Sometimes there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to keep track of your business contacts.
From scanning in business cards (RIP, CardMunch!) to trying to get the 12 entries you have for that one person synched into one, this is a problem your humble writer has been trying to resolve without spamming her entire address book or rolodex (that company shall remain nameless, but we all know who I’m talking about).
Here are some of the best apps to streamline your contact list.
Whoa. I downloaded the free version and within seconds I had scanned in my first card. The card I chose had an odd layout and the name of the company was sideways at the edge, so it didn’t automatically include the company name in the contact info. But it captured every single other piece of information perfectly and within seconds.
Color me impressed. It will sync your contacts to Gmail, as well, and you have the option to scan the back of the card, if necessary.
The free version allows you to scan up to 200 business cards, so you can definitely take it through its paces before you decide if you want to shell out money for it. It has a sister app, CamCard Business, that allows company-wide sharing of contacts.
Cost: $2.99 on App Store, $11.99 on Google Play
This option is really only good if you already are a hardcore Evernote user. I’m including it, however, because there are a lot of hardcore Evernote users out there. It works quickly and easily as a business card scanner—put the card on a contrasting background, open Evernote on your smartphone, and go to the photos option. Point it at the card, and whammo, it takes a photo of the card, no trimming necessary.
It’s not that great at filling in the extra info (phone number, etc.), but where Evernote excels is in the ability to then create an entire notebook around this person or company and track all your interactions. The business card scanner is available only with Evernote Premium or above.
How many times do you have that same person in your contacts? Two? Three? Twelve? And trying to merge them and find the most up-to-date one is utterly frustrating.
Enter Delete Contacts. My only regret is that it’s an app and I can’t let it loose on my Gmail contacts. In a matter of seconds, it found the duplicates in my contacts list, let me choose what I wanted to keep, and deleted the rest. Literally seconds. The longest amount of time was for me to decide what criteria to use to find the ones that should be selected for deletion.
Cost: $0.99 on App Store, not available on Google Play.
If you’re like me (heaven forbid), the reason you have a dozen different versions of that person in your email is because you have different contact information in each of those entries.
I’m not scatterbrained; you’re scatterbrained!
Anyway, Simpler Contacts allows you to merge all those contacts from all your address books on your phone. The free version gives you only 10 merges, so you can see it do its stuff and decide if you want to spring for the full version. It doesn’t just find exact matches, though. It also gives you possible duplicates—duplicate phones, duplicate emails, or similar names.
Best of all, it starts off by backing up all your contacts so in case you make a horrible, horrible mistake, you can get your contacts back.
Cost: $4.99 on App Store for full version. Free in Google Play, but Android app backup is in a separate app (also free).
Now that you’ve deleted all your duplicates, merged all your partial duplicates, and scanned in all your business cards, you still have to be able to use your address book in a way that actually helps you.
Enter Zoho Contact Manager. It’s just short of being a CRM (though it integrates with the Zoho CRM, naturally), and allows you to track tasks relating to contacts and add notes and respond to comments all within its interface. Want to add a map of that contact’s office address? No problem. Link various contacts by company and access it all even if you’re out of your network coverage area.
Cost: Free on App Store and Google Play.
Now if I could only find an app that would digitize all the addresses and phone numbers and emails I have in those old paper address books I have floating around, my life would be complete.
Feeling overwhelmed? Get more out of your to-do list by working smarter, rather than harder.