You meet people at a meeting or conference and exchange business cards. And what do you do with those business cards? You put them in a pile with all the other business cards you have collected and promptly forget about them, right? Or worse, they are misplaced and what could have been a valuable connection is never made.

But there is a solution to that pile of business cards waiting to be processed. It’s called CardMunch, and it eats your business cards in no time.

Here’s how it works:

  • Take a picture of a business card and upload it.
  • People at CardMunch will input the data from that paper business card into an electronic one, including any LinkedIn profile information.
  • Then connect via LinkedIn, sync the contact info with your address book or send your new contact an email straight away.

Yes, you read that right: Real people will process your business cards. No OCR (optical character recognition) tools that don’t recognize designs or anything unusual. I have used traditional scanners in the past, and I must say that CardMunch does a superior job — because it’s people doing that job.

One of disadvantage to CardMunch is that it will send only standard invitations to people you want to contact. That goes against all networking rules, but that is the limitation of the service at this point. Hopefully they will upgrade that feature soon. The consequence is that I don’t use it to connect with others on LinkedIn.

Did I mention that CardMunch is free? So, what are you waiting for? Download the app and give it a try. It will save you time and get you connected faster than ever.

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Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the best-sellers “Let’s Connect!” and “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and a well-known international networking and referrals speaker. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com/.