Even though digital media reigns supreme for most things, business cards aren't one of them. Whether you're at a conference for networking and getting professional contacts, or looking to stay in contact a local store, business cards are still a thing, and they still make it easy for others to keep in touch with you.
But what about keeping track of all of those cards you receive? The easiest way to organize your business cards is to scan them digitally and extract the contact info so you don't need to search for and type everything in manually. Here are some apps that help you scan and organize the business cards that you'll accrue, especially if you tend to go to conferences often.
- ABBYY Business Card Scanner
- Wantedly People
- Microsoft Office Lens
ABBYY Business Card Scanner
ABBYY Business Card Scanner is one of the leading apps in the industry because of its Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. With ABBYY, users are able to scan and store contact information directly from business cards, and there's support for up to 25 languages. With the OCR tech, it'll accurately find and recognize names, organizations, phone numbers, and email addresses.
As you scan cards in with ABBYY, the app intelligently detects the edges of cards and crops out unwanted backgrounds, so all you have is a clean copy of the business card itself. ABBYY also fills in missing bits of data, such as country codes, extensions, and typos. All data that you scan and save into ABBYY may also be backed up automatically or manually, and data can be shared via email as VCard or JPEG files.
For the most part, you can try out ABBYY's powerful features for free. There is a limit of 10 cards though, and you'll have occasional ads. To get the most out of ABBYY, you'll need to pony up for a Premium account, which starts at $8 a month. You can also buy features a la carte, with prices starting at $3 and up.
CamCard gives users access to an expansive feature set for free, though there are some extra bonuses if you opt for a premium subscription, starting at $5 a month or $47 a year.
With CamCard, users are able to scan in business cards either one-at-a-time or in batches. All of the contact information is stored and saved on your smartphone, and you can even add notes and reminders to these contacts to help jog your memory. And if you have your own secretary, you can even invite them to scan and save contact details on your behalf, which is a truly nice feature.
If you have your own business card, you can store that inside CamCard as well. When you run out of paper cards to hand out, just send them an e-card version through CamCard. The app also intelligently keeps track of stored contacts, so that when a contact gets promoted or changes jobs, you'll get a notification about it. CamCard also keeps all of your data securely stored in the cloud, so you can access everything from multiple devices when necessary (no limitations with a Premium account).
If you work in a company that uses SalesForce or SugarCRM, ScanBizCards is the app you'll want to use. While you can use ScanBizCards for individual use, it is mostly geared for enterprises.
With ScanBizCards, you get unlimited scans for business cards, and the contact information pulled from these can be either added to existing contacts in the system or new ones. The information it pulls is transcribed via the app's OCR tech, and if there is any detail that's incorrect, you can manually fix it.
Again, the biggest pull for ScanBizCards is the enterprise use case. It integrates seamlessly with services like SalesForce, SugarCRM, and more. Two-sided business cards may also be scanned without issue into ScanBizCards, and forwarding pulled information to other users is an easy task.
When you have to deal with hundreds of business cards, you definitely do not want to be scanning those in one-by-one. You'll definitely need to check out Wantedly People, which allows you to scan in up to 10 business cards at a time.
The best part about how Wantedly handles batch scanning is that you don't even need to lay out the cards in a certain way for it to pick them up. Just have them all scattered on a flat surface, tap the button, and Wantedly handles the rest. The app utilizes OCR tech and artificial intelligence to analyze and detect text and contact information on every card to generate new contacts for you. Over time, the AI improves accuracy so it just gets better the more you use it.
As you accumulate saved contacts in Wantedly People, you can search for a specific contact via the search field, which lets you look through any field. Call and message contacts in just a few taps, or even communicate with them through Wantedly's own business chatting platform. You can also make your own profile and share your information with others right in the app.
CardHQ is a superb option to consider if you want something that's packed with a ton of features while being super lightweight on your storage capacity (only 12MB), and is completely free. That's right, you don't have to ever pay a dime, and it has everything you'd need, including multiple language support.
With CardHQ, you'll get an unlimited number of scans, even batch scanning, and each card gets scanned in as little as three seconds. It also has fairy accurate OCR recognition, so text gets detected pretty well and contacts are stored accurately. Any saved contact in CardHQ can easily be shared with others through a myriad of ways, such as traditional email, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook.
Scanbot is probably best known as an app that scans documents you want digital copies of, but it's fairly versatile and also works great for business cards.
I've personally used Scanbot for years, and it's fast with getting the camera up and ready for scanning what you need. Just hold it over the document or business card, and Scanbot automatically detects what you're trying to scan, giving you hints like "Move closer" or "Don't move" when it is capturing the document.
For business cards, Scanbot uses OCR to extract text for you, and then you can copy it to your device's clipboard to import the data or use it to search. Scanbot integrates with a large selection of third-party cloud services, so all of your scans can be automatically uploaded to the service of your choosing.
The only issue is that since Scanbot is not a dedicated business card app, contacts from business cards aren't automatically saved--you'll need to do a bit of legwork yourself. But it's a great overall scanner app that should be on every device for plenty of other reasons.
Microsoft Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens is another one of those multipurpose scanner apps, but it has a dedicated mode just for business cards, so it sets itself apart from other apps like Scanbot.
With Office Lens, the app can automatically detect business cards, whiteboards, documents, and more in the viewfinder, and then it will trim, enhance, and turn those images into easy-to-read scans. For the business card mode, the app extracts contact information from the card and saves it automatically in your device's Address Book as well as OneNote.
Keep in mind that the business card functionality of Microsoft Office Lens works best with the following languages: English, German, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. Microsoft claims that support for more languages is coming in the future.
All scans with Office Lens are saved as images, but you can convert them into Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx), or PDF, and everything is automatically saved into OneDrive as well. If you are invested in the Microsoft Office suite of products, then Office Lens is a great option to consider.
Get those business cards scanned!
There are quite a few apps out there that are specifically designed for scanning business cards, but these are some of the best we've seen, and then some. What are you currently using for scanning business cards? Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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