Create an Evernote Note from a Business Card

By David E. Y. Sarna

Premium Evernote users can use the built-in camera of an iPhone or iPad to scan a business card. Evernote uses optical character recognition to detect the name and contact information on the card and then stores this information, along with a photograph of the card, inside an Evernote note.

You can enhance this note by pulling in your contacts’ LinkedIn or Facebook profiles for cross-referencing, in addition to including data from your address book.

To scan a business card, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Camera icon.

  2. Swipe left on the camera screen.

  3. Center the business card inside the rectangle on the camera screen.

  4. Tap the screen to ensure that the card is in focus.

  5. Tap the green button to scan the business card.

    All the information is captured.

  6. If your initial scan doesn’t capture properly and you want to repeat the scan, tap the Trash icon, and repeat Steps 3 through 5.

    The earlier scan is sent to the Trash.

  7. To accept the scan, tap the check mark in the bottom-right corner.

    Evernote scans the card, focuses it, and de-skews the image. It recognizes the text pretty accurately but not perfectly, and converts it to editable text for easy editing. It also attempts to figure out, based on the content of the card, likely fields, such as Email, Fax, Phone, Company, and Title.

    Evernote also captures the card image. It can’t decipher logos, however. Still, it’s an easy edit and a huge time-saver for the bulk of the information that it gets right.

Scan dark cards on a light background and light cards on a dark background. Tilt shiny cards to minimize glare.

Optionally, you can connect your Evernote account to LinkedIn. Evernote cross-references the information read from the card you scanned with LinkedIn to make a richer note that even includes a photo of the person you’ve met. The information picked up from LinkedIn is shown with the LinkedIn logo.