Welcome back to our weekly spotlight on helpful apps. We focus on a variety of products that are useful for work, personal use, or both, providing our own thoughts on the apps and what you can do with them. This week we save and share documents with Scannable from Evernote.
An intro to Scannable
Mobile phones have become a lifeline for most business people these days. For anybody who has already discovered the wonders of Evernote, the clever developers have added Scannable to its rank of really useful apps.
Scannable is pretty much what it sounds like. The app uses your phone’s camera to take a picture of a document, then recognises text and images to turn the picture into a flat “scan” of the paper. Once the scan is ready you can save it to your phone, upload it to your Evernote account, or send it to your colleagues via email or text.
None of this sounds like such a big deal, but when you consider the app is smart enough to recognise the difference between a form, a receipt and a business card it suddenly turns into something to write home about. When you’re at a meeting or a networking event and you get somebody’s business card (or they’ve forgotten to bring extras and only have one left) you can instantly scan it into the app and it will turn it into a contact you can save on your phone. And if you’re the kind of person to lose receipts while you’re on a business trip, you can scan those too and send them straight to the finance team for instant expense reporting.
And just as apps from the same developer should, Scannable seamlessly integrates with your existing Evernote account, as well as the ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner – people can place a document in the machine, tap a few buttons on their phone and access the scanned image in a snap.
Scannable is a nice simple app, which is great because it doesn’t need to be complicated. And unlike some of the other scanner apps I’ve tried, Evernote’s kit actually does produce crystal clear scans. I tested it in a page from the latest issue of the magazine and it came out as if I had downloaded a PDF.
The only negative I’ve been able to find so far is that you have to be fairly precise with the angle at which you scan your documents. I had to try a few times with an A4 piece of paper to get the app to produce a clear image, but in the end the tiny bit of hassle is worth it.
One particular use I’m looking forward to is scanning slides from presentations at our PA Life Training Day – a great way to take quick notes.