Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Geek tip: Business Cards

It's been a while since I've done one of these...

Today is a simple but crazy useful one.  Geek business cards.  Yes really.

Unless you are a plumber, hair dresser, or maybe a locksmith dealing primarily with retired homeowners, pretty much anyone you need to exchange business cards with will have a smartphone and/or email.  Why deal with the paper?  Here's how to get setup and handle it when someone wants your card...

On your phone, create a contact for yourself in your address book.  Make sure the contact has the appropriate detail.  Maybe make one for personal and one for business use.  Then when someone asks for your info just pull up that contact, and select "share".  On both Android and iOS you will have many choices of how to do that.  Among the choices will be Email, Bluetooth, and the coolest / simplest choice, barcode.  Selecting barcode will produce a QR code on your screen that can be scanned by any smartphone and instantly recognized as vcard data.  Very slick.


If the recipient does not have a smartphone (or is so completely inept running it) then the next best choice is email.  Selecting this will allow you to address a message with your vcard attached.  Then when your new friend (or leg humping sales drone) gets to their computer (or even the mail app on their phone) all they need do is click the attached file to have it added to their address book.

To make things quick on my Droid I've created a desktop shortcut for my contact.  I touch that, then the little index card icon to bring up the contact. Hit menu, share, barcode, and then hold the phone up to be scanned.  Done and done. 

On each of the smartphone platforms - especially Android and iOS - there are many apps that will scan barcodes (and hence QR coded cards) directly into your contacts.  On Android you probably already have Google Goggles.  It will work great for the QR codes and just about as well for the paper versions too. Just shoot a pic of the (paper) card and it's in your contacts.  I've stunned many salesdrones in meetings when I just shoot a picture of their card and hand it back.

Hopefully once again I've made your increasingly geek life simpler.

Posted via email from ninjahippie's (pre) posterous

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