Ask Outside Interests

Ask Outside Interests – 3/17/15

You ask, we answer—or we find someone who can.

Julie and Ken C.—on the road to Georgia—need some tips about Airstreaming with office electronics.

“Please share with us the various electronic office equipment you take with you. What is the small size printer (and scanner/copier?) you take along? We are needing to purchase one soon!”

Julie and Ken, if you’ve got a mobile office and need to print and scan documents, there are several good solutions to consider. The smallest and lightest printers are ink jet printers. Hewlett-Packard’s Envy series are medium-sized and very inexpensive, at about $80-100. They print in color, scan, and copy. However, if you boondock frequently and want a battery-powered printer, or need something physically smaller (and don’t need scan capability) the HP Officejet 100 Mobile series might be your choice at about $200. For that price, you also get Bluetooth wireless connectivity, so you have fewer cords to deal with.

There’s another option for scanning, too: your smart phone. Look for a smart phone app like Genius Scan, which uses your phone’s camera to “scan” documents. These apps are surprisingly good for routine document scanning. Genius Scan will help you crop and optimize the scans for best readability, organize your documents into folders, upload them to cloud storage like Dropbox, or email them to yourself as PDF or JPG files. It’s much quicker than pulling out the scanner and laptop computer, and so convenient you may find yourself scanning fuel receipts and bills just because you can! (We’ll cover more amazing work/lifestyle apps in an upcoming issue of Outside Interests.)

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