The holiday season is almost upon us, which means ample opportunity for lawyers to network at a seemingly never-ending string of parties and social gatherings, where the business cards flow faster than the liquor. But if you have an eye on your business development for 2015, you don’t want the valuable contacts you meet at these events to go to waste, with business cards languishing in your wallet, a desk drawer, or cluttering your desk until you can get around to dealing with them. Enter technology: a slew of mobile apps use your camera’s built-in phone and optical character recognition to digitize and record the cards you collect, instantly adding their information to your phone or practice management solution. We’ve detailed some of our favorites below.
With an Evernote Premium subscription, you can snap pictures of business cards and have the contact information added to a note within Evernote. Once the card is scanned, you’ll have the option of connecting immediately via an email or LinkedIn invitation (if the email address is registered on LinkedIn). The Evernote business card scanner is the official business card scanner of LinkedIn, so if you’re active on the social network, this is for you.
CamCard, like Evernote, offers OCR business card scanning using your phone’s camera and a simple mobile app. While exporting or syncing with external services like Google or Salesforce currently isn’t available, the app gets a boost from allowing you to attach text, video, graphics and and documents to cards.
FullContact acts a little differently than the options described above—when you take a picture of a business card using the FullContact app, it’s sent to an actual human being who then transcribes the card and adds it to your account. The FullContact app also aggregates social info, syncs to Google Contacts, and can add the contact information directly to Clio via our Zapier integration.
Just do it yourself
I’ve gotten in the habit of politely declining cards at networking events, pulling out my phone, and simply locating the person and adding them to LinkedIn while they’re there. Unorthodox? Maybe—but I’ve found it to be highly useful for relationship building both on and offline. Plus, it ensures that they’re locked in for any content or posts you publish until you get around to entering their business card down the road. By making use of these apps, you’ll be a more efficient networker, realize more client intake opportunities, and even save a couple of trees in the process.
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