Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Technology Corner 1

From time to time I may post blogs about my experiences with new technology.  I will call them "technology corner."  I hope you find them useful.

While technology zips along at a break-neck pace, seemingly too quickly to keep a handle on, there are many relatively new and easy to use technologies that anyone can employ in the legal and business context to increase transaction efficiency.  In this article, I will focus on the newest app addition to my iphone, ScannerPro.  This application allows me to employ the camera built into my smartphone to take a picture of a document and then quickly and easily turn that picture into a high-quality PDF document. Creating multiple page documents is just as easy as creating a single page document.  After taking a picture of the first page, I can either select “done” or “next page.”  After I have taken pictures of each page I want to include in the PDF document, I simply click “done.”  The app then allows me to view each page as a picture, adjust the margins of each page individually, and then have all the pages converted into a single PDF document.  At this point, I can name and save my newly created PDF to my smartphone, email the document as an attachment, or upload it to the web.
            Now, if I am at the courthouse and need to make a copy of a court document for one of my files, I don’t need to find a printer, I don’t have to track down the access key for the courthouse printer, and I don’t have to fuss with paying the clerk’s office for a three or four page copy job.    I also don’t have to waste time removing staples from multipage documents in court records in order to feed those pages into a printer, afterwards wasting even more time carefully replacing all of the staples I have just removed.  All I have to do is take a picture of the document with my iphone, convert it into a PDF, save it to my phone, email it, or upload it to the web.  If I need to meet a client away from the office and that client has a few documents for me to review, I don’t need to take those documents with me to the office, copy them, and then return them to the client.  I can snap a quick picture of each page and deal with it later.  I have not had time to think through all of the contexts in which this simple smartphone app will save me precious time and countless headaches, but for $6.99, it’s a no-brainer.  Note: This app seems to work particularly well on the iphone because of its touch screen.  I am not sure how it would work editing the margins of the image without a touch screen, though I cannot see why it would not work as well on any other brand of smartphone with a touch screen.  Personally, though, I prefer Apple and recommend the iphone.