There’s a Scanner in my Pocket :: Tech Thursday

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One afternoon, about four days before Christmas Eve, a friend dropped by with her girls. They are all in choir with Olivia, and the oldest brought a copy of the children’s choir song book. She was going to help Olivia with her solo.

Unbeknownst to me, Olivia did not know her solo. She was having trouble reading the big words.

This girl has the memory of a steel trap, especially with something set to music. I knew that with a couple of days of repetition, she would have that solo down cold.

So I did what any tech-savvy mom would do — I took out my phone, scanned the song book, and printed a copy of the music for us to keep.

Yep, you read that right. I scanned the music with my phone. I scan everything with my phone in fact. Drawings, receipts, kid’s art, business cards, pages from books — you name it, and I scan it.

Enter Scanner Pro

Scanner Pro is the app I use to make beautiful scans of anything I want to keep. I.Love.This.App.

Not only can you get high-quality PDFs of documents, it will impress your friends and make you feel like a super-spy at the same time.

Need a few quick copies of a hymn for hymn study in the morning? They come out of the printer in minutes.

Need to send some copies of memory work pages to the girls at co-op? A quick click of the phone, and they are loaded onto your shared Google Drive folder.

Are you drowning in kid art, but can’t stand to throw anything away? In a few minutes, with some good natural light, you have an archive of even the oversized pieces saved as PDF.

All with a device that fits in the palm of your hand.

We recently did a big purge and rearranging of our upstairs office space. It took me about two minutes to decide to get rid of the older printer/copier I was keeping around just for the scanning function. It was huge and took up all kinds of counter space.

Now whenever I need a quick scan or copies, I simply pull out my iPhone instead.

Scanner Pro allows me to save my scans to Dropbox or even Evernote, which makes it a perfect companion to my Paperless Home Organization system.

How it Works

Taking a scan is easy. You simply point the phone’s camera like you were taking a photo. Scanner Pro does a pretty good job of automatically finding the edges of your document, but it is easy to change them by dragging with your finger if you need to.

Hold steady to take the photo and a PDF file is then stored in your phone.

From there you can:

  • Print (with AirPrint enabled printer)
  • Fax (iPhone only)
  • Open (In AirDrop or any number of apps including your printer app for those without an AirPrint enabled printer. I open mine in my Brother Print and Scan App to print using this method.)
  • Upload (To send file to Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Drive)

The little slideshow below walks you through how to scan an image or document.


So tell me, what would you scan with a super-spy pocket scanner?

Linking this up to Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT family. More great ideas there!

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  • Carolyn Tharp says:

    I really like this and will try it out. I have to scan stuff for work all the time. Also can you tell a little about printing from your iPhone. I have to buy a new printer and wanted to know what kind I needed to be able to print from the phones. What do you use?

    • edsnapshots says:

      Carolyn the easiest way to print with an iPhone or iPad is with an AirPrint enabled printer — that is what you should look for as you are shopping. I love my Brother wireless printer — read more about it here… but it is NOT AirPrint enabled. I just discovered the free Brother Printer app a couple of weeks ago that will allow me to print directly from my phone and iPad, but it does still have some limitations. If you definitely have to print from your phone, then AirPrint is the way to go.

  • We have a very nice printer/scanner with a document tray, so I can stack up the papers to “file” and run them through real quick, which has allowed me to procrastinate on figuring out the best way to scan with my iPod Touch. If I use it, I've just been using the camera straight in Evernote, but the quality is not very good.

    Thanks for this detailed explanation! Now I know what to get. 🙂
    My recent post Contagious Conviviality: Catching smiles

    • edsnapshots says:

      Oh yeah, this is MUCH better than just a photo. In fact I scanned a drawing I did not too long ago and made a coloring page of it. The quality was great!

  • I read this and wanted to go throw away our old, clunky scanner. I'm going to have to explore this more because my husband isn't convinced 🙂

    • edsnapshots says:

      It really makes nice scans Michele (see my note to Mystie below about quality) and since it finds the corners of the images everything is nice and square like it should be. If the document scanner doesn't have a tray feeder to do many papers at once, it really has no advantage.

  • Bethany says:

    I think I read about this on your blog a year ago or so, immediately went to the app store and downloaded this thing. It is a-mazing!!!! It has literally changed my organization. Not saying that my paper hoarding issues are completely resolved, but this app has helped make a huge dent in all the piles & it’s so much easier to let all. the. kid. art go because I have beautiful copies scanned and stored in Evernote! Thank you for the recommendation!

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