Have you ever lost a receipt you needed for a refund? Or misplaced an important tax document? Or forgot a bill and incurred a fine? I’ve done all three. (More than once!)
As we go through life, we come across many documents that we might need in the future. Organizing these documents takes time and effort. So, if you’re anything like me, you might end up with piles of papers lying around your house (or PDFs scattered across your computer desktop). And good luck finding them when you actually need them.I joined Google a couple of years ago when my education startup, Socratic, was acquired. At Socratic, we used Google’s computer vision and language understanding to make learning easier for high school students. I wondered if we could apply the same technologies to make organizing documents easier.
To experiment with this idea, my colleague Mathew Cowan and I joined Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator. We worked with DocAI, a team in Google Cloud whose artificial intelligence has helped companies analyze billions of documents. We found that by applying DocAI’s enterprise technology to personal documents, we could help people get organized.
Today, we’re launching Stack, our experimental app for Android. It’s early days — our algorithms still get things wrong, but we’re improving them every day. Here are some of the things you can do with Stack:
Effortlessly categorize your documents.
Take a photo of a document and Stack will scan it, automatically name it for you, and suggest the right category — or “stack,” as we call them — for you to store it in.
Find things faster.
Stack will identify important information in your documents (such as “due date” or “total amount due”) and pull it out to make it easier to find and access. You can also search through the full text of your documents (not just the title) to quickly find what you need.
Never lose a document.
Stack uses Google's advanced security and sign-in technology to protect your documents. For extra protection on your phone, you can require a scan of your face or fingerprint every time you unlock the app.
Stack can also automatically save a copy of your documents to Google Drive. That way, should you ever decide to stop using Stack, your documents will be accessible in Drive and easy to export.
We know how stressful staying on top of your paperwork can be. So far, Stack has made us feel more organized and prepared for whatever life throws at us. We're excited about its potential to help you, too.
Stack is only available on Android in the U.S. You can install it through the Google Play store.