After productive networking events and meetings, the influx of business cards can pile up. To leverage those connections, it’s important to digitize and store the contact information. Here are effective ways to convert cards into organized digital contacts:

Capture Images

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Use your smartphone camera to take pictures of each card, front and back. Apps like EverNote and CamScanner optimize capturing, cropping and uploading images. Enhance readability by placing cards on a plain background before snapping photos.

Use a Scanner

For batch scanning, feed stacks of cards through a document scanner to convert into JPEGs or PDF files. A dedicated business card scanner offers fast handling but flatbed scanners work too. Scan at a high resolution of 600-1200 dpi for legibility.

OCR Software

Optical character recognition software can extract text details from your scanned card images. Services like Sansan, Cardsmith and Knowee translate photos into editable contacts, saving manual typing. Review the imported data for any errors.

Manual Data Entry

Typing business card details directly into your contacts or CRM system ensures accuracy. Though manual methods are more time consuming, important for high value contacts. Use a multi-device syncing platform like Google Contacts.

Card Reader Devices

Dedicated business card readers like Evernote’s Jot Dot digitally capture and upload info via device’s app. These gadgets provide an easy scanning solution for minimal cards while out and about. But USB card readers lack OCR capabilities.

Consolidate Contacts

Avoid siloing contacts across various apps and platforms. Aggregate the digitized cards into one master contact database or CRM. Then back up this master list for redundancy.

Add Context

Include meeting dates, relevant project details and other contextual notes with the imported card data. This additional intel makes follow-ups more tailored. Also tag contacts for handy filtering and searches later.

Stay Organized

Proper digitization keeps your swelling card collection organized, retrievable and easily shareable. It also reduces business card clutter. But maintain relationships, not just raw data.

For important contacts, have metal business cards from Metal Kards made using their digital design templates. These create lasting mementos of key relationships.

Digitizing cards preserves valuable personal connections that paper storage can’t. Employ a multi-pronged approach using scans, photos, manual entry and OCR technology. Integrate details into your primary contacts or CRM system for best access and usability.