Evernote should make hardware
I’m a big fan of Evernote. I’ve been an Evernote user for nearly 5 years (I used the early versions that weren’t cloud based, and had a very questionable UI). One of the great features is the ability to scan documents into Evernote, which are then searchable due to Evernote’s OCR capability). I don’t like clutter, so getting rid of the enormous amount of paper that seems to come through my letterbox each day is great. The problem I have is that getting this stuff into Evernote is still a bit of a chore.
My Use Case
When I get home, I pick up the mail, open it, and inevitably leave it on the kitchen worktop. My PC isn’t on as I’ve only just got in through the door, so I’m not about to turn it on just to scan a couple of letters. What I need is a solution that can be used in the kitchen and does not require a PC. As far as I can see, at this point in time such a solution does not exist. The Snapscan scanners support Evernote, but they require a PC.
My current solution
I currently use a HP TouchSmart all-in-one printer and scanner, and a piece of software called ScanDrop. It’s a good solution, but it does require my PC to be on.
My next solution
The closest (and cheapest) solution I have found is the Lexmark S605 All-In-One printer, you can pick them up new for around £80 (or less via eBay). This wireless printer/scanner can scan and send documents to your Evernote account without the need for a PC, it basically uses an app to email the scanned document into your Evernote account (See the Lexmark Blogpost here). It’s not a perfect solution, I’m not over-the-moon about having a printer in my kitchen, and I’ll never actually use the printer, I’ll just be using the scanner. What I really want is a similar solution, but without the printer, i.e. a wireless scanner that can send directly to Evernote, but, as far as I’m aware, such a solution does not exist.
My ideal solution
Personally I believe Evernote should make a dedicated document scanner, they’re obviously not in the hardware business, but such a device would give them a clear advantage over their competition. The scanner itself would have some very basic functions:
- the ability to scan at around 300dpi
- the ability to send emails to your Evernote account
- a unique identifier (the MAC code could be used)
- a scan button
- a send button
- a USB connector (used when initially setting up the wireless network credentials)
If the device sends a unique identifier along with the scanned document (such as the devices’ MAC address), your Evernote account could be configured to recognise the identifier and assign that document to your Evernote account. This greatly simplifies the requirements for the scanner, as the setup is basically done on the web via your Evernote account, rather than on the device, so a touchscreen on the device would not be required.
As well as giving Evernote an advantage over the competition it could also have an effect on Evernote’s bottom line. As I’ve said, I’m a big fan of Evernote, but I’m currently using their free service, which allows me to upload upto 60MB each month. If I had a scanning solution such as that described above I would end up scanning many more documents, and would have to pay for the premium service, which is something I would be happy to do if it meant less clutter!