How using Evernote and If This Then That can help you automate your contact management

What If: You could take a picture of a business card 
Then: automatically add that contact information to your phone and send them an invitation to connect on LinkedIn?

The purpose of this article:

Is to show you that it is possible to take a picture of a business card and have a series of automated events take place that will invite the person whose business card you just scanned, to connect on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: I love Evernote!

If you follow my blog then you know I am a premium Evernote user and I have written articles in the past about how I use Evernote to improve both my professional and personal workflows.

I do not work for Evernote, and I do not receive compensation for writing these articles. I really just think it is a great app and I think it is something that can make your life better so now you know.

Optimize your networking

Once you set up this Evernote/IFTTT networking workflow, you can take a picture of a business card and have it sync the contact information to your phone and then automatically send them an invite to connect on LinkedIn.

If you are a sales professional or do a lot of networking, this is something you could be using every day to increase your overall networking efficiency.

There are other solutions to scanning business cards and keeping your contacts and sales leads organized but for the consultant or small business owner, it would be difficult to get this kind of customized workflow and automate the process for less than $50 per user per year.

Take a picture of a business card with #Evernote to connect on #LinkedIn

Highlight any text in this article to tweet it directly.

What you need to get started

  • Evernote Premium: You can use the business card scanning functionality with the standard version of Evernote but I think they limit the number of business cards you can scan unless you upgrade the premium account. You can read more about why I upgraded to Evernote Premium or just take my word that Evernote is worth the money for this feature alone.
  • Smart Phone**: I use an iPhone so I am not sure if this works on Android devices but I know that Evernote, IFTTT and LinkedIn are all available on Android so I do not see why these instructions wouldn’t work across other platforms as well. Don’t hold me to that though.

* IFTTT is optional and only necessary if you would like to use step two of this tutorial. 

** The instructions in this article are based on the iPhone interface so please excuse any differences that might arise on other smart phone interfaces.

Step #1. Evernote Settings – Save Scanned Business Card Information to Contacts

Reminder: The business card scanning function is an Evernote premium feature. This walk-through assumes that you are using Evernote Premium.

Settings > General > Camera > Business Card > Save Contact Info To Contacts

A: On the mobile version of your Evernote app go to the Settings tab.

B: From your Settings screen, click on the General tab.

C: Click the Camera tab from the General Screen.

D: On the Camera screen click on the Business Card tab.


E: From the Business Card Screen, select Save Contact Info To Contacts.”


(F) Optional – Connect Evernote Directly To LinkedIn

I got really excited when I found out that Evernote allows you to connect your account directly to LinkedIn. This means that when you take a picture (scan) a business card, it will try to reach out and find the person on LinkedIn and verify that all of the information is up to date and accurate and it even gives you the option to connect right from inside Evernote.

However, I was looking for complete automation. I literally wanted to take the picture and be done. It would have been easy enough to stop here but why not introduce you to a web app that you should be using anyway. Enter “IFTTT.”

How to scan a business card with Evernote.

*** You can stop here if you want – You can connect with someone from directly inside the Evernote App. You can go into the contact note and view or connect with the contacts profile directly from the contact note but again, this requires an extra step. Since I only scan the business cards of people that I want to connect with, I wanted a solution that would literally let me scan the card and automatically have an invite to connect be sent to the user. It is up to you how to use the workflow but either way is probably better than what you are using now. If you want to, you can stop here and everything should work fine but if you want to take it one step further go ahead and keep reading. ***

Start getting rid of those ugly stacks of business cards you have sitting on your desk. #YourWelcome

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What is IFTTT

From the IFTTT website: 

IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement:


IFTTT is pronounced like “gift” without the “g.”

In other words… IFTTT lets you connect multiple apps (online software) to each other through their custom recipes, so that when something happens on one channel (Trigger), it causes something else to happen (Action) on another channel.

It is a very interesting and diverse productivity tool and definitely something worth taking some time to learn more about.

You can use it to connect with more than 100 of your favorite apps and they are always adding more so go ahead and get creative. Take a look at some cool recipes here and learn more about using IFTTT to connect your favorite apps.

Step #2 – How To Use IFTTT

You can use IFTTT from a computer as well as through the mobile app but we need this to connect with your phone contacts, so for this example I will once again use images from the IFTTT iPhone interface.

Once you have the IFTTT application installed on your phone, log into the app and create a recipe that directly invites every new contact to connect on LinkedIn.

Create The Recipe

Creating a recipe is easy. In the IFTTT app, just (A) click the little recipe bowl in the top right corner and then (B) on the plus sign as your IFTTT feed slides to the left. Once you get to the next screen, (C) click on the plus sign to start a new recipe. Create-a-new-IFTTT-recipe-connect-to-Evernote

Select A Trigger

Every time you create a new recipe you will need to set the initial trigger. For this example we are going to have IFTTT invite someone to connect on LinkedIn every time (A) a new contact is added to our phone. If this is the first time that you are IFTTT access to your contacts, then you will need to (B) authorize access to the app.

*IFTTT is a stand alone application so it interfaces easily with other apps and allows you to connect to all of your different channels with a single click in most instances.

Connect LinkedIn

Once you have connected your contacts app with IFTTT then you can (A) tell it what you want it to do whenever the initial channel is triggered. For this example we are going to find the the LinkedIn channel and (B) select the option to invite someone to connect every time a new contact is added.

Once you click the finish button the recipe will activate but don’t worry, you can test it, edit it and pause it at any time from right inside the mobile app.


Happy NetworKING

You can set the app to send you notifications when the recipe is triggered or not, totally up to you but either way, once this workflow is set up it will invite all of your new contacts to connect on LinkedIn.

Since the first step was to have Evernote save your scanned business cards into your phone contacts these two apps will now work in sequence to invite all of your business card contacts to connect on LinkedIn.

Another great tip: is to add personalized notes for each contact within the contact note itself. You can set up a format for doing this and just keep a running timeline on all of your interactions with the people that matter. So many people spend a lot of money on CRM systems but this is a solution for any consultant or even small business for that matter, but that is for another article. Feel free to share your favorite Evernote hacks in the comments below.

Do you use Evernote, IFTTT or any other software to help your networking efforts? Let me know about it or share your favorite IFTTT recipes in the comments below. 

Your Life is a lie master

A Brief Disclaimer:

I am in no way affiliated with Evernote however, I just felt strong enough about it to tell you that:

“Evernote might just be the one app you didn’t know you couldn’t live without!”.

Enough Ass Kissing; Let’s Get To It.

Since May 2005, I have been journaling, writing, typing and documenting my thoughts, life-experiences and ideas. I used to actually write in physical journals but after I got my iPad I decided to make the switch to digital note taking. I was looking to find the best note taking app on the market. Preferably a free one.

I instantly fell in love with the simplicity of Evernote. Not just to take notes, but to actually use them in a productive manner. You see… I still have stacks of journals with some of my deepest, darkest thoughts sitting inside of them. Full from cover-to-cover with troves of beautiful words and thoughts never to be explored again. Unless of course, I decide to thumb through them but we live in a digital world and who wants to deal with paper anymore.

“I am actully using Evernote to digitize all of my old notes. By using the scanning feature in Evernote I can take pictures of my handwritten notes and convert them to searchable documents inside of Evernote”. I’ll cover that in a future article – Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it.

Evernote Helps Me Remember Everything

I know that’s a play on their tagline but it just so happens to be true. I rarely ever went any further back than a week or two in order to review notes, business concepts, client interactions or anything else I wrote down daily in any of those journals over the years. I would write in the book and each new page would separate me from the last by as many new words as I decided to add that day.

It took a little while to get used to typing my thoughts instead of writing them all down but now I wonder how I ever survived before. I still use the Moleskin journals to jot quick notes or to capture a sketch but for the most part I use my iPad, iPhone or laptop to access the Evernote app. I love that I can have all my thoughts with me on any device at any time.

My Favorite Evernote Features.

Here is a short list of my favorite Evernote features in no particular order. Most of them are available on the free version so what are you waiting for?

Offline Notes: 

Now that I am an Evernote premium user I can set notebooks to be available offline. This allows me to have access on my devices even if there is no internet or cellular connection. It’s like special note taking app magic that allows you to work on everything everywhere.

Multiple Notebooks:

I used to always carry a single physical journal. I would write all my notes in the journal and try to differentiate the pages by folding them over to create partitions, using headers at the top of each page and then folding different corners, in different directions in order to mark the importance of any given note. With Evernote, I can have as many notebooks as I want and they are all brilliantly accessible and crossed linked through the app. Now… with Evernote Premium, I can even share notebooks and allow others to edit and update the notes inside of them.

*New Feature* – Notebook Stacks:

Now you can take your notebooks and organize them into stacks. This is a great feature because it gives me another level of sorting functionality. For example, before this feature was available, I had separate notebooks for each of my clients but they were all scattered around (Evernote sorts notebooks alphabetically), but now I can drop them all in a single stack and keep them in one place. You could even sort your contacts by importance or start a writing folder and then have separate notebooks for your blog, poetry, jokes, short stories, etc. That’s the beauty of Evernote, you can pretty much make it do whatever you want it to do. If you get creative Evernote can even help you do business better.


As a self proclaimed “WordPress Ninja”, I was already familiar with the concept of adding tags to my content. I always thought it would be cool to be able to add tags to my notes, and then be able to search by those specific tags. The tags even work across multiple notebooks so you can further interconnect your notes and then sort them easily and intuitively. 

Tag usage example: the tag “video ideas”  can be used on notes in my client notebooks as well as my “Blog Concepts” notebook, or any other notebook for that matter. This allows me to sort my notes by those tags and look at notes across all of my notebooks that use each specific tag. 

Business Card Scanning

One of their newest features, the business card scanning functionality is pretty revolutionary. For the professional networker, dealing with stacks of business cards can get annoying real quick. They pile up everywhere and much like your handwritten notes, often get left to gather dust. With Evernote Premium I can scan a business card and have the information converted to a contacts note inside of Evernote. I can even have it add the contact to my iPhone contacts instantly. Add a quick If This Then That recipe to the mix and all those contacts are instantly invited to connect on linked in. Seriously, it is that easy. Scan. Add. Invite. It’s pretty much like a cheat code for life.

Another useful tip:  Evernote can sync with LinkedIn to supplement the contact information for the scanned in cards. Freaking brilliant.

Presentation Mode:

This new feature is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Simply put, it gives you a clean read-only view of whatever note you are in so that you can read or share your note without distractions from the editor interface. It formats the articles in a streamlined fashion that fits right into my business workflow. I especially appreciate this functionality with my Apple TV as I can use it with airplay to share my note without having people climb all over me to see the screen on my phone. You could even use it as an impromptu teleprompter with the Apple TV and use your iPhone as a remote to control the scroll. You’re Welcome.


I work for myself. I don’t have a corporation behind me with robust relationship management software to help me track sales calls, territory management or any other aspect of my sales process. Out of necessity, Evernote has become my default Client Relationship Management (CRM) system. The ability to review my notes based on my GPS location is great for tracking on-location interactions with clients and prospects alike. This means that I can review all of those interactions on a map from any location. This is an invaluable feature for the on-the-go sales rep.

Whether I am talking to a cold call or sitting with an established client I always have my iPad in front of me with Evernote open and a fresh note waiting to document the conversation. I can even use the voice record feature and attach an audio account of our meeting to that particular note. I have used customized, CRM software that is not as user friendly or as robust as Evernote… just saying.

Evernote Inspires Me Be To Build A Better Business

Once in a while you come across a company that just gets it. A company that isn’t out wasting their money trying to buy market share with advertising or trying to interrupt your daily life with the story of their product. Instead they chose to create a better product. Bravo Evernote, bravo!

I have been watching Evernote over the last few years. I have experienced a few iterations of their software, I have watched them innovate, collaborate and elevate themselves to a true player in the world of cloud based note taking software. As an aspiring techie myself I look at companies like Evernote with the utmost respect. They are doing everything I preach about when it comes to social sales, amazing products, beautiful user interfaces, customer support to match and a culture of innovation.

“Other companies and start-ups would do well to look at Evernote as a model for how companies should think about creating, marketing and selling their products; online or otherwise”.

I used the free version of Evernote for a long time. I have sent countless invites to friends, family and even strangers. I am really just now learning all the intricacies and deeper functionality of Evernote. I am discovering  the true potential locked inside this powerful app and I absolutely love it. I always tell my friends that “Evernote will change your life if you let it” and, for that alone, I’ll pay for an Premium account for as long as they sell them. Why? Because I know they will only get better as time goes on. How do I know this? Well… because that’s the only thing they’ve ever done.

Do you use Evernote? Did I miss your favorite feature? Tell me what you think down in the comments section. 

The links in this article are affiliate links. If you got some value out of this article or decide to download Evernote, help a brother out and use the links above so I can get credit for the referral.

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