Written by Mike Sheley

How many of you would describe yourselves as organized?

If you’re like me, it’s more of a learned skill than a natural ability.

That seems to be common in youth ministry.

Ironically, with payments, forms, paperwork, invoices, receipts and good old post-it notes, our ministry requires a ton of organization.

How do we keep all of this from becoming another pile in the office? Enter Scannable.

This free app is from our friends at Evernote. (If you are not already using it, I highly suggest you download it and check out their helpful introduction on their website here.)

Evernote describes Scannable as:

Scannable. The best way to move paper forward.

Scannable captures the paper in your life quickly and beautifully, transforming it into high-quality scans ready to save or share. Whether on the go or at the office, send paper on its way and move on.

How Does It Work?

I won’t even pretend to know how all the technical stuff in the app works.

Here’s how it works for me.

You place your paper receipt, post-it note, etc. on a table or desk, just as long as it is flat and a different color than the paper.

Using the Scannable app, I just hold my iPhone above it.

The app recognizes the paper automatically and captures the image.

It crops and enhances it so you you have a clear digital copy for your records.

Make Others Happy

Now, when someone asks me for a receipt, even if I can’t find the original, I can email or print them an exact copy.

That sticky note stuck somewhere I can’t find now?

Thankfully, I scanned it and have a digital copy to use.

And thanks to Evernote, all that print and even hand-written text is searchable as if I had typed it all myself!

Nothing keeps your financial people at church happier than when you can help them with a paper trail – even if you don’t have the original paper!

Make All Whiteboards Smart!

Along with scanning paper, you can use the app to capture text and images on dry erase surfaces!

Now that meeting or brainstorm session doesn’t have to end.

And you don’t have to worry about someone erasing all your hard work!

Just like with the documents, this text also becomes searchable.

Business Cards

Yes, I know, in youth ministry these end up being more like something we play with than a tool for business.

However, we come across people who use them all the time.

Using Scannable, all the details on their card can be automatically saved.

But even better, it can import them directly into your phone’s contacts for you!

It’s a virtual administrative assistant!

Perfect Timing

With summer camps and conferences on their way, the paperwork is sure to be heading your way soon.

You can try to keep everything organized in folders and out of those piles in your office.

Or, you can use a free app to help you digitize everything give you a backup for when things don’t go according to plan!

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Mike Sheley is the Middle School Pastor at Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana, where he oversees their ministries for 5th-8th graders.  He’s been in full-time youth ministry over 16 years with most of that time focused on preteens and junior highers.