I’ll admit it: Part of the reason business cards end up crammed in my wallet is because so many of them are so cool looking.
If this sounds like you too, then you’re in luck. In this modern age, there are three great ways to store your business cards.
Use the eyedropper tool to quickly and easily retrieve the color of any pixel on your screen — a convenient way to create color schemes from artwork or source material already on your design.
8 business card apps for smartphones: Scan ’em and store ’em Tired of losing business cards? With these apps, your smartphone can do the heavy lifting. Armin Rosu
30+ Photo Effects Sepia, blurs, sparkle, motion, lenticular halo, and more
If you’re like me, here’s what happens after a business event: You collect a pocket full of business cards, but never have a chance to enter the pile of cards into your contacts. A week later, you need to get back to one of the contacts and have to start searching through the piles. Isn’t there a better way?
700+ Stocks Built-in support for popular stocks from Avery®, NEATO®, PaperDirect®, and more
Alignment Guides Real-time alignment guides automatically appear and help you position objects
I performed most of the tests using a Samsung Galaxy S4 Android smartphone. However, because the interfaces of Android and iOS apps often aren’t similar, I tried some with an Apple iPhone 4 and an iPad as well.
Use the built-in signature setup to use your business card as the signature that goes at the bottom of your emails. While this feature is designed for Apple’s Mail application, it can be used with other email clients as well.
Convenient Print special cards for trade shows and other events where may want to limit the information shared on your card
Drop Shadows Add drop shadows and control height, blur, color, opacity
Gradients Fill shapes with linear & circular gradients for sophistication and realism
Sadly my usual strategy of shoving everything in my wallet has proven convenient, but completely unreliable. Though chock full of pockets, pouches and slots, my wallet is basically the small leather good equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys.
Online Commercial Printers Export your cards for submission to any online commercial printer
ABBYY also correctly identified a cell phone as mobile, and properly recognized the tricky stylized “&.” The software highlights problematic areas in red, although this doesn’t stand out as much as you’d expect on the inverse black background of the app. The interface is convenient to move through, at least, and editing a scanned card doesn’t require a multitude of extra taps or swipes.
The Font Preview shows you exactly how your selected text will look in different fonts. You can choose to display the previews in a list or as an animation in which the previews glide across the window in random directions. The animation option lets you sit back and watch for the ideal font.
Turns out that yes, there is. Rather than muddle through the manual labor of typing in each card’s contact info, let your smartphone do the heavy lifting for you. Business card scanning apps take your cell phone’s rear-facing camera and put it to work as a scanner. These apps typically take a photograph of the card and perform optical character recognition (OCR) on the image to translate the contents to editable text. They then add that info to the app’s own database, to your smartphone’s contacts listing or both. Most of these apps will also retain the original image for reference.
With a quick snap of your device’s camera, Evernote will capture and store all of your new acquaintance’s relevant information. Once uploaded, you can then edit any of the information associated with the contact in Evernote and add any notes that may help jog your memory down the line about the relevance of your new contact.
In order to create amazing cards, you need amazing artwork. Business Card Shop won’t let you down. It comes with a collection valued at $120 if purchased directly from the iScrapbook store. The artwork was created by artists from all over the world and is it not the “cheesey” variety of clipart normally included with software products. It’s over 1.8 GB in size. It includes over 980 graphics and all are 300 d.p.i. which is ideal for printing.
Though I am not a designer myself, I always relish those memorable moments at conferences or networking events when I receive a really well-designed, creative business card from someone I’m excited to meet. But in the bright light of a new day, after the first blush of cardstock and Pantone envy has worn off, I realize I have a problem:
Exporting Export cards as single cards or a page full of cards in popular graphic formats (JPEG, PDF, etc.)
You can easily add a reflection to any graphic, shape, or text box and the reflection is completely customizable. For example, you can control the transparency, height, and offsets of the reflection to get the exact effect you’re after.
As you probably already know, Evernote is a powerful, multi-device productivity application for personal, work or collaborative projects. But did you know about its business card scanning feature?
As always, the trick lies in picking the right app to do the job.
• Create and reuse an unlimited number of color schemes • Photo analyzer figures out dominant colors in a photo • Color wheel with 11 built-in color combinations for choosing great colors • Color combinations include complementary, analogous, triadic, and more • Built-in color theory tips educate about color use • Color wheel supports artistic primary colors (RYB: red, yellow, blue) • Color wheel supports modern primary colors (RGB: red, green, blue) • Color blender creates blends between two colors • Built-in color scheme access throughout the software • Eyedropper retrieves the color of any pixel on the screen • Warm/cool indicator for the color wheel • Color blender also supports tints, shades, and tones • Built-in sliders for adjusting the base color • Built-in hex field for copying/pasting colors with other apps
[ Further reading: How iOS 11 makes mobile management easier ]
Business Card Shop uses advanced image compositing to blend built-in textures with your photos. The textures make it simple to customize your photos with a variety of sophisticated and antique motifs. Choose from over 49 different overlays including papers (folded, crumpled, canvas, linen, and more), glass, and old film (dust, scratches, crackle).
After scanning and saving a card’s information into the application, it will also be saved to your phone’s contacts. CamCard has other neat features too, including the ability to locate nearby contacts, sync data across multiple devices and electronic card exchange.
This mini filing cabinet not only fills this void, it’s also an inconspicuous, but adorable desk accessory.
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Share a web address by placing a QR code on your card. Recipients can scan the QR code with their mobile phone and go directly to your website.
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There are a lot of apps for business cards out there, but CamCard for Android and iPhone is one of my personal favorites. It’s also a great alternative for those who want a focused application for their business cards, rather than burying the information in Evernote.
My experience with the OCR results was mixed. The app missed many things on each card in my test suite: The app assigned MD as a doctor’s last name and it couldn’t handle the text on a card with a dark background and white letters. On the other hand, when I added the Portuguese language to the app’s capabilities, it worked well with a card in the Portuguese language, with the correct accent marks appearing on the “c” and “a.”
Use the built-in map tool to easily include a map of your business location on your business card. A map is a simple way to help customers find you.
Another caveat: Not only can Android and iOS versions of the apps differ, but there are dedicated tablet versions of some apps. In some cases you might get extras — for example, ScanBizCard’s HD Business Card Reader costs $9.99 on iOS and also includes a year of the company’s WebSync service, which normally costs $10; as of this writing, WebSync was not included with the version for Android devices.
Designer Stocks Works with designer stocks supported by your printer including double-sided, clean-edge (no perforations), glossy finish, matte, finish, linen texture, etc.
100+ Photo Masks Create specials effects on your photos like vignettes
The free version is severely limited: It will save only the name and one phone number for a given contact. That makes the free version good only for vetting — if you like the app, then skip right to the paid version. For iOS users, a Professional version is also available, which allows unlimited data export to the Salesforce CRM (users of the regular versions need to buy a separate subscription for that feature).
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However, the menus beneath the editing screen are as old-school Android as you can get, a boring pre-packaged list that lacks custom fields or modern communication niceties like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The paid version has an option to search the Web for a person on any of those services, but this option is useless since you can’t add that person’s social-media info into the context of the contact. Plus, the omission of social media ignores the fact that so many cards now include that information.
We tested seven apps that are available on both Android and iOS, and looked at both the free and paid versions where available. (An eighth app, FoxCard, is a popular newer addition, but it hasn’t been tested like the other seven.) I used a set of 12 business cards chosen specifically to “torture test” the capabilities of the apps, including cards with high visual design or glossy finishes; one with white text on a dark background; and several international cards (from Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan and Portugal).
Create blends between two colors to create a monochromatic look that’s pleasing to the eye. Supports tints, shades, tones, and custom blends.
Calibration Calibrate your printer for perfect stock alignment
Select any photo on your design and then press a special button to see the dominant colors in the photo. You can then create a color scheme based on these colors.
Trim-to-Page Hide objects outside the page boundaries to see how full-bleed cards will look
Full Bleed Support Supports card stocks where your design can “bleed” pas the edge of the card for a “print-to-the-edge” look
Warm versus cool refers to the psychological impact colors have in conveying a message. Warm colors are frequently associated with the warm of fire and the sun while cool colors are frequently associated with the coolness of the sea, sky, and foliage. The warm/cool indicator divides the color wheel into warm and cool colors, so you correctly convey the messaging you want.
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Group Objects Group multiple objects for easy moving and resizing
You can view and individually edit the faces of double-sided, folding, and tent cards. When editing folding and tent cards, you’ll see fold lines and you can choose to edit individual faces or entire sides at once, so you can place content across the fold lines.
Typography Advanced typography: kerning, line spacing, and more
Business Card Shop is the #1 best-selling business card software for Macintosh. First impressions are important. Your business card is often the first promotional material a person receives from your company. It’s also the thing most people keep to remember you by. Business Card Shop will help you create a professional and memorable impression every time.
Add a little pizzazz to your business card by dragging a special effect right onto your design. All of the special effects are customizable so you can make them as subtle or as intense as you’d like. Choose from the following: sunburst, sparkle, lenticular halo, and 13 different water/coffee stains.
Use the built-in color wheel to discover color combinations based on the same color theory that artists use. To make your color exploration more fun, the color wheel spins when you select a new base color and offers educational tips.
I’m swimming in a sea of business cards from new contacts, and I have no idea what to do with them or how to keep them organized.
Photo Enhance Fine-tune photos: brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc.
Contacts App Integration Place information on your card directly from the macOS Contacts app using 350+ fields
With one click, you can easily share your business card with business prospects, associates, family, and friends. The following sharing options are available: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Mail, Messages, and AirDrop.
ABBYY has been being doing optical character recognition software for years on the Windows side. So it comes as no surprise that the company’s Business Card Reader software is among the best options available for iOS or Android — especially if you want a robust app with support for Salesforce exports.
Are you looking for an eye-catching way to present your business or product? If so, use a 3D headline to easily give your card a sophistication usually only achievable by professional designers. You get to control everything: the materials used for the headline, the lighting, the reflections, the 3-dimension perspective, and more. You’ll be amazed how easy and fun it is to experiment with different looks.
Even with the limitations mentioned, ABBYY’s Business Card Reader is one of the best options out there. Especially if you have multilingual needs.
Text is magical in iScrapbook: bend it along a curve, spiral it to tell a story, fill it with an image, outline it, or stretch it. It’s fun and easy!
From the start, I found ABBYY had one of more pleasing and colorful interfaces among the apps tested here; for example, it is the only one that can rotate to landscape, should you prefer. Your options are clearly delineated with clean graphics and text is quite readable. You can have up to three of the app’s 21 languages enabled at any given time, which is convenient.
Business Card Shop includes everything you need to create business cards including templates, artwork, design tools, and powerful integrations. Step 1: Choose a template or start from scratch. Step 2: Customize your card. Step 3: Print cards on your own inkjet/laser printer. You can also submit your design to an online commercial printer if you want special UV finishes or raised inks.
Bezier Shapes Create custom shapes with custom curves using Bezier controls for logos and design elements
Create custom design elements with the 50+ Smart-Shapes built into the software. Control every aspect of a shape including stroke color, fill color, stroke style, stroke size, and opacity. Where appropriate, certain shapes include controls to customize attributes unique to the shape. For example, you can specify the number of points on a star and the height of the points.
It’s your card, so choose the style that suits you best. Whether you want a fancy double-sided card or a simple horizontal card, the choice is yours!
But superficial design appreciation aside, no matter how much I love to be involved on the cutting edge of our evolving digital world, there are times I still like to keep it analog. I keep handwritten notes, I outline most blog posts I write on paper first and I like to rifle through an organized set of business cards when I want to get in touch with someone.
Transparency Adjust the transparency of text, images, and shapes
Business Card Shop supports some of the fancy new business card stocks from Avery. These include, among others, their new double-sided cards with rounded corners and their new self-laminating business cards. The self-laminating cards are great for loyalty cards, gym memberships, luggage tags, ID cards and more.
Once done, you can save the contact information to the ABBYY Cardholder (an internal card database), to your contacts or both. You can search the app’s cardholder by name, organization, job or city, and you can organize contacts into groups (although this is awkwardly implemented). And you can export to a .VCF file, although the app’s design makes it hard to do quickly for a multitude of contacts.
If you’re still not convinced that you’ll want to toss your cards after scanning and saving them to the cloud – if you want to do so at all – there is a fun alternative to the old school Rolodex: the Mini Business Card Filing Cabinet.
Put related items on their own layer to simplify working with lots of objects. Doing so enables you to show and hide just the layers you want.
Business Card Shop comes with 210+ professionally designed templates. Feel free to explore your inner artist and customize however you wish or start from scratch! The built-in templates cover 210+ professions so finding a suitable design is easy.
To capture a card, simply line up its edges using the on-screen guides and snap your photo. The software controls your camera’s autofocus and captures the card, puts it through an OCR process, then gives you a chance to edit the resulting text. You can see a small window of the relevant scan area for a given field, which makes edits simpler.
Efficient Only print cards when you need them to eliminate costly printing re-runs when contact changes occur
Crop Marks Supports crop marks for full bleed designs to assist commercial printers in cutting your cards