There are very few times when I read something and think to myself, I must blog this immediately and tell as many people as possible.
This is one of those few times.
JotNot is a web service that converts pictures into documents. Send a picture to them by email or upload one to their website and get back a Word or pdf version. Not a big deal, there are other services that do this.
This service is good for transferring information on a whiteboard into something you can distribute, and believe it or not, this happens quite frequently and is a constant frustration for telecommuters who aren’t “in the room”.
It’s also good for scanning, if you don’t have a scanner.
The app sounds very simple. Take a picture (or import one). Use the blue box presented by the app to indicate the area you want captured. Then wait as the app does its processing magic, correcting for lighting, color, and even perspective. Very cool.
Unfortunately, this app costs $3.99, and I have yet to pay for an iPhone app. I’m still not over the initial sticker shock, my prerogative as an OG iPhone guy who paid full boat back in July 2007. However, this app tempts me to get over my desire for full amortization.
If you read here, you know I prefer iPhone apps that perform units of work, and usually, I can see value in these apps, even if I don’t have a specific use case or pain point in mind. JotNot hits two, very real pain points for me, and I’m pretty sure one or both apply to you as well.
Pain Point 1
The JotNot web service doesn’t meet my needs for whiteboard pictures. Why? Because typically, there’s sensitive information on that whiteboard, and it shouldn’t reside on outside servers.
Yeah, it may not seem like a huge deal, but I like my job
The JotNot iPhone app does all its processing on the device. So, no worries about leaking the top secret designs for the next version of Connect.
I could have used this app the last time Paul, Rich, Anthony and I sat in a conference room in Pleasanton, brainstorming Connect’s direction. We ended up with about five picture’s worth of whiteboard content, which I then had to email for posterity. Corrections for my bad photography would have been nice.
There have also been several times when people have told me “I have it all on my whiteboard”, which didn’t really help me, since I’m not even in the same state as your whiteboard. It would have been nice to get a picture of that whiteboard.
Pain Point 2
We recently switched to scanning expense receipts. This is a bit problematic for home-based people unless there happens to be a scanner or an all-in-one in the house. In some rare cases, the all-in-one may be old enough not have any Mac or Linux drivers, making its scanning functions useless (and yes, I tried with a VM, no luck).
This makes scanning receipts a challenge. I could use the JotNot web service, since receipts aren’t confidential, or the iPhone app, my choice. The one drawback of the iPhone app is that (I assume) the processed image format is jpg, just like all the iPhone camera images are.
We need to submit receipts in pdf form. So, there would be an additional step required to transfer (or mail) it for conversion to pdf.
Even so, as a guy who used to travel five days a week and struggled to keep current with expenses, I see huge value in this app. Consultants and sales people who live on the road can’t always predict when they will be able to scan receipts.
JotNot would definitely help nomadic workers who live on the road and in hotels.
So, color me impressed. Find the comments to add your two cents. Add enough, and I’ll use it buy this app.