August 17

Mobile Business Card Scanners — what works?

Ooohhh but do I feel sorry for myself this week. After an awesome presentation at the American Society of Association Executives Annual Conference, I collected 250+ business cards of people who wanted to receive NerdWords.

Awesome, right? Until a few days ago, I’d happily use my Shoeboxed Business Card app to snap photos of the cards, which were then sent off to North Carolina or somewhere to be verified by a real person, then sent back to my phone and the web so I could download them in a spreadsheet and upload to my database. For free! It was almost too good to be true!

Well, I guess it was too good to be sustainable. Shoeboxed, my absolute favorite receipt management tool, just announced that this service was going the way of the cassette tape. So I re-downloaded WorldCard Mobile, a highly rated app that scans cards and captures the info for you. But I quickly discovered that it was taking me longer to verify and correct the scanned data than it would to enter everything by hand.

I had to get everyone into the database for this Friday’s newsletter, so I spent much of two plane rides and the wee hours of Thursday morning entering info into a spreadsheet. Hours. Poor, poor me.

So, I’m in search of a powerhouse tool that will let me snap one picture after another without having to stop and verify — preferrably with someone human at the other end who can do the fine tuning.

But in the meantime, I gave CardMunch another look. CardMunch used to be my favorite, favorite tool. It also lets you snap photos from your device, and it gives you a super easy way to connect with contacts via LinkedIn, which makes sense because LinkedIn bought them! The reason I stopped using CardMunch is that the service no longer allows you to download the contacts into a spreadsheet, which means I either have to add them to my phone address book or, well, enter them myself.

So for a while, I stopped recommending CardMunch and started loving Shoeboxed Business Card, but it’s time to take another look. For folks who simply need to keep track of their contacts and not download them, CardMunch is perfect! They’re fast, easy and oh, so free. And it’s a great way to grow your LinkedIn network.

So, I’m still on the hunt for a volume processor/exporter of cards, but for less-intense networking opportunities, CardMunch is da bomb!

Anyone know other great scanners? I’m even willing to pay a per-card cost.



business essentials, on the go, organization, productivity

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  • Hello Beth,

    Sorry I missed you at ASAE. Ended up in a session on iPad apps on the final day. In response to your post on card scan apps, I suggest you look into ScanBizCards. Easy to use, fairly good OCR, does the LinkedIn connection, allows you to place in groupings (such as Exchange and iCloud), and offers human transcription on a per card basis. I use it of the iPhone.

  • I travel with a NeatReceipts scanner. It’s a bit of a pain to travel with a separate piece of equipment, But it allows me to:

    Scan all the business cards people hand me during the day, and export them directly into Outlook.

    Scan all my expense receipts, and export them directly into QuickBooks, and as PDFs into Evernote as backup.

    Scan all the product literature, brochures, media kits, etc. that clients hand me Into Evernote.

    Once everything is scanned, I throw the hard copy away. Obviously, you have to pay for the scanner (which is not cheap), but after you do that there are no additional charges.

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