These days, no one needs a Rolodex. Your smartphone is a much better tool for managing your existing business contacts — and making new ones. But an Android phone has more to offer than a basic digital address book. It can also save and sort business cards, synchronize your contacts among all your devices and help you network like a pro. Read on for five Android apps that can help you organize your contacts, make new connections and grow your professional network.
For managing your business connections, the Contacts+app provides a big step up from the stock Android app. This free app combines a feature-packed address book with social media updates for LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. That means that when viewing a contact in Contacts+, you can see that person's up-to-date information and any recent activity on social networks at a glance. And it includes extra functionality such as a built-in dialer and SMS app so you can place a call or fire off a message without leaving the app. Another useful feature lets you sort contacts by most contacted or by "starred," which gives you quick access to the profiles you want to view, even for people you don't contact often.
Introfor Android is a unique social media app that lets you connect and network with other business users before you ever meet them. To get started, install the app and register using your LinkedIn or Facebook account. Intro can sort through your extended social media network to find new potential contacts, and it lets you see which of your mutual contacts have connected. If you're interested in linking to someone, you can send a request with just a few taps. The Intro app can also notify you about professional events, social meet-ups, and other upcoming networking opportunities.
Forget about fussing with stacks of paper business cards. The CamCardAndroid app makes it easy to digitize business cards so you can find who you're looking for in a hurry. Just point your smartphone camera at a card and snap a photo. The app's text-recognition software will pull out the key details and update your address book automatically. Be aware that you might have to correct some of the entries, since even the best transcription software isn't perfect. Once you're done, you can pitch the paper cards without worry.
The best thing about LinkedInis its ubiquity; you'll be hard-pressed to find a professional who's not already on the professional network. Think of it like Facebook for business. And as with Facebook, LinkedIn has a fully featured Android app so you can network on the go. That's why the app is such a good tool for managing your business contacts, recruiting new talent for your business and staying up to date with influencers in your industry. The mobile app is more than a social networking tool; it also helps you 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.
Evernotefor Android isn't just a great way to take and manage notes on the go. The app now works together with LinkedIn to bridge the gap between paper business cards and social media profiles. When you receive a business card from a connection or client, you can launch the Evernote app and snap a photo of the card using your smartphone's camera. Evernote can then use text-recognition software to pull names and contact information from the card, and the app automatically adds that information to your digital address book. That's where LinkedIn comes in: Once you've scanned a business card, Evernote will display information pulled straight from the individual's LinkedInprofile, so you can see entries like education or work history at a glance.