Digitize and organize your business cards & contacts with Evernote & Shoeboxed

and never leave work (or your job) without them…..

My friend was fired from her employment last week. After 18 years, severance package in hand, she is skipping all the way to Hong Kong to reflect on her life:). Sensing her imminent dismissal, she printed all her 800 + contacts in Outlook. When she realized she had to manually re-enter all of her contacts to a new system, she gave up. Don’t let that happen to you. From now on, when you get a new business card, here is an easy 1-2-3 system to move your contact management to Evernote via Shoeboxed.

Step 1: Scan your business cards with Shoeboxed.com using your iPhone/iPad

I created my workflow system in Evernote with the help of Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed is an online service which helps digitize bills, receipts for your accounting and tax system. However, they have a free service to digitize business cards. You can download the app on your iPad/iPhone for free. All you do is take a picture of your business card and then upload it for scanning and human review. You get a digitized version of the business card along with a photo of the card the very next day via email.

Step 2: Get Evernote

If you don’t have Evernote, you don’t have an online anchor system (video). Remember when you first discovered Google? No one does. It just entered our lives, seemlessly. It is the same for Evernote. All my research, my ideas, my marketing materials, pictures of favorites wines, recipes, are all there. But the power feature is my contact management system. When I moved contact management to my Mac, the synchronization between my computer and my iPhone went crazy.  I got stuck with 3 or 4 versions of duplicate contacts. I refuse to move my contacts to Gmail because Google knows too much about me. Moreover, being a lawyer, I still have major issues about privacy and Google. I needed a “safe haven” for my contacts where I can easily upload, access, email and call. Evernote is the easiest, most powerful online contact management system out there.

Step 3: Create a Contact notebook in Evernote

All your contacts will be located in this easy file in Evernote. When Shoeboxed emails you your digitized card, upload it in your Evernote’s contact notebook. From there, search keywords (maybe name, business, context) in Evernote to access your contact. Done. Easy.

Watch the workflow in this video below:



Freed from the cage: Future of Firms is without Real Estate

This morning, Chantal Hébert, Canada’s political journalist and Radio Canada’s, René Homier-Roy lamented on how Members of Parliament looked a lot smarter prior to their elections. Political parties have all embarked on an unwavering central control of the message by the chosen few, leaving the elected foot soliders gutted of their own intelligence and initiative. With that, Homier-Roy concluded with “those birds are much better looking when freed from the cage” (sic).

Well last March, I was released from that “cage”. I was laid off. My former employer, Big Corporation, was struggling with “head counts” and “high salaries” and for many of us, it was our turn to take the hit. Surprisingly, I felt the paradoxal feelings of anxiousness and creativity at the prospect of redesigning my career and my new firm. I am part of this growing movement of uncategorized professionals, lawyers, executives, engineers, doctors, nurses, who sense they are better looking when freed from the firm. And may the newly minted professionals may never see the cage because of the recession.

The reality is we are going to have to sell our expertise differently. Life is better when we work from where we play. Or work from where we live.

This blog is really about two (2) things: First, Human Connections. Better connections, better perspectives. You can’t get that from a desk. You certainly can’t rely on social media alone. Second, Independence. I will become self reliant and the architect of my connected, wired firm. A firm without real estate. A firm where I can see the mountains in the winter and the sea in the summer.

So, join me as I discover what I need to reach both goals of creating connected independence with the Firm of the Future. I will share what I learn on how to wire freedom, how to wire the firm. I hope you will join me to help create a movement of professionals who know they work better from where they play. Please feel free to contribute because like you, I am not an expert. But I plan on being free and connected real soon.