What to do with all the business cards?

The problem is pretty well known to everybody who often goes to business events: how to deal with all the business cards you receive during a normal event.

I admit that I’m a tech addict and so its no wonder I’ve tried several ways to transfer the business cards the easiest way possible to my iPhone or at least to my computer. To say it like this: no method yet proved to be really consistent and helpful.

For sure not to bad is the iPhone App “ScanBizCards”. You take a photo of the business card with your smartphone, the app scans the pic and converts it into text. The algorithm is ok and fast and quite often it detects pretty well the right information … but … well, only quite often. To often you have to correct the info that has been read. After all that takes almost as long as simply typing the business card yourself. And for sure the app fails completely if it has to handle stylish business cards – no wonder and I won’t blame the app for it.

Evernote, my favorite notetaker, recently rolled out Evernote Hello, an app dedicated to managing contacts at events or other occasions. The process is straightforward: get a business card, scan it right after you’ve got it. Evernote Hello puts the info on a timeline, together with geolocation what makes it easy to track back, where and when you’ve got the card. So far so nice. Evernote Hello also scans the business card and detects the info. But it then tries to link the info with Linkedin profiles. That idea is good, but unfortunately not every information that you need is saved on the Linkedin profile, so that most of the time the address and phone fields remain empty … not good!

Then there’s an app called assistant or stagiaire, or even secretary … Thats not bad too. They will encode your staples of business cards silently (or less silently, with some moaning). But yet you won’t have a clue after all who that Mister Smith was among the 25 other contacts you’ve made 2 days before. Was it the bald guy or the one with the fancy glasses? Arrrgh … here we are stuck again.

So is there an ideal way to encode these info in a fast an memorable way? What do you use?