Have you been to a bunch of networking events recently and find that you have a fishbowl overflowing of other peoples’ business cards? Maybe it wasn’t even that recently when you received a bite size of information from someone that never seemed to make it into an organized system. Let me tell you, you’re not alone. Although business cards may seem small and unobtrusive, the more you find, the bigger the pile suddenly stacks up. And ICYMI (in case you missed it) using a rolodex is verrry 20th century. So let’s get you organized and help you make the most of your current and future connections!
Before you worry about how you’re going to save all of your business cards, make sure you purge the ones you no longer need or companies that don’t exist anymore. This also includes appointment cards from doctors offices that have already taken place. It’s not abnormal to receive someone’s business card that you needed for a specific moment in time and no longer will refer back to, so feel free to toss those too.
Depending on the amount of business cards that you’re working with, you might find it handy to simply insert their info as a “Contact” in your phone. There should be enough detail within the contact field of your phone to fill in all of the information that they’ve provided you with. Make sure that you identify the occupation or company that the person works for in order to minimize confusion.
Option number 2 is to take a photo of the business cards and then toss them. Once you’ve taken the photo make sure that you organize it into a labeled photo album on your phone called “Business Cards.” Although it’s not as easy as having it as a contact in your phone that you can dial up immediately, you still have all of the same information saved allowing you to toss the card.
Some people enjoy creating an organized Excel spreadsheet for their business cards. Have each column be a different category of the card such as: Contact Name, Business, Address, Email, Phone Number, and especially what type of work they do and where you met them if that’s helpful.
Another option is to download an app (shocker, it’s the 21st century and we’re all about ‘em!). We suggest checking out this blog post from ‘The Balance Small Business’ blog to find the one that works best for you. If you do end up using an app, we’d love to hear about it!
If you’re feeling old school, you can check out this more modern version of a rolodex courtesy of The Container Store. Make sure all of the business cards that you’re holding onto are current. Also set time aside once a year or so so you don’t end up holding onto more than you should be. Keep them separated by category or name.
There you have it! Don’t let those little buggers create unwanted and unnecessary clutter and let us know which system works best for you! You might even find over time that you may shift from the paper copy to digital in no time!