You may remember a post I published a while ago about paper business cards and why I've stopped using them. Well, I wish I'd known about this little gem of a mobile app back then.
Haystack was founded in 2014 by a team of two brothers and their friend. They believe that paper business cards are old and out of date, and I wholehearted agree!
Together with a team of developers, they've created a platform that makes it easy to create, manage, store, and share business cards, digitally.
I rate mobile apps based on 5-star system. I award 1 star for doing well in each of the following categories:
Based on this system of evaluation, here's how Haystack performs.
I love the idea of this app! I too, would like to see paper business cards become a thing of the past so I was already sold on the concept way before discovering the app. Haystack gets an instant star in this category.
2) User Interface/Experience
This is a beautiful app! It's obvious that a lot of thought and effort has gone into its design and execution. The user interface is clean, clear, and easy to navigate. The process of creating a new card is very easy, it's just a matter of completing a form with your contact details and links to your website, blog, social profiles, etc. When it comes to images like a profile picture or logo, you'll need to have these stored on your phone already.
The app settings are easy to find and configure. The settings page is accessible through the hamburger menu in the top-left of the main screen.
The sharing options are great! You can share via a customisable SMS or email message, displaying a QR code on the screen, or your phone's built-in sharing features (bluetooth, WhatsApp, social media, NFC, etc). The recipient of the card will receive a link to view your card in a web browser. From there, they can download it to their phone in standard vCard format. If they're also a Haystack user, they can store your card in their app.
My preferred method is QR code. I've downloaded the QR code as an image, which I've placed on my phone's home screen. I find this a convenient way of sharing my card with anyone who has a smartphone, they can just scan the code straight off my screen without me having to go into the app.
A definite star in this category!
For this category, I'll only discuss the features in the free plan, which is the one I've been using.
The app's feature list is impressive (even on the free plan). However, the design options on the free plan are limited. For instance, you can't change your card's layout or colour. But there's a really clever workaround for the colour snag. The app can work out the your company's colours and automatically add it to the card! How it does this, I don't know. Maybe it fetches the CSS from your company website based on your email domain. Or maybe it does a colour match on your logo, I'm not sure but I was very impressed with this feature.
A really stand out feature for me is the ability to send your business card during a phone call. Whenever you make or receive a call you'll get the option (through a phone notification) to send your card to the person you're speaking with by simply tapping the notification.
Haystack gets a star in this category also. The features are outstanding!
4) Value For Money
Haystack has a "Free Forever" plan as well as paid options. I've only used the free plan so far, which is more than sufficient for my needs or the needs of most solopreneurs.
The paid plan starts at just $7.50 per month and unlocks all of the apps features, which includes templates and more advanced colour and customisation options. There's also a 30-day free trial for this plan.
I can't fault this app at all when it comes to value for money. Haystack easily gets a star for this category.
There's a substantial in-app Q&A section which should answer most user's questions and to supplement this, there's also chat based in-app customer support, which is quickly becoming the standard for mobile app support.
The live chat support doesn't operate 24/7 (at least, not on the free plan), which is fair enough. But I was slightly disappointed that I couldn't find anywhere in help centre or on the website what the operating times are. But since the company was founded in New Zealand I'm guessing the support times are 09:00 - 17:00 (GMT +13), but it would be nice to know for sure.
I asked a question through the live chat while they were closed and was pleasantly surprised to receive an auto-response, which directed me to helpful articles in the help centre.
Given the time difference, its unlikely that I'll ever be able to test the responsiveness of the support team during waking hours, which is a shame. But given what I've seen so far I think it would be unfair not to rate give the app a star in this category for that reason.
I've now had a chance to properly evaluate the support and I wasn't disappointed. The responses were quick, polite, friendly, and I even made some suggestions for feature updates, which were gratefully received.
I'm happy to give Haystack a solid 5 stars! I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make the transition from paper to digital business cards.
Download the App
Haystack is available on Android and iOS, and you can download it from the links below.
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