Scan Business Cards into Microsoft Outlook: Two-Minute Drill

That stack of business cards on your desk is probably gathering dust. In today’s Two-Minute Drill we’ll walk you through a quick and easy way to add them to your Microsoft Outlook contacts using the FullContact Card Reader, plus the FullContact Address Book.

Getting Started

Download the FullContact Card Reader application from the iOS App Store. When you first launch the app, you can choose to sign in via Salesforce or with a FullContact account. For the purpose of adding business cards to Outlook, we’re going to use the FullContact account option. Tap the FullContact account button and create an account – you’ll now have access to the FullContact Address Book, which is where your scanned cards are going to be stored.

Now get to scanning; you get 10 cards for free. Once your cards are scanned, they will be in your FullContact Address Book account. If you access it via the web, you can add in more information like social data or notes. You can also upload images of business cards to your account, or just email those images to us at and we’ll scan them in for you.

Once your cards are scanned, you’ll get a return of information like this:

Get Business Cards into Outlook

Now that you have that stack of cards scanned, how can you get them into Outlook? While there’s no direct integration just yet, Outlook works very well with CSV imports. Inside of the FullContact Address book, just select the little gear to the right of your Business Cards title in Sources and select “Export Contacts”. Be sure to select your source and format as they are shown in the image here, and then click Export.

Now let’s flip over to Outlook. You’ll want to select File > Open > Import > Import from another program or file. Select Comma separated values (Windows) and then find the file that you exported from the Address Book. You’ll need to choose what will happen if there are duplicate contacts found and then click next. Finally, select Contacts from the destination folder and click Finish.

There you have it – business cards scanned into your Microsoft Outlook contacts.

While any solution that requires a manual export and import probably isn’t perfect, it’s good to know that both the FullContact Address Book and Microsoft Outlook can talk to each other. We’re still waiting for a developer to use our API to create a plugin for Outlook that allows automatic business card importing, but for now you still have a method that works very well.

Developers – Are you up for the task? Check out the FullContact APIs to find out what kick-ass things you can build.