There are a lot of scanning apps in the App Store, but there’s only one that’s my favorite: Scanner Pro by Readdle ($6.99). It’s also my preferred method for getting paper documents into Evernote.
For both business and personal use, scanning paper documents is a huge deal. In general, turning documents from paper-based to pixel-based has many benefits. It allows us to archive our records, to make them portable, searchable and in many cases more readable. This in turn allows us to be more organized and to free up valuable space in our physical filing cabinets by taking advantage of the basically unlimited space in our digital filing cabinets.
Desktop and portable scanners obviously work well, but thanks to the growing library of available scanning apps, they are facing some serious competition. And that’s a good thing.
Scanning apps like Scanner Pro make it easy to quickly scan and digitize documents. Ideal for quick scan jobs that are a few pages or less (as opposed to a stack of 25 or 50 papers), scanning apps are just more convenient. They’re also very popular on Apple’s App Store as iPhone and iPad users have pushed a few different scanning apps near the top of the paid business apps category.
Personally I’m starting to become a bit of a scan-aholic. Thanks to apps like Scanner Pro, it’s so easy that if you’re not doing it… you’re almost a fool. By nature I tend to be a bit disorganized, but scanning docs and making sure they pop into an app like Evernote makes it easy for even the lazy to stay on top of their game.
Like many professionals I’ve got receipts to track and expenses to report. Like everyone with a house, I’ve got bills to pay and keep track of. For both of these situations (and many more), a scanning app can be a life saver.
Today I continue my look at some of the best, most useful of the top paid apps in the App Store by exploring the awesomeness that is Scanner Pro.
Quick, easy and accurate iPhone scanning
The thing about scanning stuff is that nobody wants to do it. Usually people have to do it, which means they want to do it as fast and as painlessly as possible.
Of all the scanning apps I’ve used I’ve got to say Scanner Pro is tops in terms of being quick and accurate at the same time. By quick I mean you can get a document scanned in 3 quick taps on your iPhone. Open the app, tap the camera icon and tap again to snap a picture. Of course you can open any previously taken pictures from your library for some processing as well.
What I love about this app is that it overlays a grid to help you gauge how your image is going to turn out. It’s a great feature that helps you get a “flat” scan without needing to spend lots of extra time lining things up.
There are, of course, more advanced options, but I rarely find myself using them simply because I’m satisfied to let the app do it’s thing without a lot of interference. For instance, users can adjust the flash settings (good for either providing some extra lighting in a dim room or preventing images from getting washed out from over-exposure).
As soon as you snap a pic you’ll be able to make sure the corners of the document line up where they should. If they don’t you can adjust them by dragging them where they need to be, but again, it’s a feature I’ve never needed to use. On this same screen you can select the paper size to ensure a proper fit, but the auto setting does such a good job I just don’t mess with it.
Hitting next takes you to a screen where you can select whether you’d like the document to be full color or monotone (black and white). Here you can tweak the contrast as well. As I’m sure you can guess based on the previous paragraphs, I’m basically always content to let the app’s default settings ride without any interference.
Clicking save will show you an overview of the current scan. If you’ve got multiple pages this is where you can see them all and manage them. From here you can email the scan, print it, fax it, add a password or choose to open in another app. And that leads me to to the feature that makes it all so sweet: Evernote integration.
The best way to scan documents into Evernote
It’s no secret that I love Evernote, so of course I’m going to love any app that adds to the Evernote experience in a positive way.
Scanner Pro has actually become my favorite way to get documents into Evernote—beating out even the built-in scanning functionality of the Evernote app itself. It’s not surprising, in a way, since a scanning app should be an amazing scanner while a note app has to spread it’s development muscle around a number of features.
By tapping on the share button after scanning a document and then tapping “Open In…,” users can then click on the Open In Evernote option. Doing so open the Evernote app, creates a new note and attaches the scanned document as a PDF. All that’s left to do is to add a title and select a category and hit save.
Evernote’s document scanning capabilities tend to be a little more frustrating in their current iteration. Whereas Scanner Pro is smart enough to just auto-detect the paper size I’m trying to capture, Evernote wants users to select whether or not they’re scanning a note, a photo, a document or a business card. I’m sure they’ve got their reasons for this, but it’s an extra hassle in my opinion.
Evernote scans also lack the powerful and convenient post-processing functionality apps like Scanner Pro offer.
All said, Scanner Pro is an incredible scanning app due to it’s speed and intuition. If you find yourself scanning items frequently or want a great way to save documents to Evernote or Dropbox quickly and efficiently, you can’t go wrong with Scanner Pro.