Category Archives: Office Life

Unconventional Ways to Use a Scanner: The Teachers Edition!


It’s time for another edition of Unconventional Ways to Use a Scanner! So. Exciting. But really, it is. This time, we’re going through some ways that our most important work-force, educators, can use scanners to better their classrooms. There are endless ways to utilize scanners in the classroom, but we’ve picked our favorites for you!

  • Use your scanner to build up kids’ self-esteem. Once a week, make a child in your classroom feel special by scanning their amazing drawing (so they can have the original) and hanging it in your room. By the end of the year, you’ll have a wall full of artwork that will make everyone in your class feel special and valued!

child artwork

  • Use your scanner to keep parents informed and involved. Incorporate projects from the week into a newsletter or email to give parents a more in-depth look at what’s going on in the classroom. Using a scanner allows you to do this without ruining little Cindy’s project!
  • Let your kids have fun exploring small objects while learning. Scan and enlarge a leaf so they can see the up-close details during science. Scan and enlarge a quarter, dime, nickle, and penny when learning about money. The possibilities are endless, and it’s a great way to get kids interested!

close-up of pennyclose-up of leaf





  • Keep yourself organized and ready for parent-teacher conferences by creating a folder on your computer for each child at the beginning of the year. When they have a great (or not so great) quiz, homework, art project, you name it, scan it and throw it in the folder!
  • Show the kids how they’ve grown by scanning their hands at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year. They’ll love it, and it’ll be a great way to say goodbye for summer!

child handprint

We know teachers are on a tight budget already, but scanners can be extremely economical, especially when you won’t need a super high-tech one for the classroom. Check out our online store for refurbished scanners that are less expensive and still work like new!

Unconventional Ways to Use a Scanner: The Scrapbook Edition!

Thanks for tuning in to “Unconventional ways to Use a Scanner!” We’re back with more great, out-of-the-box ideas for using your scanner for more than boring work.

Scrapbooking is a favorite pastime of many people, moms especially. If you’ve ever scrapbooked, you know just how much of a pain it can be, not to mention expensive. We’ve got 5 cool ways to use your scanner to make your scrapbook have a unique look while still coming in under budget.

  • Scan post cards, stamps, or maps to make the background for a scrapbook page. Stamps, especially, can have really cool, destination-specific designs that will look perfect for your “Our Trip to Italy!” page. Just scan whatever it is, enlarge it, and print it! It’s that easy, it looks amazing, and you don’t have to pay outrageous prices for store-bought scrapbook pages.stamp
  • Scan old photos so that you can preserve the original. Pretty self-explanatory. We have a great post on how to scan your old photos if you’re not totally confident in your ability to scan! Scanning those old photos allows you to play around with the photo, knowing that the original is safe and sound.
  • Scan those adorable drawings your kids bring home from school or even make at home. They make for great scrapbook pages to look back on when your kids are older and embarrassed to be seen with you. Add in some pictures of them working on their masterpiece, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic scrapbook page!art scrapbook
  • Scan non-photo items that tell a story. Make a scan of your great-grandfather’s birth certificate or your mom’s naturalization to the US papers. These memorabilia say so much about your family history and are cool to show off. In the other direction, you can use baby ultrasounds to showcase future family history, as well. A simple scan preserves the original while still allowing you to use it for scrapbooking! ultrasound
  • Scan 3D objects to give a more personal touch. Does your dog go crazy for a certain brand of dog treat? Scan the treat and incorporate it into your scrapbook page. Does your daughter have a blanket that she won’t go anywhere without? Scan it and make it a focal point of your page. There really is no limit to what you can scan and add to your scrapbook!

If you have more ideas for unconventional ways to use your scanner, we’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment!

Unconventional Ways to Use a Scanner: The Art Edition!

Scanners are neat. They help so many homes and businesses to work more efficiently, stay organized, and in general just operate successfully. But, all work and no play makes a scanner a dull toy. Pretty sure that’s how the saying goes. Anywho, did you know that there are so many cool things to do with your scanner that don’t involve billing reports and memos? In particular, creating art and all things artsy with flatbed scanners is becoming more and more popular. Actual artists are showing their work with flatbed scanners. It’s a thing.

You can absolutely use your scanner to make your own art, too. Whether you’re just bored at the office or trying to get an image that will go perfectly with the wallpaper in your bathroom, your scanner is there for you. We’ve got three techniques to use to achieve your own personal masterpiece!

Technique #1: Still life. This isn’t your norm painting an apple on the stool still life. You can put any background you want (think sheets, blankets, scarves, anything that could give your scan the feeling of depth), and arrange any 3D thing(s) you want. Take a scan. Don’t like it? Rearrange and scan again! I mean, come on. How great would the pears and banana smiley look in your kitchen? Or the shell in your nautical-themed bathroom? So easy, and so inexpensive. And you have complete bragging rights when anyone (and everyone) asks where you got that picture from.









Technique #2: The more refined selfie. Okay, before you move on to technique #3, hear me out. I know, selfies don’t have the best rep, seeing as the word has attached itself to pre-teen middle schoolers who have mastered the duck face. But, you can legitimately take some pretty cool self-portraits using your scanner. No, I’m not talking about the office prank of scanning your butt, though I’m not against it either. I’m talking refined, modern scans of your most noticeable and remembered feature: your face. Look at these amazing face images captured from flatbed scanners. Totally worth trying. If it doesn’t work out, resort back to butt scans.

Warning: KEEP YOUR EYES CLOSED if you’re going to do this. Just trust me.

scanner art face

scanner art face 2







Technique #3: Paint! Like, on the scanner itself. Obviously this technique is only to be used if you’re completely done using your scanner for any “normal” activities. Let’s say you bought a new, amazing scanner and have an old one that’s just lying around collecting dust. You can put it to good use by getting creative and painting on it. Watercolors are probably your best bet–you want to be able to clean it up after you’re done and do it again, of course! Just get your brush, some paint, some water, and go to town! They can look very intergalactic and/or psychedelic, but obviously super cool anyways.

scanner art 2

scanner art

Feeling inspired? Good, go use your scanner for something fun! Not that office memos aren’t fun. They totally are. Got another unconventional way to use scanners? Let us know down in the comment section!

Going Green: 4 Tips to a Paperless Workplace

Do you feel like your business wastes paper like Richardson from Hot Rod?

Never seen the movie? It’s fantastically idiotic. Think a more refined and infinitely funnier Napoleon Dynamite. I digress.

We’ve all heard about the importance of recycling, carpooling, and in general just giving back to good ole’ Mother Earth. Although sometimes it feels like an exhausted topic, recycling and saving paper is incredibly important. Where’s a better place to start being green than in your workplace? It is so super simple to make some paperless changes in the office, and here’s a few ways how!

Google Docs is your best friend. You know that memo that your boss sent out that you and your coworker need to discuss? Google Docs. Did your inventory go nuts and now your team has to count everything? Google Docs. Working on a print ad and need an easy way to incorporate everyone’s ideas cohesively? Google Docs. Am I beating a dead horse? Don’t care. Point is, Google Docs allows you and anyone else you are sharing a document with to edit said document in REAL TIME! I can edit a document while you’re editing it, and my changes will show up to you as I make them. It saves paper, and is super neat, to boot. All you need is a Gmail account, which if you don’t already have one, you should get one anyways.

Utilize scanning and faxing technology! There are multiple scanning apps that allow you to use your phone as a scanner for easy emailing of documents. One of the most well reviewed ones is TurboScan. As far as faxes go, you can use HelloFaxThis software will send all incoming faxes straight to your email inbox instead of printing them out for you, and it also allows you to send faxes straight from your computer.

Have a ton of important documents that need your signature? Well, there’s no getting around the paper in that. Just kidding! Sign your important and/or legal documents electronically with HelloSign. Its security and functionality are top-notch and super simple. Don’t believe me? Here’s an in-depth review for HelloSign.

Are you constantly living out of a suitcase because you’re traveling for work? It can be (read: is) exhausting, and even more so if you have a boatload of papers to haul around with you. Be greener (and lighter) by bringing a small travel scanner with you so you can scan any documents and then recycle immediately. These little scanners are super handy, even for day trips here and there. If you need some help deciding on what kind of portable scanner you’ll need, there’s a blog post for that.

Obviously there’s so much more to be done to achieve a paperless office, but baby steps are key. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. Have other great ideas for making your home or office go paperless and be greener? We’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment!

throwing paper into the air