Ultimate Downsizing Tool: A Portable Scanner – Minimalism

In this video we share the reasons why we think the Doxie Go portable scanner is the ultimate downsizing tool for anyone looking to get rid of excess stuff and adopt a minimalist lifestyle. During the downsizing process, the dilemma about what to do with photos and files quickly becomes obvious: we can’t sell or donate them and we often want or need them.

Scanning photos and documents with a portable scanner allows us to quickly scan a large volume of information so that we can dispose of the hard copies and save the digital versions on a hard drive or online.

The Doxie Go scanner has a built-in memory card that holds up to 450 scans, it has a rechargeable battery so that you can scan without being tethered to an outlet, and it’s tiny size allows you to carry it anywhere. I also love the software that comes with it because it allows you to edit the scans, “staple” scans together, and save them as .jpeg, .pdf, and searchable .pdf.

The quality of document scans is very good, and the quality of photo scans is acceptable but not great. I would not recommend scanning artwork or photos that you might want to re-print later because a lot of quality is lost.

Last but not least, if you plan to scan important photos or documents, I recommend backing up the files in at least 2 places to ensure that you don’t lose them.

Disclaimer: we bought our Doxie Go with our own money after reading great things about it on a blog post by The Minimalists. We are not being paid or compensated in any way for reviewing this product.

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle



Blog: www.exploringalternatives.ca
Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog
Instagram: @exploringalternatives

Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat Dubé of Exploring Alternatives.


simonlynchsae says:

WARNING: some gov. documents need to be kept as originals and the gov could ask for the actual, original paper.

Don’t scan, shred, forget.

Andy Schulgasser says:

Question Please !! If u are scanning things to your laptop, what is the purpose of scanning to an external or thumbdrive? My backup is Carbonite. But, my laptop has been having some problems & don’t know how long it will last. Would I scan things to BOTH an external hard drive AND my laptop?

Please tell me what I need to know about these things. THANK U SO MUCH !!! Love all that u do !!!

Stephanie Dittrich says:

When possible, I usually just use a free scanning app on my phone. It seems to work pretty well. I’m not sure how high quality it would be for photos though. But I agree, this scanning tool would definitely be faster.

Alex Tucker says:

Awesome video! Thanks for sharing. I just ordered one; I have a closet full of documents I need to save.

Jenna Krabacher says:

Brilliant idea! Thank you! I am absolutely buying one of these and getting rid of that huge filing cabinet in our home office!

Hellthrasher says:

Man. . truly wish I knew about this scanner last year.
I had 3 large boxes full of printed photos from the 90s/early 00’s, all from disposable cams, rolls, etc.
I have a 2 in 1 printer/scanner at my place .. and let me tell ya, it took nearly 3 weeks to scan every single pic on the flatbed. This included important documents/receipts/invoices/and other misc. paper files.
The only good thing was that I had every album/envelope labeled with date/occasion, etc.
But was very time consuming.
Not just the scanning part, but the resizing and converting to jpg.
Also I ran into a lot of, what I call ’emotional speedbumps’ in this path.
There were many photos I havn’t seen in over 10-15 years.
Old faces and moments that put the process in a stall. .
Eventually I got completed the whole process and saved nearly 50 albums worth on external drive.

We live in an amazing time where we have such technology that allows us to cultivate some of our possessions into small compact digital item (this goes for CDs , too)

Use these tools to your advantage : )

Leila - says:


ChillCosmos says:

Such a gorgeous lady here. Mat is such a lucky guy.

Cody Ash says:

Been looking at something similar for a long time. Any reason this would be better than using a scanner app on your smartphone?

michaelnew1962 says:

Ordered one, thanks for the heads up.

Helvé says:

Yea happy to hear you guys went on downsizing your documents, it’s so much easier !

Offensive Username says:

Good luck scanning documents that aren’t thin paper. That’s why a flatbed scanner comes in handy. You can scan book pages and prints on t-shirt as well.

Audrey Daigle says:

good info

cindybin2001 says:

Anything that is REALLY important to you, I would keep the hard copy. We can’t be certain that digital documents and photos will always exist. What if electricity went out or all computers and the Internet crashed or something like that? I have my diaries typed and stored digitally but I also printed up hard copies, using very small font and margins, just to have a hard copy for safe-keeping.

luv4nature says:

Great information, thanks so much for sharing! We were just starting the process of researching options for mobile scanners. We will check this one out, but I think we’re sold just by watching your video 🙂

hashtag it says:

im in the process of doing this with a flat bed and its a nightmare… thank you so much for this recommendation…. will defiantly consider x

Kelsey Thomson says:

You should use Google Drive or similar cloud service to store all your files. Then you won’t even need to carry around a USB or hard drive! 🙂

avalonandon says:


Jesse Mudge says:


Dan Bresler says:

A tiny printer would be cool for the mobile life too.

H. F. says:

Cool gadget. I have a portable scanner similar to yours, but it’s now obselete in my world. I use a completely free app call “CamScanner.” It’s even more convenient. Try it out. No need for phone connection, not even wifi is needed. I like your videos. I’m planning on transitioning soon too.

Corpuswalker says:

very helpful! thank you!

Andrew E. says:

Might be just what I need…. I’ll check it out.

Learning DIY says:

Great vid!

Kylie Eats says:

that is so cool!

Pavel Mach says:


DisillusionedAcronym says:

good call. thank you for the idea.

tabcan says:

I have boxes and boxes of training manuals that need to be scanned.  Feel free to come over anytime.

WASRT says:

Never throw away those printed photo’s. Printed photo’s are more likely to last decades than digital versions that are lost when the hardware fails. I’ve heard that 100 years from now, very few images will remain because of that. On the other hand, I have original photo prints from the 1930’s of my grandparents. What are the odds that digital images will survive 90 years? Not many.

SparrowTale says:

I’ve always liked the idea of this, but honestly I can’t trust digital files the same way as I can trust tangible ones. Though I think it would be great for uploading sketches onto my laptop.

martha salter says:

I’m not any sort of paid reviewer either, got one of these and LOVE it

blackdragone says:

Cool but there’s a even more portable cheaper option: there are some apps to do the same, it’s SUPER quick and you can set up automatic upload to cloud folders. For ex. Scanbot

Taira Angelica Cangro says:

What did you guys do with the printed photos?! Did you put them in a box and give them away?


Cool tip . . . Thanks!

Sandra Berti says:

I’ve been looking at them on Amazon. I see there is a Doxie Go WiiFi model there, too. Was that available when you got yours? If so, was there any particular reason that you chose the non-wifi model? Just trying to decide which to get. Thanks again for the tip.

Kevin Feltner says:

I see there are three versions of the scanner… Go, Go Plus, and Go WiFi. Which one do you use?

crackorean says:

Can I also make a recommendation for the “Scanner Pro” app for iOS? I threw away my all-in-one printer after testing this app. I can scan, email, send to dropbox/evernote with ease. I have not tested the quality with photos though. But for documents, can’t beat it!

Chris A says:

Spot-on 🙂 “honey I shrank the clutter” Another alternative is the slightly larger fujitsu Snapscan which has the ability to scan a wods of documents at a time and is great for photos also.

Annielle says:

This scanner looks awesome! but I would be very sick of scanning the documents which are stapled together and I would want to individually scan the pages… removing the staple is not necessary with the kind of scanner, that you open and close….

Annette Leggett says:

Great review – thanks for the info!! Maybe I’ll be able to get my mom to let me scan some old photos!

Jake DaSilva says:

I think it’d be cool to own one of these collectively, like where I could rent it or borrow it for a day once per year from a group of minimalists or from a tool library. I don’t have any photos and I am not sentimental. But I do have a bulging file folder of documents that I’d like to downsize.

Sundancer says:

Great video ! Can you power it from your laptop, or do you need a wall socket ?
Also the wall plug in, is it a transformer, and if so, what is the voltage and wattege output please ?
Sorry for all the questions !
Also greetings from Australia.
Thanks, Simon.

Terri Saint-Amour says:

I love this. I have a big flatbed scanner and it takes up a ton of room in my fifth wheel, which I don’t expect to have when I start workamping. Do you also use some Cloud storage to further back up your files?

Old Fart New Start says:

try app Cam Scanner, really minimizing and going paperless.

Andy Schulgasser says:

Thank u SO MUCH !!! This looks fabulous. Several months ago I was getting quotes to have some company come to scan my documents – cost range was over $1,000. This looks simple enough that possibly I can do it. It looks like u only use a little thumb drive. How much does that hold? And, is it pretty simple to transfer to laptop, or, thumbdrive? And, what happens when u need a new laptop?

Michael Sucharski says:

If you store all your information on a digital drive it will be susceptible to degradation from time. Even worse would be if there is some kind of EMP attack all of your information on the digital drives will be erased. It is best to store you information on optical storage. (DVD, CD, BlueRay) Optical storage last a lifetime and can take a beating!

CaringHeart says:

Once again, thank you for the inspiration. I need to do this. It’s all apart of my radical downsizing.

Shaun Doyle says:

Bought it and love it. Thank you

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!