PSA: You Can Scan Documents with Just Your Notes App

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Kathryn Bacalis)

It’s tough to stay on top of paper clutter. But what to do when you’re not sure if you’ll need an old bill or letter in the future, but you’re ready to KonMari the crap out of your paperwork?

If you’re an iPhone user, then we have the solution for you. Get ready to have your mind blown, because thanks to Twitter user @wildchildlula, we now know that you can actually scan your paper documents into your Notes app—eliminating the need for a hard copy.

(Image credit: Creative Stock Studio)

So for those pieces of paperwork you might need to save for later, here’s how to start a digital folder in the notes app:

  1. Go to the notes app in your iPhone and tap “New Folder.” Give the folder an appropriate title — like “Utility Bills” or “Contracts.”
  2. Click icon in the bottom right corner to create a new note.
  3. Push the “+” icon and select “Scan Documents.”
  4. When prompted, position the document in the camera’s view and capture the scan.
  5. Sometimes the iPhone scanner will identify the document without any help, but if it doesn’t, just crop and adjust the edges of the scanned image as you see fit and then select “Keep Scan.”
  6. Tap “Save” and voila: you’ve got a digital scan of your document that you can access anywhere from your phone or iCloud—no bulky printer-slash-scanner necessary.

Not only does this feature allow you to digitally organize and access your important paperwork, it’s especially handy for saving awkwardly sized documents – think user manuals and menus – that can be tricky to scan in a traditional scanner.

Still not ready to send your paper documents to the shredder? You can always invest in an old-school filing cabinet! Just remember that scanning your documents gives you a chance to clear up some desk space and digitally organize your paperwork instead.