If you’re a business owner or executive then you’re most likely spending a lot of your time networking. (And if you’re not…you should be!) Along with networking comes new networks, acquaintances, colleagues and sometimes you even find new friends. And to make it easy to find these folks again, they each come equipped with their handy-dandy business card. By the time you leave some of these networking events you’ve made some new connections, might have found some great resources for your own resource list, and you have a huge stack of business cards that you’re going to toss in your purse, in your car, or on your desk. Then three weeks later when your friend asks you for a reference for a great web designer (and you just met someone you think would be perfect) you attempt to dig through the stacks of business cards in your purse, in your car and on your desk. Sure, you might find what you’re looking for…then again, you might not.
Why say all this? Because I can relate. Many folks I meet today might not be a resource I need right now, but I may need to reference them for one reason or another in the future. I want to hold onto their information and in turn save myself from “finding” someone new…again! But, I’ll tell you, digging through stacks of cards is frustrating and time consuming. So, I went on a hunt to find the best way to capture business card information. I’m an iPhone user, so my first stop was the App Store. And just like most other searches, I came up with numerous hits. After testing out three different business card readers, I was ready to make my decision.
Here’s what I found:
- CamCard imports the business card information directly into your contact list. You have the option to add to an existing contact or add a new contact.
- CamCard takes a great photo and auto-crops to cut out any “clutter” from the surface you have taken the photo on.
- CamCard allows you to review/edit (if necessary) once the card has been scanned. CamCard required little to no editing on most cards scanned.
- CamCard has a “Card Holder” list that allows you to search your cards by the photo of each business card. This is great if you only met someone once. Maybe you can’t recall their contact information, but you remember what their business card looked like.
- CamCard app is only available for the iPhone.
- Scan Biz Cards allows you to backup to the web with a sync option – available on the full and “lite” versions and can be accessed at: my.scanbizcards.com
- Scan Biz Cards allows you to update via your phone or the web. You can keep your computer, iPhone and iPad all in sync. Can also be synced with Evernote.
- Scan Biz Cards allows you to import images, import from clipboard and take new photos of business cards.
- Scan Biz Cards allows you to search for images of your business cards.
- Scan Biz Cards app is only available for the iPhone.
- Pro-on-Go takes a good photo, although you cannot crop/edit.
- Pro-on-Go requires a user to sign into their account each time they want to use the card reader.
- Pro-on-Go requires that you pay for “card reads” as you go. The first 10 are free and you can buy credits for 30 card reads ($2.99) or 50 card reads (4.99).
- Pro-on-Go appears to only capture the photo of your card, and does not appear to allow an import of your information into your contact list.
If you’re wondering what I’ve settled on, I use the CamCard app. This app won me over with it’s easy user interface, functionality and, in all honesty, it was the most aesthetically appealing. Hey, sometimes looks do matter. I can access all my contact information that I’ve added through either my iPhone or my Mac by just going to my contact list. And when it comes to searching for that one business card among the stacks, I know right where it to find it! I can easily reference back to the actual card, since I’ve captured an image of it.
For those who really want to “go green”, snap a photo of the business card and then return it to the individual (let them know what you’re doing of course, we wouldn’t want folks to feel rejected). May seem a little weird at first, but think of how you’ll be saving the other person money by not taking a card, and how you’ve gathered all the information you need and won’t have to toss the card later on!