The Hello Bar is a simple web toolbar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Cam Card – Work magic on your business cards

Cam Card – Work magic on your business cards

Being on the road, visiting customers, attending all kinds of different events and trade shows there is alot of paper piling up in my suitcase. Be it receipts or business cards, but I have found a solution that works really well for business cards (got a suggestion for the receipts? Let me know!) and that is an iPhone/iPad/Android app called CamCard.

What CamCard does is that it allows you to take a picture of a business card which it then analyzes with some kind of super duper magic algorithm, which I think they refer to as OCR. Basically what that means is that it extracts the information from the business card such as name, email, website and organization and adds it to a card holder without you having to type a single letter on the tiny smart phone on-screen keyboard.

20131223-123312.jpg

CamCards card roll where the photographed business cards are stored.

This has for me proven to be a very powerful tool when returning from trade shows where I usually have a lot of business cards piled up in my inner pocket. What I have seen in the past with many of my colleagues is that there is a tendency to stash these cards in a drawer, forgetting about them and then desperately searching for that person from that company that I met at that trade show, not a good way to go about it if you ask me. Using CamCards built in batch mode you can easily snap photos of 20 business cards in just minutes and then leave the app to its own devices analyzing the information and adding it to the card roll. Each card you have scanned is stored in the card roll with the original picture on top of the extracted information, should you need to go back and make corrections or verifications (which is actually a very user friendly procedure).

You can tell CamCard to automatically sync the information in the card roll to your phone contacts. What that means for me is that as soon as I have scanned a card it is added to my local phone book. That phone book is then synced to my Google Apps contacts which is automatically is synced to my other devices such as an iPad or computer, it’s sync-heaven and I love it! :)

There are some small but important extra features packed into CamCard such as an automatic search for profiles on LinkedIn so you can easily add contacts right away. You can also set which languages that CamCard should default to when scanning cards, to increase accuracy and formatting. In my case I have it set to English, Swedish and Danish which are the languages in which I receive most of my cards.

20131223-123554.jpg

Select which languages you would like to default to when scanning your cards.

I won’t say that I have tried them all, but I have tried many card scanners in my days and this is by far the one that I feel is the most accurate and user friendly, the batch scanning and correction of scanned info is very efficient and easy to use. So, go get it! There’s a free version available that has some limitations and ads so you can try it out, but hey it’s Christmas, why not give yourself or a colleague a useful present it will set you back about $2.99 as it is on a time limited 60% sale right now!

This review is for the iPhone version, but it is also available for the iPad, Android and more (check their website).

CamCard for iPhone on iTunes
CamCard website

read more

Google Analytics iPhone app – Analytics Pro vs Quicklytics

Google Analytics iPhone app – Analytics Pro vs Quicklytics

Google Analytics is extremely comprehensive and full of detailed information about who and what might be visiting your website. However it is not very end user friendly and it is easy to get lost in the web based user interface. Accessing your stats on the go is a quicker and more convenient way of viewing these stats and while no replacement for the web based interface it comes pretty darn close with apps such as Analytics Pro that also supports exporting and printing. Maybe it is a bit misleading having the VS in the title since I actually use both of these apps equally, a little bit depending on how much time I have on my hands and how much info I want to access. Read on for a comparison of these two apps for the iPhone.

read more

Google´s lack of personal support and why I’m still with them

Google Apps logoIt’s no secret that Google´s support is lacking in many aspects. Their customer relations rely heavily on their customers helping themselves and eachother. They have an extensive database filled to the brim with help articles and guides and that is all good, but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

If you have been with me for a while you know that I do love many of the products that Google put online and I rely on some of them every day. I have even taken it a bit further so that I am not only helping myself, I actually help and consult other people on how to use cloud and SaaS to help them make their daily chores less tedious and more effective.  I do this through my company NETRiK.se (shameless self promotion I know) and some external consultants here in Sweden. My focus lies on smaller companies and entrepreneurs, ranging from 1-10 employees.

99% of the time they end up in one of Googles own huge support databases filled with comments from 50 other frustrated users with the same problems…

I bump into issues with Google products at the very least on a monthly basis, with some of them falling into the small easily resolved category and with others

read more

Google sharing and gmail auto-complete not working

Also available in this thread on Quora.

As the subject says sometimes it feels like the auto-complete feature in Google Docs and/or Gmail doesn’t really work and at times it can feel very random.

Google Apps logoI have encountered this problem far too many times and I have managed to narrow down my issues with non working auto-complete to a problem with running several Google Apps domains (and most likely with a second regular (non-apps) gmail account aswell). Here’s the skinny:

read more

The search for the best CRM / Project Management software (Why we chose Insightly)

The search for the best CRM / Project Management software (Why we chose Insightly)

Read the first post in this series called “Why we didn’t choose Project Place”

Read the second post in this series called “Why we didn’t choose Manymoon”

Insightly logo

If you’ve read the previous articles in this series you know that Project Place and Manymoon have been tried and turned down. The exciting finale is upon us and I will now tell you why we finally chose the Google Apps application Insightly to handle our opportunities, projects, customers and much more.

read more

The search for the best CRM / Project Management software (Why we didn’t choose Manymoon)

Continuing from part 1 “Why we didn’t choose project place”.

Manymoon logo

After scrapping Project Place I swiftly moved on to Manymoon. A cloud based project manager with alot of neat integration features with Google Apps making it possible to add documents from your Google Docs to your Manymoon projects and tasks. You can also add your tasks as events to Google Calendar.

I had visited Manymoon a couple of years ago before trying out Project Place and I must say that after having tried the later I liked Manymoon more. Where Project Place felt a bit bloated and slow, Manymoon was a bit more fluent plus it had more possibilities and more ambitions when it came to Google Docs integration.

The first issues I bumped into was when digging in to the user interface a bit more and experiencing the whole work process, it felt cluttered and unorganized. I had no issues in dealing with this, since having experience with many different types of software you learn to work around issues and ignore them if you know that the developers are not prioritizing this.

But keep in mind that I have colleagues that I have to introduce to this software and I have a very limited time to do so. They are used to the whole Microsoft Outlook look (I said look twice! uh, thrice) and they know how that works, they are comfortable in that environment. In this case for them, the change was bad.

Manymoon screentshot GUI

I tried on several occasions to introduce Manymoon, but in the end there were just too many options; too much to do; too many buttons and too many text links combined with these buttons. Manymoon seem to have an aspiration to introduce social media like (read Facebook) features and interaction into their application. Even though I really like that aspect, in their case it hurts them more than it helps them. It contributes to the clutter and hurts the useful CRM-side of the application.

There was also some confusion going on with the different levels when entering projects where the menu changes, confusing the user with new layouts and buttons and no obvious way back to the main menu. We could not continue with Manymoon.

My complaints aside Manymoon is very popular and has recieved good ratings on the Google Apps Marketplace, so give it a spin if you wish, perhaps you’ll befriend the interface more than we did. Also worth a mention is that Manymoon has just been aquired by Salesforce.com which might mean that they put more energy (read money and time) into improving their user interface. A big step for them nonetheless and I congratulate them on the success!

Coming up is my conclusion in the search for the best CRM / Project Manager for me and my colleagues.

Read the final post in the series called “Why we chose insightly”

read more