iPhone Contact Management
The days of the Rolodex are over. Your smartphone is now the best tool you have to manage your existing business contacts — and make new ones. But the iPhone has more to offer than a digital address book. It can also save and sort business cards, synchronize your contact lists among all your devices and help you network like a champ. Read on for five iPhone apps that can help you organize your contacts, make new connections and grow your professional network.
Power Contacts (Free)
Don't settle for your iPhone's stock address book. Other apps offer deeper functionality to help you manage and organize your business contacts. Power Contacts lets you export contacts to and from desktop contact management applications, including Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Mac Address Book. This app even lets you add a contact based on information included in an email signature with just a few taps. Once you've added a contact, you can send a LinkedIn invite from within the app. Users can also send out mass emails to multiple contacts, add calendar reminders to follow-up with a contact, and view previous communication histories.
A lost business card means a missed connection. CardDrop lets you create a digital business card, and gives you multiple ways to hand it out. Just open the app and "drop" your business card; the app uses your phone's GPS sensor to determine the location it was dropped. New contacts can then pick it up using the app, or just by visiting the CardDrop website and typing in the name or address of the meeting location. They can pick it up at any time, even days after your initial meeting. The app even allows you to trade business cards with people you haven't met in person.
Swapping business cards is a time-tested way to introduce yourself to a new business contact — but in the age of the smartphone, it's a little old fashioned. Paper cards are easy to lose, and inputting all that contact information into your phone's address book by hand is tedious. With apps like CardMuch for iOS, turning a paper card into a digital contact is easy. Just point your iPhone camera at a business card, and snap a photo. The app's text-recognition software will pull out the key details and update your address book automatically. CardMunch can even locate your new contact on LinkedIn so you can get a quick glimpse at his or her background, and see mutual connections.
Intro for iPhone lets you connect and network with other business users before you ever meet. Just install the app and register using your LinkedIn or Facebook account. Intro introduces you to new people in your social media networks, and lets you see which of your mutual contacts have connected. You can then review potential contacts and send a connection request with just a few taps. Intro can also notify you about professional events and social Meetups with people in your network, which can help you make new connections in your industry.
The granddaddy of networking apps, LinkedIn is essentially Facebook for business. Like Facebook, it has a fully featured iPhone app so you can network on the go. The app provides one of the best ways to manage all your business contacts, recruit new talent for your business and stay up to date with influencers in your industry. The mobile app is more than a social networking tool; it's also a way to read up on the latest industry news, join professional groups and scope out competing companies. With the mobile app, you can do all that plus review new connection invitations and update your own profile.