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TECHNOLOGY Q&A

The paperless business card

 

By J. Carlton Collins
February 2012

Q: I use Outlook 2010. What is the easiest way to send my updated address and telephone information to my contacts so they don’t have to manually re-enter the data into their contact management system?

 

A: Microsoft Outlook provides the ability to create a paperless business card, which you can send to others electronically. Upon receipt, the recipient can import your new information directly into his or her Outlook and to most other contact management systems. The steps for creating and sending your electronic business card in the vCard format are as follows:

 

1. Start by entering your contact information in Outlook. From the Home tab, select New Items, Contact (if the Outlook Mail view is open), or select New Contact (if the Outlook Contacts view is open). Enter your contact information in the various fields, such as Full Name, Company, Job title, E-mail, Web page address, Phone numbers and Addresses, as pictured below.

 

You can also include your picture by selecting Picture, Add Picture from the Contact tab, or add additional information on the Contact tab’s Details screen, including the contact’s birthday and the names of his or her manager, assistant and spouse. When you have finished entering your contact data, select Save & Close from the Contact tab.

 

2. To send your new electronic business card to others, click on the Contacts button on Outlook’s left rail, navigate to your name in your list of contacts, right-click on your contact name and select Forward Contact, As a Business Card, as shown.

 

This generates an email with your electronic business card attached. Insert the email addresses of your intended recipients, add a subject and message as you normally would, then send. Outlook creates the attached electronic business card using the industry standard vCard file format, which is compatible with most email systems.

 

Upon receiving an email with an attached vCard, recipients can update their Outlook 2010 or 2007 contact manager by right-clicking on the vCard in the Attached box and selecting Add to Contacts (as pictured below), or by double-clicking on the attached vCard to open the sender’s contact information in Outlook and clicking the Save & Close button.

 

 

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