Card Sharks

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Seven ways to improve your business card

The practice of exchanging business cards is so entrenched in our professional rituals that even the proliferation of smartphones has failed to usurp those little pieces of paper – so far, that is. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of apps and card producers thinking beyond the basic business card. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorites.


We’ll start our rundown with an app that hit the iOS app store just this week – Intro, courtesy of About.me. About.me users create a profile complete with a bio and contact details, and can add other users’ info to their contacts upon meeting. Additionally, users can add a picture to their profile, which is sure to be a lifesaver to the can’t-put-a-face-to-the-name community. You can download the app for free here. As for alternatives, Clinck offers a similar service, though you can send your card to recipients who are not on the app.

Yes We Scan

Compromise is virtuous, so these apps don’t necessarily replace the physical business card – they just let you scan the information onto your phone. The ever-notable Evernote has card-scanning capabilities – here’s a tutorialSamCard and CamCard are also handy for scanning, reading, and rhyming with competitors.

QR You Serious?

A business card’s not complete these days without some kind of link to an online résumé or Twitter account. To save your new companion the time and effort and typing in that information manually to look you up, just use goqr.me to add a QR code to your card so they can easily scan the code on their phone and pull up the information instantly.

Chip Away

Moo.com’s NFC (Near Field Communication) cards are seriously cool – they include an embedded microchip that will trigger a customized response in any smartphone it touches, whether that’s pulling up your portfolio, LinkedIn page, location of your office, or just about whatever else you want.

Now go forth (and exchange).