I’m frequently checking Lifehacker for genuinely simple tips on how to improve my digital life, and today Adam Dachis shared a fantastic tip on books. If you have a large collection of print books, and would like to remember which books are there (in other words make your bookshelf searchable), you can use one tool – Evernote.
Evernote is powerful service which lets you take notes, add photos and web clippings – all that to organize things that matter to you. One of the features Evernote supports is OCR, what stands for Optical Character Recognition. Thanks to that, the text in any image saved to your notebook, even the handwritten one, can be recognized. It’s useful for business cards or meal recipes – but it can be also used for books, as the spines of almost every book have the title and author.
One thing is very important – the text on the picture has to be visible. You’ll have to make pictures close enough to make it recognizable by OCR. So, one snapshot of the entire bookshelf is definitely not enough. On the other hand, if you want to find a book from a specific author, and you don’t have the slightest idea on which shelf it is, just perform an Evernote search and the picture found will let you narrow the area.
Evernote seems to be a good idea for a digital search engine of the physical books. I haven’t used it so far with OCR capabilities in mind, but I’ll definitely want to test the bookshelf search.
There are Evernote apps available for PC and Mac computers, as well as mobile operating systems: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7.