How to wrangle all those business cards

April 1, 2010 | By | Comments (1)

This pile/bag of business cards is my private shame.


In this pile are business cards I have dutifully collected at conferences, meetups, receptions, cocktail parties, lunches. Trapped in this bag are new friends; publicists; bloggers, and potential vendors and possible clients. I know I should enter them into my address book. I advise my clients and others to connect with new contacts through LinkedIn.

Instead, I bring them back to my office and do nothing. Nadda. Zippo.

So now, I have a pile of over 100 cards and no motivation to get spend my precious spare time on data entry. Which is why I was so excited when Dymo sent me the CardScan Executive for Mac to try.

The scanner is very small, making it easy for me to scan cards while sitting on my couch. With the batch scan feature I was able to scan and process over 134 cards in less than 30 minutes. Then, using the CardScan software, I started going through the cards to verify the information on each.

This was a little more time-consuming – I've been slowly reviewing the cards and in the last 3 days I've "verified" about 70 cards.

The CardScanner had the least amount of trouble with the most traditional of business cards. The more "clever" the layout, the the more difficulty CardScanner had capturing the information. (Strangely, the program was regularly stumped by the @ symbol, regularly changing it it to an ©). The scanner handled reverse type on dark colored cards very well.

After verifying the contacts I was able to import the contacts to my Address Book. If I tried to import a contact that already existed (turns out I was able to get SOME cards out of plastic bag limbo), it gave me the option to accept the information from CardScan, or keep the existing information.

At $259.99, CardScanner seemed a little steep, but considering the amount of time I have saved (and the "value" of all these rediscovered contacts), I've decided, if you are someone who regularly collects business card, it may be worth the investment.

Do you have a pile of business cards hiding on your desk? How will clear up the pile?