Scanning business cards
Posted August 3, 2014on:
One of the things I invested in recently was a business card scanner, the WorldCard Pro.
The device is on the right and a stack of business cards I have collected (and not yet scanned) is on the left. Disclaimer: This is not a product review nor was I given one to evaluate. I bought the device after doing some online research.
The day we stop using business cards to share basic contact information is the day I stop using this device. It is so much easier to scan the cards, have the device do a quick optical character recognition (OCR), and automatically update my online contacts list.
I like the fact that this model is USB-powered, cross platform (Mac and PC), and very light. I do not think I will need to travel with it, but if I have to it will not take up much space. It is about the size of a really fat drink coaster.
It takes a second or two to scan each card and the software can sync what it scans to Google Contacts. Once there, the contacts can be retrieved and synced practically anywhere and to any device. There are other offline address book formats, but I do not care much for them.
The OCR is not perfect, but I think this is partly due to some really tiny fonts in some cards. The software also tries to match fields like departments or job positions to what is on cards, but there are so many variants that I end up manually editing the captures. That said, it is far easier to scan and edit than to type card by card.
While on captures, the image scans are stored by the software and can be synced to a Google Photos album. But I am not sure why not all my scans were synced to the album.
I am only part of the way through scanning my collection of business cards. The 100 or so in the stack is what I have not processed yet.
If you think about it, it is quite idiotic how we still exchange such basic information in such an archaic way.
As an independent consultant, I am going to resist creating business cards. I am going to find a more seamless solution or simply ask people to Google me. That in turn will push me to maintain a prominant digital presence.