I think the true secret about Apps and using them effectively, is to ensure that you have a suite of Apps that work well together.  In isolation they might not seem that useful, but when used in conjunction with other Apps, they are powerful.  In the previous iPhone Apps for Organisation article, I made reference to some Apps that I said we would come back to, and the first of those I shall cover here.  
The first one I shall discuss is ‘Genius Scan+’.  I introduced it to my project team, on my most recent project, and one of my team said it has changed her life!  So let’s share the magic here. 

Genius Scan+ App allows you to scan (take a picture) of a document, and trim it down using a very nifty trimmer.  Often when you take a picture of the document, unless your camera was directly perpendicular to the paper (which generally causes shadows), it comes out skew.  Well, Genius Scan+ will correct that through the trimmer.  It then optimises the page, and generally makes it more readable before making it possible to display the document in either colour or black and white.  Once your document is ready, it can be emailed or saved.  And more importantly, you can save directly to the camera roll or Dropbox

Genius Scan+ is brilliant for scanning in guarantees for product purchases and then saving them to either Dropbox or Evernote. Best to have a separate folder set up to keep them in, and of course remember it is very important to change the default file name to something useful. You can add multiple pages to one Genius Scan+ document, which is one of the key differentiators from the ordinary cameras which can be used to capture documents.

Also, if you need to submit electronic expense claims and scanned receipts for work, you can use Genius Scan+ to scan your receipts and then email or save them. Many modern expenses systems provide an email address to which you can email the receipt to instead of manually uploading them. This can save hours of time.

Every time you walk to the photocopier, ask yourself whether a scanned copy might be more effective or efficient.  Recently I was recruiting, and all paperwork had to be sent to HR.  I asked if I could send scanned copies of the required documentation for candidates.  Turned out, when they get the hard copies, they scan them anyhow and dispose of the originals, so sending them a scanned copy was saving time for both me and them.  Brilliant!
Another example, when you go traveling, scan your travel documents and save the documents to Dropbox, accessible anywhere via the Internet. Once you have scanned copied of your passport, driver’s licence, travel insurance, etc, you can re-use them for future trips.
Cost:  there is a free version, however the £1.99 price tag is again that of a cup of coffee, but provides far more lasting benefits. To unleash the true efficiency benefits. The paid version is key.
Drawbacks: all the documents are saved within the App. Remember to save them to another location, because if your App stops working for any reason and you need to reinstall it, you’ll lose all documents not saved or exported. (I learnt the hard way.)


 

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I am a relatively new user of the Pocket App, but I use it often. In short, it is a reading list which stores any URL (web address) you email to a specified email address.  The good thing is, it downloads the content and allows you to read it offline.  And I do like its very easy format.
As I am currently exploring all things Internet:  websites, SEO, Social Media and more, this has been invaluable as I come across excellent articles and websites, but don’t necessarily have the time to read it there and then.  Today I was waiting for someone in a cafe, and caught up on some of my Pocket reading, making the most of the idle time.
I think there is more to this App, however I had to admit to not exploring all the additional functionality yet.
Cost:  Free.
Drawbacks:  Not found any yet. 


Again, I only found this Pin Drop App quite recently, and I love it.  The idea is that you can ‘drop a pin‘ or in old fashioned language ‘ mark a point on a map’, add some additional data to it (text and images), and save it.
How would you use that in every day life?  Well, the most common way I use it, is to mark a point I want to return to.  For example, if I am in an unfamiliar place, and I need to return to e.g. my hotel, an office or shop, I ‘drop a pin‘, take a picture of the facade, and later on during the day, I can always return to it, using Google Maps for instructions.
Also, if you’re a shopper, it is great to mark a shop that happens to be shut when you pass it, but which you’d like to return to at a later stage.  I have used this often, especially when in the car. Just pull over, ‘drop the pin’ and later when you have more time, you can return.  And if you have taken a picture, it can help remind you what the area ought to look like.
Cost:  Free
Drawbacks:  Although this sounds like a brilliant App to use abroad when you’re in an unfamiliar city abroad, beware of the mobile data charges when using Google Maps for directions!  I once received a very nasty surprise in the form of a mobile billOrange charged me £8 per MB – a complete and utter rip-off! (And I think if you buy this locally it costs about 5p per MB!)  And trust me, those MBs rack up quickly!

The Simple Soiree App is for party planners or anyone who either organises parties or dinner parties.  It makes it so easy to keep track of:  who you invited, their responses and what you’re serving.  And of course you can send your invites through the App too.  I find that when I invite people to dinner, I would generally like to serve them something different to the previous time they visited.  (Excludes our regular curry parties, because everyone knows it will be Thai curry on the menu!)  With this App, you can look back and see what you served.  
If you’re planning a wedding, engagement party or other big get together, I think this Simple Soiree would be invaluable.
Of course if you don’t entertain, this one isn’t for you.
Cost:  £1.49.  There is a free version, but as expected, it doesn’t have all the functionality.  If you’re a regular entertainer for parties larger than 10, I’d say it is worth it.
Drawbacks:  I have not found any yet.

If there are any Apps you think I have left off this initial ‘getting organised’ list, I would be keen to hear about them.