Business

Create and Share Gorgeous Digital Business Cards with InstaCards

Business cards as we know them are destined for museums. They'll be encased in glass alongside such business relics as fax machines and PalmPilots.

I mean, I appreciate a nicely designed card as much as the next person, but the reality is they're a waste of paper and a major inconvenience--for both parties.

A much smarter solution: CardFlick InstaCards, a free service that lets you build dazzling-looking digital cards with just a few clicks, then share them using whatever method suits you.

I started with the Web version of InstaCards, though it's also available in app form for iOS. (An Android version is in the works.) Using a simple, attractive browser-based interface, I chose a photo to use for my card's background (an optional step), then applied a theme.

Instacards offers about 30 of them, all very fancy and professional-looking, and all making you think, "This looks expensive. I'm glad I'm not paying to have these printed."

From there I typed in the usual personal details: name, company, phone number, e-mail address, and so on. Every addition or change I made was instantly shown in the main card-preview area.

Once I'd saved my card, I could share it via e-mail, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Even better, once I'd installed the CardFlick app on my iPhone and signed into my account, presto: there was the card I'd made. I could "flick" it to other CardFlick users in the area, or just send it via plain old e-mail.

Interestingly, anyone who receives your card gets not only the digital image, but also details about where and when you met--complete with a Google Map. How cool is that!

InstaCards is free. It's not "free for the first five cards you send" or "only the ugly themes are free"--the whole thing is just plain free. My advice: stop spending money and trees on business cards and try this instead. It's seriously cool, and practical to boot.

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