Millions of people still use paper business cards (I know) and I seem to get handed hundreds throughout the year. When I returned from covering CES in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago the stack of business cards would barely fit in one hand. I hate these things covering up my desk and I tossed my old Rolodex years ago. I can't toss the cards though without saving the information in my list of contacts on my phone and computer.
Doing this by hand, one card at a time would take up a good part of my weekend but I've found a few apps that do the majority of work for me.
CamCard is my choice among dozens of similar apps. It works like this:
With the business card on your desk, aim your smartphone's camera at the card and take a picture. You'll see the app isn't just saving the photo but scanning the information on the card. It reads the name, title, company, phone numbers (both mobile and office), email, website and anything else included on the card. Every bit of contact information they want to share with you is captured with CamCard.
The app then transfers (automatically if you choose the option) to your iOS contacts or Google contacts or both.
It isn't perfectly accurate and you may need to go in and correct some of the information but I've found none of the other apps are any more accurate than CamCard. I choose CamCard because in addition to saving the information and importing it to my contacts lists, I can also choose to see the photo of the card itself which is 100% accurate provided you get a good photo of it to begin with.
A few tips using this app:
Place the card on a contrasting background. I choose my desk. The app looks for the edges of the card when it scans it. Try not to use a white background. Turn off your smartphone's flash. This often casts a bright spot on the card and the app isn't able to read the information. Hold the card and your phone steady so the image isn't blurred.
Of course you can retake the photo if it doesn't capture everything on your first try.
CamCard is available for iOS and Android devices. There is a free version which limits the number of cards you can capture. The pro version is .99 and I think well worth the buck.