In trying to determine if going paperless or not impacts productivity a useful app called the Office Lens has surfaced. This app has the potential to help both groups maintain and improve their approaches to working with information and addresses some of the shortcomings at the same time.
One of the difficulties seen with going paperless is how to work with information that is given to us on paper that we want to preserve. Scanning documents has become simpler over time and a quick scan to email gets the information in digital form. However, in many cases, we are in locations that are not conducive for capturing the information quickly so we end up saving these documents to scan later. The Office Lens provides a solution for this by letting us use the camera on our phone to capture an image of the document. A picture by itself isn’t that useful so the Office Lens goes a step further by recognizing printed text with optical character recognition (OCR) so you can search for words in the image, and you can edit the text, or copy and paste it into apps like email and documents. Office Lens also trims, enhances and makes pictures readable. Awkward angles are straightened, shadows are cleaned up and the images are automatically synced to OneNote, so that they can be accessed on all your devices (having the information synced to OneNote helps the current paperless user with the searching problem identified in Choosing the Right Lens Part 1). OneNote notebooks can be shared with others easily.
Office Lens has three modes, or settings that help make your captures look their best:
With Whiteboard mode, glare and shadows disappear (this will be very useful for the engineers at Integrity- many times pictures of whiteboards are taken to preserve designs and discussions).
With Document mode, text is clear and easy to read.
With Photo mode, you can take pictures of people and scenery.
Office Lens is available for Windows Phone and is included in the new OneNote app for iPhone and iPad.