When I go out to a networking event or conference, I put a stack of business cards in my pocket and go hard until they're gone. Business cards, like email, remain an essential networking and organizing tool, but they are also really messy in this digital world and can end up in stacks on your desk or kitchen counter.
I wanted to make the most out of business card contacts so went on a hunt for productivity tools. There are lots of options out there, but what I landed on is leaps and bounds ahead of other options.
- Download the FullContact Business Card Reader App for iOS or Android.
- Set up a FullContact account.
- Create a new spreadsheet in your primary Google Apps account and add the following column headers (these are a bit flexible (and designed for my imports into NationBuilder's community organizing system) but you'll want most of them: First name; middle name; last name; company; title; website; work email; address city; address zip; address state; address1; address country; work phone; mobile phone; Home phone; Other phone; fax; tags (this is how I use FullContact's note); Twitter URL; Facebook URL; About Me URL; External ID
- Create an account with Zapier.com and use this template to great a zap that will sync your FullContact cards with your spreadsheet: http://zpr.io/Rb3Q
After you've finished the setup (about 30 minutes that will save you hours and hours of data entry later), you can snap a picture of any cards you pick up, they will be transcribed into FullContact, and automatically synched to your spreadsheet. You can then download a csv of that spreadsheet and import it into any contact management system of your choice.