Recent technology has propelled business networking into a new “smart” era powered by online social networks and mobile devices, all the while driving the age old business card ever closer to extinction.
Sharing this sentiment is a recent New York Times article, which reveals that people are more likely to exchange Twitter handles or connect to one another on LinkedIn rather than via the traditional paper route. The LA Times also addressed earlier this year the decrease in business card use as digital technology takes over, stating that the sales of business cards is steadily declining, and has been since the late 1990s.
By eliminating the need to hold on to someone’s business card or manually enter a person’s contact information, accessing your past, present, and future interactions and expanding your professional network has never been easier. Here’s a list of apps to get you started on digitizing your business connections:
This app makes it possible to share contact information and photos in one quick “bump.” Once users tap their phones together, a vibration signifies that their address book information is being exchanged and, if both users are signed into either Facebook or LinkedIN, a list of acquaintances that they have in common on those sites and in their address books will be displayed as well. [Available for Android and iPhone]
Don’t waste time struggling to remember who an acquaintance is or why you exchanged information with them in the first place. Contacts Journal neatly categorizes each interaction to help users keep track of where you met, how you met, and why that person can become a good contact to have in the future. [For iPhone and iPad]
Have a business lunch meeting? This mobile app not only scans and enters your acquaintance’s information into a secure online account but will also scan the restaurant receipt into digital data for effortless expense reporting, accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation. This meal is on the company. [Available for Android and iOS]
Cardcloud & CardFlick
These two apps add efficiency while keeping the spirit of the business card alive. Cardcloud allows digital business cards to be shared from phone to phone or via email while storing your exact location so that you will always remember where you met someone [available for Android and iOS]. After customizing your business card design from twenty stylish themes, CardFlick uses geolocation technology to share and store all business cards that you receive in the “cloud,” even if the recipient doesn’t have the app. [Download for free in iTunes, Available for iPhone]
Simply use your phone to take a photo of a business card and Cardmunch will transcribe the information and add it to your personal address book. If the business card owner is a member of LinkedIN, their photo and basic profile will also appear on your phone. [Free, available for iPhone]