Today, I finally got the chance to calm myself down and organize the accumulated business cards that I received over a long period. Now, I am not a very social person so the number of these business cards seem still manageable. But still in front of me, there are 175 business cards, which need to be categorized, grouped, and stored somehow.
Here I am not talking about putting them in a more bearable way to simply tidy up the space.
I am talking about what I call Digitalize Business Cards. And here are five steps on how to do it.
STEP 1 . PICK A BUSINESS CARD ORGANIZER APP AND INSTALL ON YOUR PHONE
There are a plenty of choices of apps to help you make this work much easier. You can check for instance this post ‘5 apps to help you digitally organize business cards’ to dedice on it. I picked CamCard and the experience is actually pleasant and satisfying. The only short coming is the free version only allows 200 cards in the list. If you want more, you gotta pay.
STEP 2 . CREATE GROUPS
You need to organize your contacts under groups. For instance, I organized mine into:
- Business contacts
- School contacts
- Govenment contacts
- Student contacts
These groups will help you find the contacts much faster.
STEP 3 . SCAN BUSINESS CARDS ONE BY ONE
This part of job is very neck-challenging, I must admit. But still it is much faster than recognizing the information on the business cards all by yourself. The app usually can help to detect the relevant information, such as name, email, phone, fax number, address, company, etc, and copy them to the fields of a form, where all the information automatically gets digitalized after the scanning.
STEP 4 . MODIFY INFORMATION ON THE FORM
The technology of information recognition of these apps, though, is not perfect. You will find some information not correct or accurate. So after the scanning, you should examine each field of the form that was generated from the scanning, and make sure all information transfered from the paper business cards is correct. If not, you need to manually modify it to make sure you have the contact right.
STEP 5 . EXPORT TO EXCEL/VCARD
After you scanned and modified every business card on your hand, you will have a list of digitalized business cards on your app.
Now, what you need to do is to have a back up in a distributable format such as Excel spreadsheet or vcard. I prefer exporting them to a spreadsheet, where I can do whatever change, add additional information, make backup copies, or share with other colleagues when needed.
Congratulations! You have learnt how to Digitalize Business Cards. To sum up, this task has five steps including:
- STEP 1 . PICK A BUSINESS CARD ORGANIZER APP AND INSTALL ON YOUR PHONE
- STEP 2 . CREATE GROUPS
- STEP 3 . SCAN BUSINESS CARDS ONE BY ONE
- STEP 4 . MODIFY INFORMATION ON THE FORM
- STEP 5 . EXPORT TO EXCEL/VCARD
Some tips for you to take away:
- Do not too much rely on one method of storing your contacts, because it may fail you in an unexpected way. For instance, I once used Mailchimp to organize my contacts in its account. Then GDPR came this May, and Mailchimp requested its users to take action to agree on the new terms and policies within a deadline or else the account will be closed. Of course, I missed that email and realized it three months later… Well, have to admit that I am not Mailchimp’s frequent user, as well.
- Make sure you check the scanned information and modify when necessary. Or else, you will end up having a pile of incorrect digital business cards which cannot help you reach anyone.
- Take advantage of the technology and carefully pick one tool that suits you. And stop manually inputting business cards anymore. It really takes a lot of time and kills your mood.
Thanks for your reading. And if you like this post and find it useful, please kindly help to share it to your social media channels.
Dr. Jingjing Lin, hols a PhD degree in Communication Sciences, and a Master degree in Information and Technologies in Education. She is the cofounder of Aha Education Sagl.