News

The Developer Perspective: Building an App That Works With Evernote

Posted by Tuomas Rasila on 21 Jan 2011

Posted by Tuomas Rasila on 21 Jan 2011

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Name: Tuomas Rasila
Company: Norfello
Country: Finland
App: DocScanner
Platforms: iOS, Mac, Android, S60
Personal site: www.rasilagarage.com

Tuomas Rasila is the founder of Norfello, a 17 person software company in Finland. Norfello’s flagship product is DocScanner, a scanner app for iPhone, Android, Mac and S60 that automatically converts images of flat surfaces such as paper documents or whiteboards to clean PDF documents.

I met the Evernote crew for the first time in September of 2009. I had just arrived in Mountain View, California from Finland and randomly bumped into Alex Pachikov at an Irish pub. We started talking about tech and realized that we know each others’ products. Evernote was already popular in 2009, but I was surprised that people at Evernote had heard about DocScanner.

The Value of an Evernote integration

The value of an Evernote integration had been clear to us since the initial release of DocScanner. Our users were requesting it constantly, and it just made sense. The day after that chance meeting with Alex, we started working on an integration between Evernote and DocScanner iPhone. The first DocScanner release that worked with Evernote was released shortly thereafter.

Over the next few weeks our sales grew rapidly. In no time, we were selling DocScanner at a rate of $100,000 per month. Since then we’ve added Evernote integrations to our Android application and our Mac application. We’re also working on adding Evernote to our S60 app, as well as additional products that take advantage of the Evernote platform.

Working with Evernote

Working with Evernote has been a great experience for DocScanner. Evernote’s team have helped us whenever we’ve had any problems, their APIs are well documented and their service just works. Last year’s launch of the Evernote Trunk demonstrates Evernote’s dedication to making their millions of users aware of partner applications.

Most importantly, Evernote brings added functionality that makes our customers happier. DocScanner doesn’t have to duplicate Evernote’s functionality. We can focus on the image processing that we’re good at, and rely on Evernote to help our users transport, store and find the documents that they’ve scanned. Data stored in the cloud is far more valuable to our users than a file on their smart phone’s memory card.

Looking forward, we see a lot of potential for products that can automatically understand and organize unstructured data, such as a picture of a business card. Every one of Evernote’s millions of users is a potential customer of a service that helps add structure to their saved memories.

The Evernote ecosystem

There are many partners listed in the Evernote Trunk, and I expect to see even more of them in the future. The ecosystem that Evernote has created provides the best unstructured storage available for notes, audio and images. If your application can help on collecting data or automatically structuring it, then you should be looking into integrating with Evernote.

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4 Comments RSS

  • Andrew Paez

    DocScanner has, in many cases, replaced my slow, clunky, and non-Evernote integrated fax machine. The quality is incredibly good given the fact that I don’t always scan in optimal conditions. While I still use a desktop scanner to handle critical documents where accurate reproduction is required, I would say that for 90% or more of my scanning needs, DocScanner does the job very well. Thanks to both Tuomas Rasila and Evernote for this. Glad to pay for both services.

  • Paolo Golinucci

    Dear Tuomas Rasila, your information is very good ! I have inserted in my Ipone 4 your docscanner app and I think even for my Mac : I ask you if. A) in phone application is possible a multiple pages scan ; b) Docscanner Mac which ” transform piles of paper to digital archive faster than ever” : is it possible to print Bar code separator to divide directly from copier the different files?
    Best Regards
    Paolo

  • Rob Parnell

    Good for you! I have a few Evernote ideas, too. Think, I better check this out.

    Good Read

    PS. If you have any special advice for Android Dev? I’d be most appreciative, also.

  • Danel Gale

    Read your article today and purchased the application. I have been an Evernote user for awhile now and I am constantly finding new ways to use the service. I was not aware of your application (so, glad it was featured here).

    Well let me tell you this kind of app is a game changer. And, the fact that you focused your app on your core technology/services and then integrated your self into the other cloud apps (Evernote, Dropbox..etc) is fantastic. There is no need to reinvent this wheel. Tested it out and then used the image indexing service built into Evernote and I was able to search for terms in the receipt I scanned in with your app on my Mac in less than 5 minutes.

    Great job!!