Remember the days before computers when we would write papers and take notes by hand? Oh? No?

*Ok Boomer*

Well, if you’re Gen Z, probably not. However, I think most millennials can agree there was definitely a time in school where we were strictly using paper. Then slowly we began to transition to using computers for school work and even in school.

Today, computers are a part of our every day lives – from tablets, to laptops, to even our smartphones. However, even with the ubiquity of “screens” to write on, there are still times when using a pen and paper is preferred. I, for one, much prefer to take notes by hand! This holds true for everything from writing lists like ‘To Dos’ or groceries, but especially for notes during business meetings.

person taking handwritten notes from laptop

While hand-written meeting notes work great for me, it’s not so great when I need to share my notes (which let’s be real, this is most of the time). This means now having to spend my time typing up my hand-written meeting notes so that I can email them to my colleagues. Now this isn’t necessarily a big deal, but I would love to get some of that time spent on typing up notes back. I mean, don’t we all agree there already aren’t enough hours in a day to get done everything we need to do?

And I’m not alone – 60% of business people that write notes by hand type them up after the meeting. I don’t know about you but I would love an easier way to get the notes off the page and shared with my co-workers.

Introducing….*drum roll please*… the Xerox Note Converter App! This app, which is available on all Xerox Connect-Key multifunction printers, provides a simple and seamless way to convert your hand-written notes into an editable (Word) format, allowing you to easily edit and share your notes at will!

Xerox Note Converter App in Action

I know what you’re thinking…sounds to good to be true. It can’t actually translate your handwriting into typed notes. Well, check this out:

Pretty cool, right?

The app uses Google AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology to convert your handwritten notes into legible, editable and shareable digital files. But like all technology, AI is not perfect by any means. While it can transform handwriting into typed text, it’s not going to be able to recognize every handwritten word every single time. So will it be able to recognize the doctor chicken scratch we’ve all experienced in our lives? Maybe, but it’s going to need more edits most likely. The neater the handwriting, the higher likelihood of a successful conversion.

A general rule of thumb to follow would be: if a human would have trouble reading it, a computer is going to have an even harder time. As we mentioned, doctor notes will probably be a challenge. Similarly, elaborate cursive or script notes are likely to be problematic. Additionally, background images or grids may cause problems and page breaks can also be missed.

So what will produce the best results with the Note Converter App? First thing’s first, you will find the best results are with block letters written straight across the page (like the Gettysburg Address example above). Also, scan in your note pages one at a time, rather than trying to scan two facing pages of an open notebook at once. The good news is that Google is constantly improving the technology, and those improvements will be automatically available in the app.

Even with its limitations, this app offers so many opportunities for productivity improvement for notes.  Give it a try and let us know what you think!  We offer a free 30-day trial so you can test it out for yourself in the real world. You can sign up for your no obligation, free trial here! Happy converting 🙂

(From the editor: Portions of this article were originally published on At Your Service)