If you have trouble keeping track of people you meet at conferences and other professional networking events, Evernote has the app for you. On Thursday, Evernote introduced the new version of its Hello iPhone app to help file information about the people you meet in a professional context.
I go to a lot of conferences and meet a lot of people, and I'm lousy at keeping track of their contact information. Back in the 20th century, if I had a vague memory of meeting this guy at a conference this one time, I would dig through stacks and stacks of business cards. Here in the 21st century… well, until recently, I still had those stacks and stacks of business cards.
Recently, I started snapping photos of new cards and saving those photos to Evernote. Evernote scans images for text and recognizes the text in those images, so if you search for a name in Evernote, and you have an image of that person's business card, Evernote will call up that image. That works well -- when I remember to snap a picture of the business card.
The new version of Evernote Hello, available free for the iPhone in the App Store, adds a few new ways to get those contacts into your digital record:
Snap a picture of a business card. Evernote doesn't just save the image; it also saves the name and contact information as text. And it imports profile information from LinkedIn and Facebook, if you've given Hello permission to access those services.
I tried this on a few business cards I had piled up in front of my computer keyboard from the last couple of conferences I attended. It worked great.
This method is available only to paid Evernote subscribers. A subscription is $5 per month or $45 per year. It's worth it.
Just enter the person's email address. Type it into Hello, and the app searches LinkedIn and Facebook for the person. That didn't work when I tried it. Perhaps the people didn't have their email addresses associated with their LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and publicly searchable.
You can also ask the people you meet to type in their contact information, which is the only way previous versions of Evernote Hello had of collecting information. I never liked that -- it seemed rude to hand other people your iPhone and ask them to type their information. Plus, it got other people's icky DNA all over your phone.
Use Hello Connect. If both you and the people you want to meet are using Evernote Hello, you can just activate the app simultaneously and press a button. The iPhones emit a tone. The Hello apps hear the tone and automatically collect contact information from each other. That's cool. I'm looking forward to trying it out.
Using any of these methods, Evernote Hello connects pictures of the people you meet with their profiles, either by pulling in those pictures from Facebook or LinkedIn (this is my Facebook profile pic -- if Evernote Hello gets very popular, I might need to change that) or by using a photo you snap on the spot. You can add notes to Evernote Hello about when and where you met your contacts.
All in all, Evernote Hello looks like a great upgrade. With the help of this app, if I've met you before, there's some chance I'll remember you the next time we meet.
— Mitch Wagner , Editor in Chief, Internet Evolution