9 Apps That Make Certain Nobody Ever Again Loses Your Paper Business Card
Business cards have long been a way to make a lasting impression on people while you network. But in today's technology-focused world, paper business cards often end up in the bottom of a briefcase, only to be discarded a few months later. Whether you're exchanging information at a networking event or with new clients, the information on a business card will be much more effective if each person can move it from the paper to his contacts. Here are a few apps that are emerging as alternatives to traditional business cards.
vCards are a way to easily get your contact information into someone else's Outlook contacts. On your end, a little work is involved and Microsoft outlines the steps here. Once you've done the heavy lifting, however, the person on the other side is able to add your information with only one mouse click. vCardMaker automates the process of creating a vCard file.
2. Evernote Hello
Evernote has built a business card feature into its main app, but the Evernote Hello app is specifically designed to track your connections. You can enter a new contact's information manually, scan the person's business card for storage or use the Hello Connect feature to enter a group of people at once.
Also from Evernote, EverContact analyzes email signatures for contact information and imports any updates to your address book or CRM. A Google Chrome extension is available that allows you to highlight contact information on the web or on sites like LinkedIn and save it to your Google contacts or CRM with one click.
Much of today's professional networking is being done over Twitter instead of through email. TwtBizCard lets Twitter users send a traditional-looking business card by using the hashtag #twtBizCard. To start using the service, you have to link your Twitter account to the service and enter your contact information. When you send an @reply to someone on Twitter with that hashtag, the user will receive a link to view your business card.
Related: Are Business Cards Still Relevant?
Available for iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android devices, CamCard is free for personal users, with business plans starting at $5 per user per month. The app scans a business card using your phone's camera and uploads it directly to the cloud, where it can be accessed from a device. You can also add notes to cards and tag contacts to more easily find them in searches.
CardMunch goes beyond optical character recognition, with real humans transcribing details from the cards you scan. Logos are cropped and text is proofed to ensure accuracy. The result is a mobile Rolodex that allows you to easily find the contact information you need. You can also easily connect with contacts on LinkedIn, directly from the app.
Like other business card scanning apps, ScanBizCards lets you scan a card via iOS or Android and automatically send it to the cloud. From there, you can access it from a device, add it to your address book, export it to a spreadsheet or send it to your CRM with one click. The cloud version of your scans is a kind of digital Rolodex, giving you contact information and photo thumbnails to let you find what you need.
When you create a business card in SnapDat, you then have the ability to share that card electronically with anyone else who has the app. The experience is designed to mimic the process of sharing a paper-based business card. If the other person doesn't have SnapDat, you can still share your contact information. It will just present as a vCard to the other person.
If you have an iOS or Android phone, FullContact will let you scan your business cards into more than 250 different apps, including Google Contacts and your iPhone address book. This app uses human transcribers to read the data on business cards. You get 10 business cards for free, after which you can purchase card storage in packs, starting with 50 cards for $9.99.
Business cards may always be the easiest way to transfer contact information in person, but these apps offer an effective alternative in an electronic world. You're networking will be more effective if you can get others to import your information to their address books, instead of handing them a card that can easily be lost or discarded.
Related: Business Card Do's and Don'ts
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