Business Cards: 5 Better Ways of Managing Them


New iPhone app CardMunch converts business cards into address-book contacts. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but it does bring a unique element to the table: human-powered transcription. When you snap a photo of a business card and upload it to CardMunch's servers, a real person makes sure the contact info is correctly recognized and converted.

For busy execs, that level of accuracy might be well worth the 25 cents/card charge. It definitely beats manual error correction, which is necessary with other business-card reader apps like Business Card Reader and WorldCard Mobile.

While we're on the subject, let's take a look at some other slick business-card services and how they're changing the way we use, preserve, and even replace the little scraps.

  1. CloudContacts CloudContacts saves you the hassle of manually processing business cards. The service turns your cards into Web-savvy data that you can view online, integrate with CRM apps like SalesForce, and connect with social-media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You can ship your cards through the mail or photograph/upload them.
  2. Contxts This free service beams your personal information via text message. To use it, you can ask an acquaintance to text a message like "DANIEL" to 50500, where "DANIEL" is your Contxts username, or you can do it for them -- just text "SEND 2125551212″ to 50500, where that 212 number is the recipient's phone.
  3. Dropcard Suppose you meet someone at a trade show. Instead of handing over a business card that's likely to get tossed or forgotten, just ask for the person's e-mail address. Type "drop," then the address, into a text message addressed to 41411. Presto: The person receives an e-mail containing all your contact info, plus any IM addresses, Web sites, and social-network links (LinkedIn, Flickr, etc.) you care to include.
  4. DUB Kind of like a cross between Dropcard and Plaxo (with a dash of Contxts thrown in for good measure), DUB works like this: you meet someone, pull out your phone, and text your new contact's e-mail address to DUB (or use one of the service's new mobile apps). He'll get an invitation to join the service (it's free), and then, after entering the equivalent of a business card's worth of information, we have access to each other's contact info via the DUB contact list. Any changes are instantly updated on both ends.
  5. Shoeboxed This receipt-scanning service can now handle business cards as well. Ship 'em your Rolodex and, like CloudContacts, they'll converted for import into Outlook, Salesforce, Google, etc.
What's your take on business cards these days? Still getting them? Still handing them out? Have you found a different or better way to manage them? Shout it out in the comments.