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How To Scan With Your Smartphone (Digitize Your Photos and Paper Clutter!)

The scanning tool found within my phone has helped me declutter my paper trail by removing it physically and transferring it into a digital copy.

I have used this tool for a while now and truly believe that it can help you too. I have achieved a space free of old receipts, photos, letters, and mail. My junk drawer is no longer due to this habit I have made of scanning my paper before it becomes clutter.

Whether you have an Android phone or an iPhone, we’ll walk you through the steps to be able to properly scan (and save) the things you want, all through your smartphone!

How To Scan With An Android Device

The simple version is laid out below in 5 steps:

  1. Locate and Open the Google Drive app
  2. Press The Add/Plus (+) button
  3. Tap on the Scan feature
  4. Take a picture of what you want to scan
  5. Re-crop the image and/or save to Google Drive

Want a more in-depth answer?

Continue reading!

Locate The Google Drive App

How To Find The Google Drive App

The good news is that if you haven’t deleted any of your default apps, then you don’t need to install any new apps on your phone.

The first step in how to scan on smartphones is simply locating your Google Drive app, and opening it up.

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Once Open, Look For The Plus (+) Sign

Click the Add (+) Button

Once the app is open, you’ll see all your recent Drive files. Locate the Plus (+) button, usually located on the lower right hand of the app.

Pro Tip: The Screenshot above is currently on the home page, but you can be on any page and still locate/press the Plus (+) button on the right-hand side.

When you press the Plus (+) button, you’ll be given a list of options you can choose from.

Tap On the Scan Option To Scan What You Need To

Press the Scan Button

Once you tap the Plus (+) button, and more options pop up, locate the button that says ‘Scan’ (yeah, it’s pretty easy!)

At this point, Google Drive may ask for your permission to take an image. If this happens, click ‘yes’ (You’ll only have to do this once, so if you’ve done it in the past, then you’re good to go!)

Google Drive will open your camera app, and let you take a picture of what you want to scan.

Pro Tip: Make sure you have good lighting and a steady hand for taking the image. You can always take another image if it doesn’t come out right.

Once you take the image, Google Drive will automatically try to crop it to where they think it’s best.

How To Re-crop Your Scanned Image

Press the Crop Button

Many times, Google Drive doesn’t quite get the right cropping in for whatever you’re trying to scan. When this happens, it’s best to re-crop your image to how you want it.

To do this, just locate the Crop Icon (two 90 degree angles intersecting each other to form a square) at the bottom right of your screen.

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Once you tap the Crop icon button, you’ll be taken to something similar below:

How to actually recrop it

Simply press and hold onto one of the blue bubbles, and resize what you want Google Drive to actually keep saved.

Once you’re happy with the crop that you desire, press the Done button at the bottom of your screen, and you’re all done!

If you ever need to access what you’ve scanned, just log into your Google Drive (either through your phone or a computer), and you’ll have it all there at your fingertips. Or at least your mouse clicks.

How To Scan With An Apple Device

Similar to Android devices, Apple users also have 5 simple steps to follow:

  1. Locate and tap on the Notes App
  2. Click on the Camera icon
  3. Press the Scan Documents tab
  4. Take an image of the item you want to scan
  5. Re-crop the image and/or Save/Share with Notes

Not sure where all those icons, buttons, and tabs are?

Continue reading to see them in the screenshots!

Locate The Notes App

Find and Locate the Notes App

Just like Android devices, iPhones come with Notes installed by default. The very first step (and pretty simplest step) is to find and open the Notes app.

While the screenshot above has it located on their home screen, if it’s not there, it’s definitely where all the other apps live.

Tap On The Camera Icon

Find the Camera Icon

Once the Notes app opens, make sure you have your keyboard up as well.

Above your device’s keyboard, you should see a Camera icon in the middle of all the other options. Tap on the Camera icon to see more camera options.

Press On The Scan Documents Tab

Click On The Scan Documents Tab

Pressing the Camera icon brings up three tabs – Choose Photo Or Video, Take Photo Or Video, or (the one you want) Scan Documents.

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The bottom tab, Scan Documents, is the one you want to press on.

Once pressed on, your camera will open and allow you to take a photo of the item you want to be scanned onto your device. Some devices will automatically take the photo for you, but you can take it yourself if that’s how you work.

Crop The Image To The Size/Where You Want It

Make Sure To Crop Your Photo

After you’ve taken the photo of the item you’ve desired, crop the image to the desired length of the photo or document you’re scanning.

Pro Tip: Take some extra time to crop as best as you can, so that once it’s all done, you’ll have a clear and perfect cropped document that looks professionally well done!

Finish It All By Saving And/Or Sharing Your Scanned Document!

Click Done or Share/Save

After you get your image cropped to the desired length and look, you can now finish it all by clicking the Done button on the top right-hand side.

Alternatively, you can also use the Share button on the left-hand side to share the document you’ve created with those you want to share it with.

Places You Can Share Your Document

Simple Way To Scan Items Onto Your Devices!

Hopefully, the above advice and walkthroughs were helpful in showing you how you don’t need an actual scanner to scan all your documents onto your computer. It can all be done with your phone.

With this simple yet effective way to scan documents onto your phone, decluttering all your paper clutter and photos has never been easier!

Start your day today by decluttering your stuff by scanning it all onto your phone!

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