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Address book and business cards



It would be nice to have an integrated system with more functionalities for contacts management:

  • Create an address book
  • Download from and sync with Google Contacts, Outlook, ...
  • Integrate the Work Chat with the address book
  • Move the current business card note format to a more advanced contact note
  • Contact notes should have functionalities such as:
    • Create contact from business card scan (front and back sides)
    • Add notes to contacts: This could be done automatically with a custom tagging system
    • Allow different languages for each contact: for example, English and Chinese profiles for the same contact
    • Link to and grab info from social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Mendeley, ResearchGate, Google+, ...
    • Automatic lookup of information from social medias
    • Full contact information capabilities: multiple email addresses, phone numbers, webpages, ...
    • Publication list: scientific articles, blogs, tweets,

This would allow to move to more complex capabilities, such as better collaborative project management, summary of all interactions with contacts, tagging of people on pictures, ...

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I don't think Evernote has any ambitions to become YACM (yet another contact manager).  For this,  as with spreadsheets . mindmaps and task management,  I use specialised third-party software.

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On 27/08/2016 at 7:49 PM, gazumped said:

I don't think Evernote has any ambitions to become YACM (yet another contact manager).  For this,  as with spreadsheets . mindmaps and task management,  I use specialised third-party software.

Any recommendations on a contact manager that can do the things listed in my post?

Evernote has already included some functionalities of a contact manager (business card scanning, special contact note format, automatic lookup from LinkedIn, ...). And many people already use it for contact management, collaborations, task management, ... They just need to use some painful tricks to do what they need.

There is a clear added value of creating a contact management system in Evernote. Evernote's core business is taking notes. Adding the contacts layer would create a huge number of new functionalities, as explained in my original post. Most of what we do involves other people, so creating a profile filtering system is very natural. Evernote is not so far from including these functionalities, with huge benefits. They just need to improve the current format of business cards notes to make them more flexible and powerful.

This is not a specialized feature, as all users all have an address book. They should keep the format flexible, so that external apps can include more specialized data to a person.

On 28/08/2016 at 0:26 AM, Sayre Ambrosio said:

I don't use Salesforce but I bet a lot of the wanted features might be in there and they have an integration with EN.

SalesForce may be useful for large businesses, but looks completely useless for a simple user:


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  • Level 5*

The difficulty with contact managers is - like SalesForce - they either come with all the bells and whistles and are far too complicated for small scale use,  or they're missing one or another element that you consider essential to your workflow.  For third party software I'd suggest a web search - there are online and installed options,  paid for and free,  and more and less granularity and automation in the statistics and activities.

You could,  depending on your requirements,  look at apps like IFTTTFilterize and Zapier (and others) to cook up your own processes to manage your notes.

Evernote (IMHO) has two issues.  1) adding a lot of choices to the package will bloat menus and codebase,  and 2) whatever they build in will either be too complex for most users,  or not enough.  There's far too much risk and work involved in adding the feature,  and not enough guaranteed return.  They far prefer to be an all-purpose storage facility and allow users to manipulate their data however they see fit.


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SalesForce is not a contact manager: it is a professional tool for CRM (Customer Relationship Management). A contact manager is something everybody uses, not a CRM.

I agree that Evernote needs to remain an all-purpose tool. I do not expect them to implement CRM features. This is exactly my point: contacts are part of everyone's workflow, so it is still something useful for everyone, and that everyone is free to use as he wants.

  • Evernote has positioned itself has an entry point for contact management with the business card reader.
  • They have also created a specific note format for business card, so they have already created the storage format for contacts.
  • They have connected it to LinkedIn already, making it a very powerful business card reader, pulling information from an online profile to complete the business card data.
  • The link to the LinkedIn profile is already included in the contact information, so they have already implemented the first social media information in the contact profile.
  • They have also the ability to connect to Google and import the basic contacts information. So they already know how to pull information from a rich contacts database.
  • The already have sharing capabilities to other social media or emails.

So in my opinion there is no discussion whether Evernote should become a Contact Manager: they already are.

The point now is simply that they need to do it properly. They have created a specific format to store the contact information, but in the current format, it is very painful to use. They should follow the basic standards of contact management to structure properly the data. I have tried to use Zapier to pull business cards to Google Contacts as you suggest. It is completely ridiculous: all the data ends up in the comments section (maybe I did something wrong?). So I better use another tools to read my business cards, and store the information in my contacts manager without much editing.

There might be some tricky ways to manage exporting contact from Evernote to Google Contacts. But this forum is about Product Feedback. If Evernote wants to integrate the business card reader in the all-purpose tool they want to be, they must implement it properly. Adding this capability is not adding more complexity to the product or preventing it from being multi-purpose, but exactly the opposite.

If the data entering Evernote through the business card reader is not formatted properly, it is not very interesting. It does not make sense to use another tool to fix what Evernote should have done properly from the beginning. It is fine to use other tools to extract information from Evernote. But the prerequisite is that the information is properly structured from the beginning.

On top of this very basic formatting issue they need to fix, I still believe that connecting notes to people is really the next development step, as it is still multi-purpose, and extremely powerful. There is no other software that could compete for such a combination of tools. Evernote have to compete with Microsoft OneNote, with a completely integrated suite of softwares, going from business card reading to powerful text editor, presentations, emails, ... The advantage of Evernote, is that they provide a minimal integrated powerful solution. I don't think it is possible at the moment in OneNote to link notes to people.

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Some more information from Evernote to support my statements:

  • "Create an Evernote notebook called ‘Contacts’ or ‘Business cards’ and get in the habit of filing scanned business cards there. Coupled with Evernote’s ability to search images for text, recalling any particular business card is a breeze, even if you only remember someone’s company or first name."
  • "Organize

    1. Once you’ve captured a business card, use Evernote as you normally would.
    2. Record moments from meetings and attach important documents.
    3. Forward strategic emails from your new contact into a related notebook.
    4. The business card in Evernote becomes a key visual cue for all the experiences following the handshake. The context behind meetings will remain in Evernote, forever."

  • "if you connect the app to LinkedIn and Facebook, we’ll build rich profiles automatically"

  • They have already clearly understood the added value of adding notes to contacts:
    "Once you’ve collected information about your leads and contacts, you can then connect any relevant Evernote notes to a Salesforce record by linking them together with a single click."
    The problem is that they have given away the strength of their software to another specialized company. So this amazing tool is available only for professional salespeople.
    It is a good entry strategy to develop the feature, but in the long term they should keep in their strong capabilities, not lock them away in expensive third party.
    The only thing they need to do now is to create contact profiles inside Evernote, based on the business cards, and build in the notes-contact linking feature.
    The partnership with Salesforce will come out even stronger: you simply import contacts from Evernote; all the linking work is already done by Evernote, where it should have stayed in the first place. No need to go back and forth between Evernote and Salesforce: manage your notes and link them properly in Evenote, and do your CRM in Salesforce. And Evernote recovers its multi-purpose ability, so that this capability of importing linked notes-contacts is available to all other people and software, who have different need than Salesforce.

Just have a look at the huge number of people requesting this very basic feature of exporting business cards to csv:


Someone has even already developed the tool to do that...

Please Evernote, listen to your users!



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Arrgh.  Evernote business card scanner is so nearly brilliant.

I've just scanned in a bunch of cards using Android Evernote Premium.  I recently updated my phone so my first mistake was not setting the default business card notebook to 'business cards', which I think it was by default previously.  Anyway now I've done that now so at least the cards will be saved in the right place.

I'm having a weird experience - when I click on a business card note (on Mac Desktop) the image of the business card disappears.  Then sometimes the contact info is shown, sometimes its not.  It seems like clicking on the business card note automatically updates it and loses the image of the scanned business card.  What is going on?  Sadly clickly on history doesn't bring it back...

Aside from that and relating the original post Evernote just need to see a typical workflow on scanning business cards.  What I want to do is scan a bunch of cards from a conference/meeting, store contact info in Exchange (with note saying what meeting it was I met the person), link on linkedin to them.  All this is possible but not in a nice workflow.  You have to scan, add note of what the event was (to each card), save business card to Evernote, then save it to Exchange, then you're returned to the same menu for that card and have to remember whether you've done the steps above (ticks on a menu would be nice).  Oh and you don't seem able to linkin now after scanning.  You have to do this after you finished scanning...  I'm just saying it could be a whole lot slicker...

And better if it didn't lose the information after uploading (it was there in the web evernote but got then got lost after clicking on the note in the Mac Desktop...)

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As Evernote already has a Business Card format, and their scaning is great, why not add a Trigger to your Zapier integration? 

I'm getting a little frustrated having to buy a collection of premium, yearly, expensive plans for all these integration pieces.

Evernote, please revisit your Zapier ZAP and add a trigger that a Business Card record was created so we can add these records to our workflows.

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