Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Way Too Many Business Cards

I’ll bet you do a lot of networking and have piles and piles of business cards. Rubberbanded stacks in every drawer and on every surface in your office. Yet when you need one you can never find it, right?

How do you get them under control and keep them that way?

The first thing to do is to decide is if you really need to keep the cards.  There are only three reasons to keep a card:
1.        You want to use their services.
2.        You want to refer them business.
3.        You want to call on them for some reason or other.
Once you have decided which cards you will keep the next step is to sort them.

In order to sort the cards you need to figure out what criteria you use when you go looking for a card.  Do you remember people by their name, their business type, their business name, what color they wore or perhaps where you met them?  Whatever method it is you use to remember them is how you need to sort them.

Once they are all sorted the next step is to store them.  There are several ways that you can store the cards:
  • You can store them in the box you received your business cards.
  • You can store them in the box top from your personal sized checks.
  • You can use a Rolodex or other card file.
  • You can type them into a database on your computer.  Note: if you use a database you really can throw the cards away. (Unless you need them to give away when you refer).
  • You can scan them into your computer with one of the many business card scanners on the market.
  • If you need to carry them with you, you can put them in a business card book or a three-ring binder with business card pages in it.
  • The Container Store has a business card box with dividers. (see below)

    You will need to make dividers or categories for whichever method you choose.  Use the criteria you decided upon in the previous step to come up with the names for the dividers or categories.  This is very important because that is how you will know where to look for them when you need them!  Usually it is most efficient to alphabetize them behind their dividers.

    If you use one of the box methods for storage you can use Post-Its to divide the sections.  Use them upside down and leave a part sticking out to write your category name on it.  You could also cut an index card to fit the box so it sticks up a little for a divider.

    Once you have your system set up be sure to schedule time periodically to file your new cards and purge the old ones.

    Happy Organizing!

    You can, as long as you use it in its entirety and include this info: Beth Sharkey Flarida is the owner of Get It Together. She is a Productivity Consultant, Efficiency Expert and Professional Organizer for business. Being productive is not one size fits all! Beth has helped 1000s businesses find the systems that work for them and she can do the same for you! Visit http://www.GetBeth.com

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