Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do this: QR codes

Now that I've discovered QR codes, I must say that I'm extremely disappointed in all written material out in the universe without them.  Because, let me tell you, I'm not writing anything down again.

First of all, in order to write something down, I'd have to find a pen and paper in my purse.  The paper will probably be a kids menu or receipt from a restaurant.  I would never remember that I wrote something on it and throw it away when I went home.

Keep Calm and Carry On Journal (Diary, Notebook) (Small Format Journal)
Isn't it cute?
Second, if I did write something down, I can't read my own handwriting.  At all.  I have, on several occasions, asked my coworkers if they can help me read something I, myself, wrote.  This is actually becoming quite a problem for me, because the unwritten culture at my office when meeting members of my boss' level is to not bring your laptop to a meeting, which is my normal plan, using Microsoft OneNote to take notes.   As a result, I have to take notes by writing them down.  I did acquire a really cute notebook to take the notes in.  However, I can't read them.  (This is actually a plus when I'm sitting close enough to someone that they could read it and the note is something like, "Are you freaking kidding me?" because it's practically in code.)  


In case you have no idea what I'm talking about (which seems likely since I've been with several people who recently asked what they were) QR codes are simply bar codes that can be read by a QR scanner.  You can download a scanner for your phone and scan away when you see them.  If you don't have one, go get one.  I'll wait.  And here's a QR code that will bring you to this blog.  (You can get a QR code for yourself by using the Google URL shortener)  


QR codes should be used on any print media I come into contact with that wants me to go to a website.  Posters.  Magazines.  Mail.  Because I'm not writing down your website.  The address is too long and I can't read my handwriting.  You want me to go to your site, make it easier for me to get there.

I recently saw one of the more interesting uses of QR codes at Sephora.  They had codes for some of the products that linked to videos on the products.  Even better, the Sephora iPhone app includes a QR reader!

At JoAnn's Fabrics (where I sometimes get cake supplies), their "how to" project sheets now have QR codes.  I can scan the code and leave the paper--which I would have put in my purse, and completely forgotten about until much later when I was cleaning my purse.

I'm considering getting a QR stamp for my vCard to stamp on my business cards for my company's upcoming conference. Business cards are like grown up trading cards.  I haven't saved a single card since 2003 since now we that have Outlook, we don't need business card holders anymore.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone gave you a business card and you could immediately scan it into your contacts on your phone?  You could give them the card back!  Environmentally friendly!