In a Paperless World, why has the Business Card Stayed Around?

March 9, 2018

 

Some form of what we now call business cards has actually been around since the 17th century.  Visiting or social cards to announce your arrival were an etiquette requirement for many centuries.  And in those days, trading cards allowed business owners to give directions to their location before  street numbers and addresses were around. They became a basic business requirement in the United States at the turn of the 20th century and have stayed a requirement even if your desk sees less paper now in our digital age.  Why?  It is still the quickest way to exchange your contact information when meeting someone.  It is a way to promote your brand by using your logo smartly and strategically. It is a visual reminder to follow up with someone when you finally empty our your purse or brief case.  I'm sure someday they will be obsolete, but while Mad Men type work places seem vintage, the exchanging of a business card is anything but. 

 

What to do with the pile of business cards once you get them?  Unless you are diligent about adding your new contacts in right away, the pile can seem overwhelming if you let it get to high.  There must be an app for that right?  Team Friday breaks them down for you: 

 

Business Card Scanner Pro by Abby - Love it.  So quick and easy.  The camera will take a picture of the business card (front and back) and then allow you to save it on the app AND your phone's contacts.  My first scan had one letter wrong, not bad.  Free with in app purchases for first 15 card scans; $7.99/month or $29.99/year Premium account with the option for exporting to sales force or Excel.   If you think of the time you would spend typing in the data one by one, $30 a year doesn't seem so bad. 

 

Wantedly People is 100% free and can capture up to 10 cards at a time with one picture.  It is fast, cheap and fairly accurate.  On the downside, this app doesn't save your business cards to your address book or other apps. Instead, you have to open Wantedly People to look through your scanned contacts, and can tap to call or email them—or to copy the info and add to your address book manually.

 

TF is a huge fan of Evernote - it is a great way to handle multiple to do lists for different clients.  I use it for my personal to do list as well.  Very excited that Evernote can scan business cards too but unless you have the premium Evernote app already, this is a more expensive option than Business Card Scanner Pro.  Evernote will recognize business cards in its document scanner mode. Save that card, and it'll be stored as a business card note in Evernote, with fields for the contact info along with a picture of the card and any notes you want. You can then save the contact to your phone's contacts. You can scan 5 cards for free, but who only has 5 cards?!? After that it costs $7.99/month or $69.99/year to scan unlimited cards with 10GB uploads per month. 

 

And of course, if your business cards need updating and modernizing, let us know.  Our graphic artists can design a card for you that stands out - ones that don't stay in the bottom of a briefcase for too long.  

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