Two people exchanging business cards

Even though we are moving toward an increasingly paperless society, the single best way to exchange contact information in person is still to swap business cards. This is particularly true of larger events where you will meet and greet with a great number of people in a short span of time. The trouble, then, is trying to organize all this information after the fact.

It is far too time-consuming to open up your preferred contact management software to enter each contact’s information individually. There has to be a better way. Thankfully, a number of different companies offer business card scanning services both online and offline. With some, you can simply mail off a packet of business cards and receive vCards via e-mail. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.

Better still, a good number of places that offer business card scanning also offer a range of document scanning and document management services as well. This is definitely an added bonus.

US-Based Companies

OfficeDrop Choose between the mail-in scanning service and the self-scanning solution, the latter of which capitalizes on cloud software. OfficeDrop also comes with the option for online digital filing and storage.

Shoeboxed This company will likely sound familiar to readers of Smartlife, because we have already taken two looks at the receipt management company. As it turns out, Shoeboxed also scans business cards in much the same way.

Cloud Contacts

Cloud Contacts

Cloud Contacts One of the more popular services for scanning business cards, Cloud Contacts goes even further by connecting your business cards on social networks, email services, and CRM systems. Business cards can be sent via postal mail or as images via email.

DataBank Offering imaging and information solutions, this company scans documents of all sizes, ranging from business cards to large engineering drawings. They also offer a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee.

The Letter Scanner This company markets itself as “your virtual post office box in the United States.” Send in your stack of business cards and receive them back as searchable digital files via e-mail. The price is $10 per 20 business cards scanned.

ProjectCenter Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, this single-source marketing and document services company will come and pick up the documents you would like imaged if you are in the Phoenix area.

Consumer Sketch Information Marketing itself as offering “probably one of the lowest cost services you will ever find,” CSI will scan documents of all sizes, both printed and handwritten, ranging from business cards and index cards to waybills and instruction manuals.

Docufree In addition to scanning paper documents, Docufree offers free shipping, free boxes, online review of images, and one year of free online storage. Every document imaged is indexed based on the criteria that you define.

International Companies

Docs on Disc – This Australian company is unique in that it not only offers a document scanning service, but it will also sell you a series of different document scanners, including a new camera-type business card scanner.

Copy Point

Copy Point

Copy Point Based out of Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, Copy Point is a full service printing, scanning and faxing company. Document scanning will convert your piles of paper into usable digital files, transferring the data to fully indexed CD-ROM discs.

CalWest Hailing from the other side of Canada in Calgary, Alberta, CalWest will scan business documents of any size and convert them into your choice of PDF or TIFF file formats.

Centrafest Technologies – This company may be based in India, but it will happily serve clients from all around the world. Scanned business cards are then output as a complete searchable database that can in turn be exported in Excel, Outlook, and other formats.

Marathon A document management firm based in the United Kingdom, Marathon has been offering its range of services for 25 years. Output options include TIFF, PDF, and OCR to Word formats.

Pearl Scan Solutions Also from the UK, Pearl Scan Solutions provides scanning, electronic archiving, and data capture solutions to businesses of all sizes. Past clients include BBC, NHS, and the University of Manchester.

Cleardata Beyond the document scanning service, this UK company also offers secure document storage with fast digital retrieval options. Cleardata sells scanning hardware as well.

Image credit: Thomas_EyeDesign / iStockphoto

###