Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Evernote Scannable and Finally Ditching the File Cabinet

Evernote is a centralized, searchable, web-based place to store all of your notes, web articles, PDF’s–kinda everything. I’ve been using it for a few years, primarily for its web-clipper feature, storing the miscellaneous stuff I find online that I might not immediately have a use for, but want to keep a record of somehow. Evernote grabs the text and image for the webpages and I can write notes and tag so it’s easy to find for future reference. For example, searching the “micro-apartment” tag in my Evernote will bring up every article related to the topic.

But web-clipping is just the tip of the Evernote iceberg. You can store all types of files, documents and photos, making Evernote the equivalent of a jacked-up, cloud-based, searchable file cabinet.

Their new iOS app Scannable goes even further, virtually abolishing any need to hold onto any physical files. By granting Scannable permission to access your photos, it will detect any document you shoot–receipts, documents, biz cards, etc–and make them into scans which are easily exported to your Evernote account (there is a manual mode if you want to select what gets scanned).

In order to use Scannable, you need iOS 8 (I had to make the upgrade). All you do is open the app and the camera’s viewfinder hunts for a document in its field of vision. I tested it on a bank statement and business card. It made clear scans, which were easily sent to Evernote, where I could make notes should I need to find the s in the future. But you can also send the scans to your camera roll, Twitter, Facebook, Airdrop, printer or a host of other options. With business cards, Scannable extracts all of the contact info and makes a contact note; you can create a new contact in your phone from the scan or associate it to an existing contact. You can even connect Scannable to your LinkedIn account and it’ll connect the contacts it generates through that platform.

Historically, I have used the TinyScan app that uses a phone’s snapshots to make PDF scans like Scannable. I then send the scan in an email or upload to Google Drive, Evernote or Dropbox. It’s super handy, but not “smart” in the way that Scannable is. With TinyScan, a scan is a scan, whereas Scannable sees a scan as data.

While many of us might still cling to the feel of paper books and notepads, it’s tough to be romantic about document storage. It creates a lot of clutter for something we “might” need some far off day in the future–a day that almost never comes. Apps like Scannable provide a profoundly easy way of covering our posteriors for posterity, creating an organized, searchable, clutter-free storage system, driving one last nail in the coffin of paper document storage.

Thanks for the tip Steve