You know what’s faster than using a photocopier to copy and/or send something? Take a picture of it with your phone. But, you say, it gets all distorted, and it’s hard to read… and the file size is too big. Go download this free app:

Genius Scan – PDF Scanner for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

You take a picture with your phone then quickly drag the corners of the image to correct for perspective. When you’re done it automatically converts it to an either black-and-white or vivid color pdf. Then you can email it (as a very small attachment) or move it around your phone to other apps.

Two ways I often use Genius Scan:

1. Draw a sketch by hand at my desk. Send by email immediately. (I usually take the photo a little askew in order to keep the shadow of my phone off the drawing. Then perspective-correction makes it straight again.)

2. Copy someone’s document during a meeting or in the field without ever even taking the paper away from the person.

BONUS: if you put a scan of a document (image or pdf) in Google Drive, you can ask Google to turn it back into text (OCR). Any scan–not just the ones made with Genius Scan. Not 100% effective, but worth a try if you need to edit or copy the text.

BONUS+: The Drive app also lets you access this feature directly with your camera phone.

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