I have two printers. One is a plain vanilla laser printer, and I use it most of the time. It prints, and that’s it. But it does a good job. My other printer is an all-in-one that does everything but the dishes. Unfortunately, one of the expensive little ink cartridges is out of ink, so it isn’t doing so much at the moment. And I needed to make a copy of something…

What I ended up doing was scanning the document and then printing it out on the other printer – the one that had ink. Problem solved.

But it made me think. Not everybody has a scanner. Or a copier. But most of us do have something that will get the job done for us. Most of us have a phone or tablet that has a camera. And these days, it is pretty easy to snap a picture of something with your device and get it printed out – there are several ways to get that image out of your phone and onto your computer.

More and more I find myself using the camera on my phone and iPad to get things done. Here are three ways I’ve used them this week:

  1. I had to print out a form and sign it, then send it back digitally. I printed it out and signed it, and then just snapped a picture of it and emailed it to the person who needed it.
  2. I wanted to keep a copy of a check I was sending along with an invoice. I put the check on a blank space on the invoice and took a picture – emailed it to myself.
  3. I snapped pictures of several business cards and uploaded them to Evernote. Evernote has the ability to recognize print in an image, and now I have a searchable database of all of my contacts without having to type in the information.

Are you using the digital camera on your phone or tablet for non-photography purposes? Do share!

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