Want a tool for managing business cards? Try your phone!

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Let’s be honest: Managing business cards is a pain. Most of them just get tossed out, but you still need them. You need something to hand to somebody, or to get from them, in order to build networks in the business world. That’s why there are several programs and devices that allow you to scan business cards and extract the data from them for your contact files.

But maybe you can’t, or simply don’t want, to buy such a device or program. If this is the case for you, here’s an idea: Your phone has a camera. Take a picture of every business card you get. You can put all those images into a file on your phone, if that’s a thing it lets you do, or you can store them in a cloud system like Google Drive, or port them to your computer.

If you just want the contact information, you can always type it into your phone and toss the card or even the original image file. If you want to keep that image file, you can take that photo and connect it with the person in your phone’s contacts in order to still have access to the information on the business card while being able to easily get in touch with that person.

While specifics apps or devices to assist in managing business cards are nice, honestly, they aren’t necessary. Before smart phones, you’d have had to copy that information over to a Rolodex or something anyway, and just because you can snap a picture with your phone doesn’t mean you can’t be bothered to type some information into it.

These little computers we keep in our pockets are delightful tools that can make business easier in so many ways. With a little effort and thought, you can use them to do exactly that, without incurring extra costs.