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App Alert: CardMunch

If you are a small business owner like me, you find yourself gathering at least a few dozen business cards a month, if not more, from various networking events.  My challenge has always been to convert them electronically into my address book.

It takes a huge amount of time every month to manually key in the data.  I found an app recently called CardMunch, and it is powered by LinkedIn.

I downloaded CardMunch onto my iPhone and took it for a spin.  First, you open the app and click the camera icon at the bottom.  You line the business card into the window so that you can see the entire card.  Press the camera icon and it takes a photo, then tap Upload.  The photo is immediately uploaded to CardMunch, where a team of actual people convert the card photo to data, and in a few minutes it is sent back to your phone.

Once the card comes back, it is listed on the screen with a New banner in the upper left corner.  Tap on the new record, and you will be taken to a screen with the details of the contact.  In order for any app like this to be useful, you need to be able to copy all of this contact into into your address book on your phone.  CardMunch allows you to do this rather simply.  From the Contact Detail screen, simply click the arrow and you have the option of:

  1. Forwarding the contact to an email address.  The contact will be emailed with a VCF attachment.

  2. Save to iPhone Contacts – really cool.

  3. Delete the contact.

Additionally, as CardMunch is powered by LinkedIn, there is a Connect button that when tapped immediately sends a LinkedIn invite to the contact.  If the contact has a LinkedIn account associated with the email address on their card, they will receive the request the next time they log into LinkedIn.  Additionally, if you scroll through the contact detail screen, you will see the contacts LinkedIn profile, after they have accepted your connection request.  Scroll up on the contact, and you will see a photo of the scanned business card.

I have scanned several cards already and I have not had a single issue with the data translation once the card comes back to me.  I figure CardMunch will save me about 10 minutes per business card for the input process, as well as submitting the contact request for LinkedIn.  I can also get rid of the stacks of business cards that are always on my desk.  CardMunch is free.  The only downside I see to this app right now is that it is only for the iPhone, with no Android support.

I give this app a huge thumbs up!

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