Day: May 14, 2018

Evernote as a business card reader

Evernote as a business card reader

If you want to manage your relationships with your prospects and customers, you will need an effective and quick way to scan business cards to your personal and professional database. Evernote provides an effective way to accomplish this tedious task.

It is very possible that your employer requires you to put this information into their corporate database. This is perfectly acceptable. Your employer pays you and you represent them to your prospects and customers, therefore, they have every right to ask you for information about those that you meet. However, this does not preclude that you maintain your own list of people that you have met – you are not forced to forget everyone that you met when you leave an employer.

Regardless of where you store your contacts, you need an efficient method for taking the information off of a business card and getting it into your computer. Your basic choices are:

  • Pay an assistant to transcribe the data.
  • Manually transcribe the data yourself.
  • Use an optical character recognition (OCR) tool to accelerate your own efforts.

I have used several OCR tools in my past. My current favorite tool is to use Evernote. I find it to be very efficient and quite accurate. I use an iPhone and here is some assistance in using Evernote to increase your efficiency with scanning business cards.

The business card camera captures the clearest possible images of your business cards and saves everything into a contact note including:

  • Name, title, company, and additional contact info
  • An image of the card
  • A photo of the person and LinkedIn profile information (when available)

Business card scanning is an Evernote Premium feature. Basic and Plus users can currently get 1 year of business card scanning for free when they connect Evernote and LinkedIn.

Using the business card camera

Start scanning cards

To start scanning:

  • Make sure your device is connected to the internet.
  • Open up Evernote.
  • Hold the “+” icon on the bottom of Evernote and three icons will appear. Slide to the ‘Photos’ icon from the quick note panel on the home screen of Evernote on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Position the camera over the card so that the edges of the card remain in view. The camera automatically detects, focuses, and captures the business card (there will be a green overlay on the card). Note: If the business card isn’t automatically detected, tap the button in the upper right corner to turn Auto Mode off.
  • Once the business card is captured, Evernote displays all the information recognized from the card. If you are logged into LinkedIn and the email from the card matches a LinkedIn profile, Evernote pulls in additional information about the contact.

Review and edit contact info

It is a good idea to review the information scanned from cards to verify if it is the way you want it to appear. If Evernote finds a matching LinkedIn profile, Evernote imports additional contact information from that profile and adds a LinkedIn icon beside any of those corresponding fields.

If any of the scanned information needs to be edited, do the following:

  • Tap the field to edit the information.
  • Tap Save to save to Evernote as a new contact note. To scan additional cards, tap Back to camera or tap Done to finish.

Connect with LinkedIn

Evernote automatically build a content-rich note around business cards you scan. Business cards become searchable contacts in Evernote with full contact information, a link to their current LinkedIn profile, and a photo, plus a section for notes.

You don’t have to be connected with the person on LinkedIn for this to work. As long as you’ve connected your LinkedIn account to Evernote, you’ll automatically get the person’s profile info and photo. After scanning their card, you’ll have the option to connect on LinkedIn, share your own contact information, or save the new person’s info as a contact in your device’s address book.

If the scanned business card email address matches a LinkedIn profile email address, you can send a LinkedIn connection request from Evernote in one of two ways:

  1. Scan the business card and save the note. When you see the confirmation message, select Connect on LinkedIn. A notification appears to let you know the invitation has been sent.
  2. If you’ve already scanned the card, open that note and tap the Connect link.

Easily save new contacts

There are two ways to save contact information from every scanned card to the contacts on your mobile device:

  1. Automatically: To save information from every card scanned, simply tap your account name and select General > Camera > Business Cards and toggle ‘Save to Contacts’ on.
  2. Manually: Select Save to contacts from the options menu.

By default scanned cards are saved to the ‘Business Cards’ notebook. You can change this notebook and how cards are tagged from the Settings screen. Simply tap your account name and select General > Camera > Business Cards and select Notebook or Tag to change your preferences.

Photo by shinya