The Personal Archive

Evernote’s Scannable App

Evernote’s new Scannable app [iOS – free] has quickly become the most-used tool on my iPhone. It makes scanning papers, documents and even publications amazingly easy. All you need is some decent light and a contrasting surface to capture beautiful scans in seconds.

Scannable capture
Capturing a page with Scannable on an iPhone

Scannable takes advantage of the contrasting background to “find” the edges of your document. You just hold your phone over the page and watch Scannable do its thing. Once it finds the edges it captures the page, flattens it, straightens it out and makes it available to you for processing. If you’re scanning a multiple page document, just flip the page and keep holding the phone over it. It keeps capturing pages until you say enough by tapping the check mark on the screen. At that point Scannable gives you a number of choices for what you want to do with your newly scanned document.

Your scans can be saved as PDFs or images. You also have several options for what to do with the resulting scan. Obviously, your scans can be saved to your Evernote account, but they can also be emailed, sent via Messages, saved to Photos, forwarded to another app or even printed.

I have been using Scannable to scan my collection of quarterly journals that I want to keep but no longer have room to store. With Scannable I don’t have to rip them apart so they can be scanned. And, even though the pages aren’t flat when I capture them, Scannable does an impressive job of straightening both the scanned page and the text on it. The result is also a searchable PDF document – very handy when I want to find a particular topic or name inside these journals.

Think of what you could do with this in the research library!

Right now Scannable is only available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. My guess is an Android edition won’t be far behind.

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