Why business cards are annoying
I don't know about you, but business cards annoy me a lot: Everyone thinks they have to give you one, whether you want to or not. When you get home, the stacks of cardboard tablets in all colors and fonts pile up. Every time I say to myself: "I have to add this card to it before I sort it out." Result: An ever-growing pile of unsorted cards. A business card scanner can help - but it costs money. So I recently picked up a box and threw in all of the business cards. Finished.
The Korean-American artist Kate Hers, who lives in Berlin, once satirized the business card nonsense in a very ironic way: She distributes “oversized business cards” in the format of oversized postcards (24 X 13 cm) that guarantee one thing: attention. Of course, they are just as unpractical in the Internet age as their small counterparts in check card format, which start to get on your nerves when they overflow into your wallet.
5 tips for alternatives to the business card
We should slowly come up with a better and more effective system than printing cards for expensive money, which then disappear in any boxes or in the garbage can. But what could a solution for contact management look like? A few ideas.
- No business cards: I recently met someone who told me that they actually don't have any business cards - and that everyone really likes it. Unfortunately I have forgotten his name in the meantime because the “We'll add each other at Sing” didn't really work out. So be it: I thought it was chic - and quickly adopted the idea. Because my own business cards become obsolete faster than I can say “beep” because address, telephone number or eMail-Change Address. Unfortunately, that doesn't go down that well with me: I always get a lot of angry looks because I don't have a card. Oh guys, we have internet age! After all: the PR manager of a well-known computer manufacturer agreed with me at the IFA: Business cards are something of “out”. However, he didn't know a better solution for the moment and then, after a long search - you already guessed it - brought his last card to light.
- Scanning apps: A colleague enthusiastically told me how she scanned business cards with her iPhone app. Once photographed, the contact is immediately added to the contact management of the mobile phone. That sounds like something I need - especially since I synchronize the phone with my contacts on the computer. I would always be up to date with my contacts on the spot. That seems to be working to some extent: at least normal writing, black on white, is recognized very well. However, it depends on the angle and the lighting at which the business card is photographed. In other words: scanning business cards with your mobile phone sounds like a great future-oriented idea, but one that can certainly still be improved. For the beginning, however, I am quite satisfied.
- Transfer contacts between mobile devices: It would of course be even better if you could transfer data directly between mobile devices. The problem is that there is currently no uniform electronic system. In other words: every user has a different device, a different operating system and by no means every user has a smartphone.
- Maintain contacts via social networks: Finally, there remains the alternative of maintaining the contacts I need in my daily work via social networks. For me, this is the most practicable method so far: I add new contacts, which I then export completely, e.g. to a eMailProgram or on the mobile phone. Otherwise the only option is to export the contacts individually.
- Synchronize contacts automatically: Or maybe you no longer have to export? Because: The address book of my previous cell phone already showed all the contact data from the address books of various social networks and also linked identical contacts with each other. That means if I have the same friend at Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Xing and / or in my address book, the hand asked me if I wanted to link the contacts with one another, one click is enough - and the device combines all available data into one contact, which it then shows me. Why isn't there something like that for the PC? Unfortunately, data protection probably has its problems with this solution.
There is no optimal alternative
When you look at the various options, you quickly notice: The really optimal method of managing your contacts does not seem to exist yet. Or what options do you use?
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