, and it automatically tags with when the card was “scanned”.

    As a bonus, it will also show you key LinkedIn data if that person has their email address set up on LinkedIn, and will invite you to connect to them if you wish.

    Finally – it’s a separate address list to the one that you main phone has as contact details – which means that you can keep those people you meet once off separate from those you genuinely wish to have on your main phone contact list – but there is an option to upload it straight to the phone if that’s what you want.

    I’ve been using it for a few weeks, going though my old piles of business cards – and finally having a clean-out.

  8. Seems to be working so far, better than my current mess of piles of cards…

    I’ve just tried putting some strange cards into the system, see what it comes up with – “cool” avant-garde cards with multiple angles in it, and one in Arabic…

    The only downside I see to it is that there doesn’t seem to be a way of exporting this data other than into the contact list on the phone. If I had a desktop Rolodex version of it (the way the app scrolls through cards in landscape mode) it’d be much cooler, but I’d settle for some cloud-based vCard thing I can download…

  9. Yea, it would be slightly better than the digital only option, especially when considering the de-facto digital option for the UK carries no discount.  Either way this looks like something I have been crying out for and will definitely give it a go.  I really do appreciate you highlighting such worth apps, I hope the people behind them do too.

  10. Wouldn’t it be nice to wave your mobile phone at the till and have a universal format receipt added to your receipt (including serial numbers etc…) locker that could connect to whatever back-end host you wanted and/or stored on your own receipt software at home (if that floats your boat, I prefer the cloud myself).  Insurance companies, police, warranty companies, consumers, everyone benefits.  Surely this will happen before I die?  Or even before I hit 40?


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