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Scanning Docs Without a Scanner

If you’re in an industry that processes a lot of paper documents and do not have a scanner at home, you may be suffering from “scanner separation anxiety.”

Fortunately, the OneDrive app for iPhone and Android can help. I recently stowed away my Epson document scanner to see if I could get by with OneDrive’s scanning feature and have not relapsed yet. In fact, I’ve found mobile scanning to be a significant efficiency tool since I’m often on the go.

The OneDrive app allows you to scan, sign, annotate, and either store or send multi-page documents all from your smartphone. To ensure the storage of the scanned item in the proper location, you should navigate to your desired destination folder in OneDrive before scanning. You can also scan whiteboards and business cards.

Here are the steps:


If you want to take mobile scanning a step further, you should try the Microsoft Lens mobile phone app, available for iPhone and Android. Lens allows you to scan a whiteboard, document, business card, or photo, and provides the option of converting the scan to PDF, OneNote, OneDrive, Word, and PowerPoint. Moving the scanned item to Word provides OCR capabilities, which is the concept of reading text from a picture.

As with anything, there are limitations. For example, the OneDrive app restricts to 30 pages per document, and the WIFI or cellular signal can limit the document upload speed. Still, the usefulness of these free apps far exceeds their limitations. If you get a chance, drop me a line to let me know how you’re doing and what sorts of technology pain points (or pleasures) you’ve experienced lately. Also, you can always schedule a chat with me via the links below, or just send me a Zoom invitation.

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