Get the Basics on Business Card Scanning

Monday, June 22, 2009
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Who has time to manually enter business card contacts into Microsoft Outlook?  Up until a few years ago, I tried to bypass this by keeping an old cardboard box at my desk that I filled with cards and used as the “database” for all my contacts.  Efficient?  No.  But it was better than spending my time manually entering thousands of contacts into Outlook.

Since then, products have come to market that eliminate the need to manually enter data into a CRM.  These products are great, but they can only scan business cards.  So your cardboard box is essentially replaced with a business card-only scanner.

With ScanSnap, you can scan your business cards and full size documents, and import your contacts directly into a contact management software or CRM solution.  ScanSnap S1500 comes with the latest version of CardMinder business card software, the new Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard, ABBYY FineReader for PC, ScanSnap Organizer software, and convenient “Scan to” functions.

Below is a basic tutorial on the CardMinder functions and how to use them for export to your CRM.

STEP 1: Scan a business card with ScanSnap and the Quick Menu opens.  Choose “Scan to CardMinder.”

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Once CardMinder is launched, your scanned business cards are analyzed and the data extraction process begins.  Your card now resides in the Inbox under Folder List.

CardMinder captures both sides of the card in a single pass and shows the handwritten notes on the back.  It also automatically extracts information from the front of the business card, populates the data fields and is ready to be exported.

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STEP 2: Choose which fields to automatically capture.  Under the Application button, click on “Options,” then “Itemized Records.”  Then choose which data fields to add to CardMinder.  Note: these fields will be sent into your CRM.

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STEP 3: Now that the data fields are set, you can export the card data.  Click on the “Application” button to choose from the following export options: Excel, Windows Mail, Microsoft Outlook, ACT!, or GoldMine.  Any will import the captured data fields (not the card image) as a new contact in your CRM.  The card image and data will reside in CardMinder where it can be viewed later.

If your CRM is not listed, export to Excel to create a .csv file and import that into your CRM.

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Your card (and card image) now resides in the Exported folder under Folder List.

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Now that you can more efficiently manage your business contacts with ScanSnap and CardMinder, get rid of that cardboard box.  Or, at least, move it out of your office and into the basement.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post with a more advanced CardMinder tutorial.

Derek Flower, Senior Account Manager
Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc.

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