Video: How to use your phone to scan documents

You might find that once in a while when you’re in the field, maybe at a client’s home or office, you need to make a copy of a document, but you don’t have a scanner.

Maybe it’s a Med Supp application, a receipt, a voided check, that you need to keep a copy of. Don’t forget that if you have a smartphone, you can simply snap a photo of the document, and it’s going to get saved to your phone as a really crisp copy, and by the way, the quality will be far better than a fax.

If you’re currently saving electronic copies of documents at all, you know that it's best to save them as PDF, so anyone you send it to can open it. There are lots of different apps out there that can create a PDF, but one that I think works well on the iPhone is called Genius Scan (also avaiable for Android).

Let’s say I’m completing a paper application, and I need a copy for my records, and I need to send it to my assistant to add into our Agency Management System.

Take a photo

All I do is open Genius Scan, and click on the camera icon. I position the phone, and snap a photo. An orange outline appears around the document. I can grab each corner of the orange outline and adjust the edge of the application so it will be a perfect rectangle when I'm done.

Save the PDF

As soon as I’m happy with that, I can press Save, click on the title, and rename the file so I'll know what it is later. For instance, I might name it "CSI App - Ferguson". The other setting I like to change is Page Dimensions. I know this is a letter size document so I’ll choose that in case I ever want to print this document. That way we know it will fit a normal sheet of paper.

Send it to your computer

The next step is that I need to get it to my computer. I can choose to email it to myself or my assistant, or there’s a few other options that you can do if you buy the paid version of Genius Scan, like uploading it to a cloud-based storage service, like Evernote or Dropbox.

I’m going to use email, but be aware that you shouldn’t be emailing documents that contain your client’s social security numbers - that’s a HIPAA violation. So choose a method that keeps you in the clear, depending on the type of document you’re creating.

Email Security

Sending something through email is like putting it on a postcard. It's simply not secure, and anyone with basic hacking skills could read it. So be careful what you include in email messages.

Now when I check my email on my computer, the PDF is there as an attachment, which opens in Adobe Reader or Acrobat (or whichever program your computer uses for PDFs). With the digital copy on my computer, I can store it, print it, add it to my Agency Management System, or whatever I need to do with it.

So to review, you can snap a photo, convert it to a PDF, and send it to yourself. I hope this was helpful, and if you have any questions, please reach out to me!


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