bulk scanning business cards
August 4, 2018 5:33 PM   Subscribe

I have a lot of business cards cluttering up my life. And I live in a tiny apartment. Does anyone know of a machine/device that I can use to rapidly scan through bulk amounts of cards? ( )
posted by earthwalker7 to Technology (10 answers total)
Do you specifically want to have scans of these? I often take pictures of paper that I want to chuck. You could just take pictures of them laid out in alphabetical order or whatever.

If there’s something I want to capture from a business card, I take a picture of the one card and add it to their contact info in my phone.

But mostly I just chuck this kind of stuff because most people can be found online.
posted by stellathon at 5:55 PM on August 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

A Fujitsu ScanSnap would make quick work of this.
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:08 PM on August 4, 2018

If you have a smartphone, there will be many apps made for this.
posted by soelo at 8:53 PM on August 4, 2018

My office has a Penpower WorldCardColor Color Business Card Scanner. I scans cards (even double-sided cards) pretty quickly and with good accuracy into a database, and all card images are also saved for each individual record.

You could easily scan hundreds of business cards that way, into a searchable database (with backup images if the OCR didn't work 100%). It's a bit pricey if you think it will only happen once. But if you anticipate a LOT of new cards in the future, it might be worth it.
posted by gemmy at 9:50 PM on August 4, 2018

I just scanned 30 years worth of saved cards. I used a flatbed scanner and IRIS ocr software.
I cut 1/8 inch strips from a file folder and taped them to the glass as guide. 10 cards at a time could fit. The software let me define the 10 areas of the cards, so each became a seperate page in the pdf. It went pretty fast. For double sided cards I just did a second scan and added it before exporting the final pdf.
posted by Sophont at 11:57 PM on August 4, 2018

Actually these solutions won't work. I have a LOT of cards - hundreds. I don't want to feed each one into the PenPower (which I also own). The flatbed would take a while, and smartphone is too slow. Fujitsu would work, but I don't want to buy a scanner just for this one time purpose. Anything else?
posted by earthwalker7 at 1:06 AM on August 5, 2018

Well, if you own the PenPower but perhaps don’t have the time to scan all your cards perhaps you can pay a local student/teenage kid of a friend etc to do it for you? I did something similar to this once for a local small business. Such a boring job but the extra pocket money was great.
posted by ozgirlabroad at 1:16 AM on August 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Buy the Fujitsu, do what you need to do, then sell it. They hold their value quite well.
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:03 AM on August 5, 2018

So it boils down to you having the technology to do it yourself but you don't want to? If you are not up to scanning your cards yourself, there are virtual assistants that will do it for you.
posted by gemmy at 8:58 AM on August 5, 2018

is there a mini version of the Fujitsu?
posted by earthwalker7 at 1:30 AM on August 8, 2018

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