Why retype business cards?

Like most professionals, I have a large stack of business cards from clients, colleagues, associates, friends, etc. But business cards are nearly obsolete. When was the last time you saw a professional with a Rolodex? Everyone uses electronic address books nowadays. An electronic address is necessary for email, and it can be shared with colleagues. It can even sync with your laptop or mobile phone.

So whenever I get an important business card, I have to retype the information into my computer. When someone gives me a paper business card, it increases the work needed to contact this person. This reduces the chances I will actually stay in touch.

Unfortunately, I can’t think of a better alternative. Scanners are almost as much work as retyping. It’s unprofessional to attach a vCard to every business email. Publishing your contact information on the web makes you a giant target for spam. And using a private address book system such as Plaxo means your colleagues must trust and join the system.

There must be a better way.

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3 Comments on “Why retype business cards?”

  1. Still Usiing Business Cards Says:

    Greg, I know of a couple of things that can help you out. First, check out a product called CardScan. (www.cardscan.com) It allows you to scan all of the business cards you collect into your computer without having to type all of the information. Once you are done scanning, you can store all of your business cards in a Rolodex (yes they’re still widely used) and are offered in some great new formats. Try to get a Rolodex that comes with sleeves, that way you just slip your business cards right into the sleeves and you’ll have them at your fingertips whenever you need them. (www.rolodex.com) Check it out, maybe you’ll find something that will work for you!

  2. Greg Says:

    Sure, the Iris and CardScan products can scan one business card or two. What do you do when you return from a conference with dozens of business cards? AFAIK, there is no product in the marketplace that scans a stack of business cards without feeding each one separately into the scanner.

    Besides which, business cards create unnecessary waste. All I want is the electronic data.

  3. bcj. Says:

    Give them your card and say “just e-mail me your contact info.” 😉

    I agree, it’s a problem that has no clear solution, other than hiring an office assistant. I’ve been attending some networking meetings, and afterwards my desk is covered with business cards that then create a new task list item for that week.

    bcj.


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