Monday, July 2

scanR for mediators

In June last year I smugly posted of my exploits late at night when we didn't have the energy to write up a settlement agreement - I whipped out my camera phone and emailed a photo of the completed board to all at the table as a record of where we got to - yeah I know, risky - but needs must, and it worked.

Well, if you need proof that 12 months is a long time on the net, take a look at a free service called scanR - it's tailor made for mediators and facilitators and anyone else working with groups.

At the conclusion of a long facilitation day recently I sat there and copied down the (non electronic) whiteboard and took the flip chart paper back to my desk where I laboriously produced a Word doc that I then emailed to the group for refinement of their ideas and comment. It probably took me 3 hours easy.

If I had known about scanR I would have taken pictures of the whiteboard and the butchers paper and sent those to scanR from my camera phone, in my case a Treo.

Seconds later I would have received an email with copies of my images in PDF format for me to send to the group.

Why not just take a photo and send that like I did last year? Why bother scanning it to scanR and getting back a .pdf?

Well, a photo of text is hard to read as the quality is poor and printing them wastes a lot of ink because the background of the whiteboard gets printed along with the drawings - just look at the example below.

And probably more important - making a Word doc of the board after a brainstorming session is time consuming and it looses the emotive quality that a faithful copy keeps. Plus, I'm not good enough in Word to do wiring diagrams etc - all I can do is text so a lot is missed on a typical brainstorming board.

Sign up for free here

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great app for sure. Same as www.qipit.com, who have been around for a while now. Qipit is free.

Sarasin said...

Geoff.

Like your post.

Maybe you want to check out Snapter.
With Snapter, you don't have to send your documents to a third party.

All the image conversions can be done locally right on your desktop.

You can use Snapter with business cards, documents, whiteboards and books (other services cannot do books).

Anonymous said...

I am so familiar with that user case!!

You can also check out www.comombo.com - with this one you can email and fax for free.

The trick here is that it compresses the file directly on your phone reducing data costs 20 times.

So with scanr i would pay data traffic around 1 euro/page. Here it's only 0,05.