Friday, January 20, 2012

Organizing a Paper Avalanche. Camscanner and Evernote

Mountains of paper accumulate around me every week. Part of my work as an Internist requires me to attend meetings or CME classes. I make hand written notes on the handouts and agendas. Writing the notes helps me remember important ideas. The problem is what to do with the notes and handouts. I recently got an iPhone 4S which is equipped with a very nice camera. The camera is good enough to not only record clinical images as I noted in an earlier post but also to produce easy to read images of notes and handouts from meetings.

Now that I had digital copies of notes, I needed to organize them. I settled on Evernote which is a free form data base. It can hold images, text and even sound. I have organized my meetings and classes into note books. I can access them on a PC at work, a Mac at home, my Xoom tablet, and my iPhone.

The best part is the process. I attend the meeting and take notes. When the meeting is over I take out the iPhone and CamScan my notes. The even light in the typical conference room is perfect for image capture. Evernote can capture images directly but I prefer the image processing tools in CamScanner. I import them into Evernote and then I'm done. I can toss the paper and refer to the digital images whenever I want wherever I am.