I’m not the world’s greatest networker. I love hearing people’s stories and asking about their work, but I habitually forget to carry business cards and I’m not very good at explaining what I do. I do, however, accept business cards when they’re given to me. In the past, I’ve wondered if that was a futile activity, but I’ve discovered an app that promises to make collecting cards more useful.
A couple years ago, I started using Evernote to store my business cards . This, along with setting a few guidelines for myself about when to take a card and how to follow up, improved my networking efforts. However, photos of business cards in Evernote or only slightly more useful than business cards sitting in the bottom of my carry-on luggage.
Evernote Hello lets you scan a business card, and then it converts the info into a contact file that can be stored in Evernote and on your phone. You can take the connection a step further by sending a LinkedIn invitation or a Facebook friend request. The app is free and available for the iPhone and Android devices.
I’m returning from a business trip today. This morning, I quickly scanned in the cards I’d collected over the last few days and sent out LinkedIn invitations where appropriate. The app added the date and location of where my contacts were made, and provided a field for me to include notes (like the fact that the tourism professional also studied archeology in school). It took me about one minute per card.
I’m happy with this app and hoping it will help me improve my networking.
What’s your favorite networking tip?