Three apps that help small business owners turn collected business cards into manageable leads.
Everyone, it seems, is on a smartphone. But that doesn’t mean potential clients and customers have put away their business cards.
From conferences to networking events, everyone still comes
armed with the wallet-sized contact info. The trouble for small business owners
is keeping all the cards straight—and following up effectively.
The answer brings us back to the
smartphone. Below, small business owners highlight the apps that help them organize
those pesky cards.
What It Is:
This popular app organizes notes, calendar events, photos and more, and it added a business card function last December. After the user takes a picture of a business card, he or she uploads it to the app, which converts the contact information on the card into editable text.
“I’ve tried using different apps and programs for different purposes. But here’s what happens: I forget where I put what,” says Glen Craig, a personal finance blogger who started FreeFromBroke.com. But using Evernote as his one central database for contacts, notes and ideas has helped him stay organized and increase productivity. The more of Evernote’s services that you use, the easier it is for the app’s algorithm to find items through the app’s search function, says Craig.
Cost: Five free
scans a month; $5 monthly or $45 yearly for unlimited scans as part of the
app’s premium service, which offers other features such as increased uploading
What It Is:
CamCard keeps the original card image and allows users to add notes about the person, such as ideas for future collaboration.
“I like how CamCard stores an image of the card,” says Yoshi Maisami, cofounder of Intridea, a product design and development consultancy in Washington D.C. Having the company’s branding details in the app helps jog the user’s memory about what a company or person does—as opposed to getting lost in a list of names and numbers, Maisami says.
Cost: Free ad version
with limited scans; $0.99 for full version
What It Is:
The LinkedIn-owned app has human transcribers who review the scanned cards that users upload. Once the transcribed info is returned—which can take up to 24 hours—app users can view a person’s LinkedIn profile in the app and send a request to connect with one click.
CardMunch creates an easy marketplace to make LinkedIn connections instantly, which Paul Wilke says saves him time and fosters business relationships. “Prior to any meeting, I can quickly go into LinkedIn and learn about the people I’m meeting with: who they are, what they’re passionate about and what their history is,” says Wilke, founder of Upright Position Communications, a Bay Area public relations firm.