How to Scan a Whiteboard with an iPhone Using Your Notes App
When it comes to technology, we live in a strange sort of in-between time. Our lives are inextricably bound up with our devices – smartphones, smart TVs, smart doorbells – and yet we long for those unplugged moments in our day: curling up with a good book, grilling something delicious, gazing at the stars, laughing with our friends.
A question: When you’re planning a vacation, listing to-dos for a big project at work, noting ideas for your next blog post, or just capturing your thoughts about the day, do you want to poke at that tiny little keyboard? Or…do you want to watch your words and ideas unfold across a page? Something special happens when we engage in the tactile act of connecting our thoughts to our hands to a document.
But the ubiquitous pads of paper, notebooks, bits of scratch paper – they tend to get mislaid, or lost, or tossed, ending up in a landfill. That’s so twentieth century, and not in a good way.
Of course we have the perfect solution: our brand-new, super-cool Jotters.
These modern, eco-smart whiteboards can fill the space formerly occupied by legal pads or notepads that you no longer want in your life. And Jotters are twice as nice because they’re two-sided, printed with a familiar lined-paper template on one side and a wide open whiteboard on the other. When you’re done creating your word magic, you can wipe that baby clean and start all over again, using each Jotter thousands of times.
But wait!, you say. What if I want to hang on to my brilliant ideas for posterity? What if I want to share my notes with my coworkers or fellow travelers?
What if we told you that Jotters are Apple Notes compatible? It’s no joke.
Turns out those powerful little computers we hold in the palms of our hands are capable of so much more than scrolling through Instagram, sending funny Snapchats using voice-changing filters, and navigating with Maps!
Since iOS 11, we’ve had the ability to use the Notes app to scan documents. Not just take a photo, but actually scan. And then you can edit the heck out of your scanned document, changing it from color to black and white, distorting it into cool shapes, rotating it, or marking it up. Then you can save it to your favorite location in the cloud or directly to your Mac, and you can easily share your scanned document with others.
And when we say documents, you know that we really mean whiteboards.
Here’s how it works, step by step.
Place your Jotter on a flat surface in a well-lit area, to better highlight your clever ideas. Open up your Notes app and either start a new note or open an existing one. Holding your iPhone over the Jotter, tap the camera icon and select “Scan Documents.” You’ll see a yellow box on-screen as the camera tries to determine the edges of your Jotter.
Once it has done so, it will automatically capture the scan. You can also just press the shutter button or one of your volume buttons to manually complete the scan.
You’ll see a cute little thumbnail of your scan appear in the bottom left corner. You can now scan additional Jotters if you’d like, or tap the “save” button for that first scan. At that point, you’ll see what might be the coolest part of this scanning magic: your Notes app will pull out some of the text at the top of the document to use as its title. Nifty!
Tap the scanned image to see a few editing options appear along the bottom of your screen.
- Use the crop tool to better align the scan along the edges, or to crop the image however you want. If you’re feeling creative, you can use this tool to distort your scanned page into a new and funky shape.
- Another editing tool lets you adjust from color to grayscale to black & white.
- You can rotate the image, though admittedly it’s hard to imagine why you’d want to do that.
If you’re inclined to add some flair or notes or doodles to the scanned image itself, tap the download icon in the top right corner, scroll down, and choose “Markup.” Pick your writing implement, select any color from the spectrum, and write away!
To save or share your scanned Jotter, tap on that download icon again and select from the options that appear. You can text, email, or Airdrop the scan. You can print it (though that seems to defeat the purpose, but who are we to judge?). You can keep it in Notes, or save it to Files or your Mac, or your preferred mode of cloud-based storage. So many options!
So you see, you really can have it all. You can unlock your creativity and save paper by using Jotters to record your ideas and plans, AND you can digitize those pages using your iPhone to easily edit, save, and share them! Then wipe those Jotters clean and start again, re-using them again and again. The marriage of low-tech and hi-tech: it’s a beautiful thing.
Are you an Android user? Check out this post for a step-by-step guide to scanning whiteboards with your Android phone!