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Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Evernote's Tools Empower Your Paperless Productivity

While we do not live in a society that fully supports efforts to go paperFREE, there are plenty of strong solutions to better enable and support a paperLESS existence. Among those options, I really like what is provided by Evernote's suite of productivity apps. Today, let's take a deeper look at what's available.

If you like using a physical scanner, Fujitsu ScanSnap document scanners offer one-button ease of
use, no matter whether you're scanning from the road or your desktop. Now, thanks to the partnership that Fujitsu has developed with Evernote, pushing your scan button on a Fujitsu ScanSnap device makes your documents instantly available and searchable across all your computers and mobile devices. Use any Fujitsu ScanSnap device to scan directly into Evernote, choosing your destination notebook; Evernote synchronizes your content across devices and updates your content for image recognition so you can quickly find what you need from anywhere.

Alternatively, if you prefer the simplicity of an app, Scannable captures the paper in your life quickly, easily and clearly, transforming the content into high-quality scans to be saved or shared immediately. When you have the Scannable app open and hover over what is to be scanned, it instantly recognizes business cards, receipts, full-size documents and Post-It notes, scanning the content without you having to push any buttons; then, scans are automatically cropped and enhanced so you get crystal clear files to quickly find or share as needed. For a video demo, click here.

Recently, I got a note from one of my clients, which I think highlights the vast usefulness of this tool. As she stated, "I thought I learned so much about Evernote from the earlier classes I took, but, when I took the workshop you presented to the National Association of Women Business Owners, you taught me about Scannable and, once again, changed my life. I have used it to scan in important documents that immediately needed to be emailed. I can scan anywhere, and the documents are permanently saved in my Evernote so I have them when and where I need them." The benefits of the Scannable app are limitless!

Further, even without any physical scanner or additional app, you can easily utilize your mobile device's camera to upload a photo of your Post-It note, document, business card or receipt directly from within your installed Evernote app. Just like a scan from the Fujitsu ScanSnap or Scannable app, each of these photos is processed for one of Evernote's most popular features: the ability to search for text within images. When a note is sent to Evernote via synchronization, the system searches for content in the file types of PNG, JPG or GIF, which are sent to a different set of servers whose sole job is to perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The results of OCR for any image are added to its note in the form of hidden metadata, which is indexed and available for searching. The accuracy of the text recognition is dependent on the quality of the photo, and it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for images to be processed for OCR. Still, the ability to search for text in pictures is so very cool!

Beyond how Evernote's OCR technology empowers your paperless abilities, using any of the aforementioned options to upload images of others' business cards can boost your productivity further. Via the Evernote suite of apps and its partnership with LinkedIn, business cards become business relationships. Scannable transforms cards into rich contacts with LinkedIn details, photos and the ability to save it all in your phone's contacts. Taking a photo from your phone's camera allows you to connect with that person on LinkedIn as well as save the contact to your phone's database. The content of the business card becomes actionable to further build that connection, taking you beyond the piece of paper.

Do you utilize Evernote for empowering paperless productivity? What types of paper do you convert to electronic in your Evernote database? Are there tips in this post you'll implement soon?

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