Even though many consider paper business cards obsolete and prefer to connect directly by social networks, it’s still very common to see people exchanging that old piece of paper called a business card. And while it’s handy to pop it out when you get at the office and write an e-mail with that meeting minute, it would still be very handy to be able to accurately import all contact data into your smartphone’s contacts. There are a lot of apps these days that try to OCR names, phone numbers and addresses, but to be honest, they are all slow and error prone.
What if you could just enter all data from the printed business card into your phone in a snap with no error what so ever? Well, you can! At least if your peers will also read this article 🙂
It only takes 2 minutes and can also be accomplished company wide using Excel or a Google Sheet.
The trick is for people to create a virtual contact card on their computer or simply create a new contact with their own details on their smartphone and share that by e-mail to create the virtual contact card. The file would normally have a .vcf extension and is easily recognized by major e-mail clients on PCs and by the OS on your smartphone.
Then you upload the yourname.vcf file on whatever cloud service you’re using and share it with a link (most cloud storage providers allow you to share by link, while still keeping it unlisted).
Next, you shorten that link using a .. duh! shortener service like bit.ly or goo.gl
Finally, you create a QR code from the shortened URL with a free service like http://goqr.me and you put the generated QR code on your business card.
The traditional way of creating a QR code for business cards was to actually embed all contact details in the QR, which resulted in a very big QR code that was pretty hard to fit and read from a business card.
In conclusion, the steps are:
- Create a .vcf with all your contact details, even your picture if you like
- Upload the yourname.vcf file to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, whichever you like and share it by link
- Shorten the link
- Generate the (really small) QR on http://goqr.me and put it on your card
- Share this post so that you increase the chance that people will have the QR code on their business card next time 🙂