Organizing Business Cards for Effective Contact Management

Now that you’ve had bright new business cards printed, and accept been distributing them diligently, what do you do with the cards you aggregate from added people?

If you’re like a lot of people, you accept a assemblage of rubber-banded cards amphibian about you desk. Or you accept been application them as bookmarks, toothpicks, and acclimated gum wrappers and they are all over your office, car, wallet and purse?

Without a acceptable filing system, the advice on those cards is useless. So apple-pie out your board and advance a arrangement for prioritizing, organizing, and afterward up with those contacts.

High Tech or Old School?

There are two choices for acclimation business cards:

  • The acceptable way of befitting them in a agenda file
  • The abreast adjustment of befitting acquaintance advice on a computer file

When you acknowledgment from a networking affair or barter show, afore you do annihilation else, amend your contacts. Rank the cards you’ve calm in adjustment of accent afore you put them away. Abstracted balmy leads who are acceptable to accompany you business, humans with whom you absolutely wish to chase up, and whose advice you wish at your fingertips. This can cover prospects, humans you will accredit to others, or who will forward referrals to you.

Don’t be abashed to bandy abroad cards from humans you will never acquaintance or refer. You can book algid leads about abroad or bung them into the trash.

Know Your ABZ’s…

How you index and book your cards is up to you. Decide how you bethink advice best — whether it’s by aggregation names, people’s names, or by category. Perhaps you are bigger able to acquisition advice if it is organized by arena or department. Then, index them appropriately.

You ability aswell book by date or by the accident area you met the person. Just accept one way and stick to it. For instance, don’t book some by endure name and others by business name, or you’ll never acquisition what you’re analytic for in a pinch.

Electronic = Portable and Duplicable

Storing acquaintance advice on the computer keeps your appointment neater and is one added footfall against the paperless office. For a lot of humans analytic on computer is added able than rummaging through cardboard cards. In seconds, you can run a array and locate contacts by company, name, dog’s name, date you met, etc. If you accompany plan home with you, it’s simple to alike your acquaintance list, rather than carriage your absolute Rolodex with you.

Storing advice electronically is aswell able for architecture commitment lists and press labels. But remember, backup, backup, backup. I was a high-tech aficionado until my harder drive comatose and I didn’t accept a advancement of my computer database. Acceptable affair I kept those harder copies!

There are abundant programs on the bazaar to adapt acquaintance information, such as Act or Outlook. I put all of my advice in Microsoft Access.

For a low-tech backup, I use a artificial agenda book box with alphabetical dividers, filing my cards by endure name. I aswell adopt to use cellophane sleeves to abundance business cards in, back I about consistently book business cards instead of autography the advice on bare cards. The sleeves are a compatible size, befitting the box tidy. But you may be different–any arrangement will work, as continued as you are constant with it.

To Accumulate or Not to Keep?

Some humans say you should accumulate every business agenda you accept anytime received, while others anticipate you should bandy abroad the cards you will never use. With the acceleration of humans affective about and switching companies today, I bandy abroad cards of contacts I haven’t been in blow with for three years. By again their acquaintance advice has absolutely changed, so even if I did wish to get in blow with them, it’s not acceptable that I will.

If you assert on captivation on to old information, annal those business cards in a abstracted database or agenda box. Back I accomplish addendum on the backs of cards if I accommodated people, I consistently apperceive the date if I aboriginal fabricated contact; addendum aswell advice brace my anamnesis of humans I haven’t been in abutting acquaintance with.

Finally, bethink to chase up with your contacts! Accumulate a agenda and goals for authoritative acquaintance by buzz calls, emails, or snail mail. Periodically go through your filing arrangement and amend or annul old information. The acumen you abundance this advice is to accumulate in blow with humans — use your new acclimation arrangement to break able and your business will thrive!