Are paper business cards extinct? As I travel to various interactive conferences I find there are more digital transfers of contact information than business cards changing hands. With the introduction of smartphones and tablets into the work environment, people have the ability to share their contact information digitally in real-time so the idea of a physical card may be a thing of the past for some.
One of the major problems with traditional business cards is that we have a pile of them; we can never find the one we need when we need it and our pertinent business contacts need to be stored digitally. There are a host of technologies that can equip users to store contacts digitally that can be accessed from any mobile device at anytime and integrates a social layer to business networking and provides the context of the interaction. Still, I would argue that there is still value in paper business cards so don’t throw your cards away, yet. But here are five digital tools that can help you make the transition smoothly. —Hajj Flemings
Bump enables people to share contact information on an iPhone or Android phone. Users with the app downloaded can physically “bump” their devices together or their fists with their device in hand and their contact information is transferred instantly.
Hashable is a mobile tool that has a downloadable app that allows you to manage your professional and personal relationships with the people you meet on any device. With it you can filter relationships, record interactions and broadcast your connections and interactions. Hashable is a social, mobile and geo-location specific tool that enables you to manage contacts in real-time.
Contxts is a mobile SMS business card app that allows you to text or email your business credentials. Contxts works without requiring the person you are connecting with to have the app downloaded so you can share regardless of the mobile device or the platform.
CardCloud stores you contact information in a cloud app and transfers your business contact information via iPhone or mobile optimized Web app. It also allows users to email their virtual business card to anyone if they have the CardCloud app or not.
CardMunch allows you to use your iPhone camera to capture business cards. Each business card is transcribed, edited, and reviewed by multiple real human workers for accuracy and returned to you. You can then determine whether you want to store the contact information in your address book on your iPhone. CardMunch is powered by LinkedIn so you can integrate your contacts into your LinkedIn profile with a simple tap.