I just returned from a trade show with the obligatory stack of business cards. (As an aside - when are we going to get a useable smartphone app for transferring contact info so we can end this ancient ritual).

In any case, I decided to take the Evernote Business Card functionality for a spin. I was very pleased with the results. It was not perfect, mostly due to the variation in card layout and glossy-ness, but I think I got over 80% accuracy over a stack of cards. The small 20% of editing I did was much less work than if I had to enter the contact info completely manually.

The other thing I liked about this functionality is that the default is just to add a Note in my Evernote with the contact info. There is an option to add the info to my contact list on my phone as well - but most of these people will probably not rise to that level, so just noting that I met them and keeping that contact info in Evernote if I ever need it again is perfect.

The app works very well from my Android smartphone.

To begin, you go to the Evernote app and press the New Note button and select the Camera option

From the Camera screen slide the options on the bottom until you have selected Business Card. Then place the business card you want to capture fully into the screen. (They recommend a contrasting background for optimal readability)

Once you press the green button the camera takes a photo and then transfers it to the cloud for processing. What comes back, if you are successful, is an Evernote Note with the card image and the contact details filled in. If the contact also has a LinkedIn account that information is filled in as well and you are offered an option to connect via LinkedIn.

At this point all the fields are completely editable, so if the app had some issues with interpreting the card (which it will a small percentage of the time), you can edit and correct any field. When you are satisfied with the info you press the Check Mark button. If it is a total disaster you can just send it to the Trash Can and start over.

After the Note is saved you are presented with a number of options, including saving the contact info directly to the contact manager on your device. You can stay in the app and Scan Another card (quite useful if you are going through a stack of cards), or, if you are done just exit the app.

While not perfect, I found this app to be quite useful in going through the stack of cards I came back with. Most of the info I did not want in my Contacts at this point - but having them in my Evernote is comforting.

Give it a try and see what you think.