Are you missing your Rolodex but don’t want to look Old School? Does your wallet need to go on a diet because so many business cards are stuffed inside that you can’t close it?
When you’re handed a business card, you have to enter the information into your phone or onto your computer. Typing is involved, mistakes are made and the artistry of the business card is lost in translation. If you try to remember someone as “the guy with the logo that looks like a Lady Gaga outfit,” you’re lost.
The good news is that tech can help you transfer business card information swiftly in ways that are seamless and often fun. If you’re headed to a conference, convention or business meeting where you’ll be heading home with a fistful of cards, you should know there are easy ways to make sure all of that contact information makes its way into your phone painlessly.
The WorldCard Mobile app scans business cards using your smartphone camera then syncs the information into your contacts list. You can add the information to an existing contact or create a new contact. This app is a huge time saver, especially if you have a lot of cards to process.
This app has plenty of features, including the ability to customize how information is saved so business card information integrates with your contact list format. You can choose the language, order in which the name is displayed, and the locations where your contacts and images will be saved.
You can also copy contact information from an email signature and have the app convert it into your preferred contact format and add it to your contacts.
WorldCard Mobile also provides a Card Holder section where the images of scanned business cards are stored. The cards are organized alphabetically and you can organize these images into groups if you have a lot of cards.
The developer provided me with the iPhone app to test which I loaded onto my iPhone 4S (this app is also available for Android phones). The scanning process is easy; the app guides you through each step. The app has lines to help you align your card and allows you to crop the image.
I scanned an assortment of cards with complex designs, international contact information, dark backgrounds and low contrast text. As I put the app through its paces, most of the information was converted with 100% accuracy. Occasionally, the app had difficulty with a digit in a phone number, so make sure to check the information before you dispose of the card. The app had an uncanny ability to not only read the information, but to put the information in the proper category: contact name, work phone, email, etc.
CardMunch takes a picture of the business card with your iPhone camera and sends the image to LinkedIn who processes it and returns it to the app within a few minutes. Like WorldCard Mobile, CardMunch retains an image of the card on your phone and transfers the information to your iPhone contact list.
After the card has been processed, you have the contact information from the business card plus the information in the person’s LinkedIn profile. You can also use the app to connect with the person on LinkedIn and see any connections you have in common. CardMunch retrieves the person’s profile picture from LinkedIn and stores it on the app, though doesn’t send it to the contact list.
CardMunch is free in the iTunes App Store here: CardMunch. The app is not yet available for Android phones.
Bump is an incredibly useful app if you and your new contact both have smartphones. With Bump, you both open the app, one of you chooses your contact information and then you physically bump your phones together. The contact information is shared from the sender with the receiver instantly.
Note: if you happen to receive a $1500 diamond business card from a contact, you may want to skip the apps and keep the business card in your wallet.
Are you befuddled about how to organize your business cards? Do you store a wad of business cards in your desk drawer? Do you like having all the information from a business card with you on your phone but hate to type in the information? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* Business cards image by Rubens Cavalheiro