NEATConnect: Cloud Scanner + Digital Filing System (review)

Written by Alan Wallace

Need an ultimate organizer? Alan Wallace reviews NEATConnect, a handy portable scanner that knows the difference between business cards, receipts and docs.


Image credit: Alan Wallace –Some companies introduce great products yet they never find a way to make the products better or to keep them up-to-date. Others get better in ways that you never imagined. That’s what I see from tech innovator The NEAT Company in its NEATConnect cloud scanner and digital filing system.

The NEAT Company first caught my eye in airport kiosks years ago. The company started with a handy portable NEAT Receipts scanner that you could take with you on the road. It got better when the company released its desktop scanner, a nice-looking, powerful compact scanner on my desk that knew the difference between business cards, receipts and docs. And it could extract and map the data where it needed to go. In fact, I have never been so organized on my expense reports since I started using this.

Editor: Scroll below the fold to see aNewDomain’s deep dive into NEAT tech from CES 2014.

With NEATConnect, NEAT takes it up one notch since it can be completely wireless and also looks great right next to the pile of mail stacked in my living room. Being able to take the scanner to the work instead of the work to the scanner is a really nice feature.

This compact ADF scanner lets you scan in color, grayscale or black and white. You can also scan two-sided documents in one pass. Options include selecting to separate or combine pages, scanning 15 business cards, 15 receipts and 15 documents before exceeding capacity. Need to scan up to 50 pages at one time? Remove the top separator from the front of the scanner and you are good to go.


Image credit: Alan Wallace

Scanning on NEATConnect sends data straight to the cloud, or your computer via USB, or directly to its SD card slot. You can store data directly and access it anywhere with NEAT Cloud as well as Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, email or FTP.

When scanning documents, you will see images displayed on the front of the scanner as images are processed. Wrinkled and misaligned documents process cleanly. Reports are easy to use and customize. The NEAT software will also import other NEAT cabinets, PDFs, images, VCards and Quicken accounts.

Additional support comes from the NEAT Mobile App (available in the Google Play and iOS App Stores). The software has intelligent text recognition and will separate contact data as well as receipt data such as totals and taxes. One cool feature is being able to store key words for easy search. I have one item for the wishlist: that the system can read the text in PDF files and extend this function even more.

Other features I would like to see include:

  • Personalizing contacts such as being able to use predefined contact maps to scan cards mapped for Exchange/Outlook, Apple Address Book, or Google Address Book.
  • Integrating auto upload of these contacts to your Apple or Google Address book would also be a very-helpful feature.
  • As I would like more ways of getting data into my NEATCloud, including the ability to scan document sets greater than 50 pages, I would like an additional app for the HPConnected printers where I am currently limited to competing solutions from Shoeboxed.

But these ideas do not lessen my interest or preference for this tool in any way. I just have a lot of paperwork and anything that makes my day easier interests me. To date, I have not found anything I like better or use more than the organization solutions from NEAT.

Here is my colleague, Todd Townsend, at the NEAT booth at ShowStoppers, the premier media event at CES 2014 this year.

Below, Todd Townsend takes a long look …

Video: Todd Townsend for Webb for aNewDomainTV

For, I’m Alan Wallace.

Based in Seattle, Alan Wallace is a senior contributor and on our security team here at He previously has worked as a London-based foreign correspondent for UPI. He also founded InterActive Agency, the first Internet-focused ad agency. Alan later joined Live365, where he served as a vice-president and oversaw its rise to the No.1 Internet radio network spot. He has been a judge for the Codie Awards for nearly a decade. Got a question, comment or story idea for Alan? Email him at, or contact him at +Alan Wallace.


  • Costs a couple hundred bucks, though, doesn’t it? I hesitate, as I have never managed to use organizing gadgets (whether Dayrunners or scanners) and software to dig me out of my disorganized mess….

    • Mac, I understand and yes its slightly more than my HP Combo printer and scanner. While I will not ditch my HP Scanner as I use it also for picture scanning – this is well worth the investment for many reasons.
      I never had any luck with day runners either but day runners are now smartphones which we all use and as for keeping track of expenses – how many lost receipts have you had on expense reports, how much time does it take you to prepare expense reports or find files during tax season, how nice would it be for price and sales tax to automatically be added from the scanner rather than trying to read the receipt and make sure you have the right prescription to do so.
      How many thousands of business cards you wanted to input into your contact manager never made it because there were just so many and manually typing everything was just a daunting task. While, it’s not the cheapest product – in this case that is good as its built to last and works to deliver on its product purpose. You can always try and return it – it was trying it the first time that won me over. It was the time saved and accuracy of expense reports that locked me in as a user.

      • Persuasive. And yes, the smartphone has done a lot more to organize me than the paper alternatives did years ago — the Calendar, which I use as a to-do list, is a major organizer.

        I don;t have much in the way of business receipts, but I do have other receipts that are needed at tax time. And of course tons of paperwork filed away — it would be nice to digest this into a Neat scanner. Did I hear that it also connects with Evernote?

        • Yes – it connects with Evernote also and you can even email receipts to NEATCloud as well. So store paper and electronic receipts and even save data like product codes to install software applications over again with a stored serial number ;-)

  • Hopefully this is better than the former Scanner system known as NeatDesk which was not 100% Mac compatible post OSX Yosemite. This was the cause of massive frustration as you may have a history of documents in the system already and having support fall off for Mac on NeatDesk, and suddenly nothing scans ( or imports ) in correctly you find your self looking for a new Scan system.

    I would have to say my confidence is low at this stage, and I simply can’t afford to chance it even on their cloud service. I’m just moving on to the ScanSnap by Fujitsu. I have to at this stage. My documents are super important; especially if you live electronically, and I would hate to run into this problem again after spending $400 for the device.