Everything is searchable these days on the internet and on your Smartphone. shouldn’t your list of new contacts also be?
It wasn’t that long ago I used to have a big book that I slid in all of the business cards I collected from networking functions. They were great for seeing them as I flipped through the pages. I did find though, after years of networking and collecting business cards in books and boxes, finding that one card I wanted was difficult. Yes, I could see it easier by flipping through pages upon pages of cards in a book, but I still had to find it. If I needed that card while I was out and about, then I was in trouble. There was no way I was toting all those cards along with me every time I went out. There had to be a better solution. Fortunately, there is. Lots of them.
Scanning your cards and uploading them to online databases is the easiest way to do so. Evernote has always been my preferred go to for storing information for later retrieval. Its ability to scan words, even in images makes searching really easy. Using the camera feature built into Evernote, you can take a picture of the card and store it in a notebook just on cards. When needed, simply search for a name, or even a keyword associated with that card (Something like “Mortgage” or “Legal” if you are looking for a Mortgage broker or Lawyer you once met) Evernote will see the keywords on the card and make them searchable.
Shoeboxed is another service that takes your business cards, receipts and other documents and scans them for you. You just send them over to them in the regular mail and they scan them for you and make them accessible online. You can then take those scanned documents and sync them with your Evernote account or one of many other online storage spaces.
There are also a number of card scanner apps for your Smartphone that you can use. They will scan a card, and take the relevant information from it to put in your contacts list. There are almost too many to mention, but I have used CamScanner, which converts all your documents into pdf files. Do a search in the App store for what
Evernote also makes another app called Hello. While not a true card scanner, it allows you to enter information from a card, and have it pull information from the contacts LinkedIn profile and populate in a note on Evernote with all the details you need. You can also take a picture of the card and attach it to the note.
These are just some of the different methods of using your Smartphone to throw out your old Rolodex and Business Card holders. Do you have a preferred method of tracking your contacts? Leave them in the comments below.
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