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Organize + Energize: Organize Your Business Cards

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

 

You accumulate them from networking events, expos, and wherever you meet a contact. They end up in a pile on your desk, shoved in a drawer or scattered all over your office. The cards multiple at records rates. You cringe at the thought of going through and organizing them. 

I’m not going to give you a specific system because everybody functions differently. In this article, I will give you a push in the right direction and get you thinking a little about how you function with them. 

Here are 8 questions to ask:

1.    How often do you grab a business card that you need?
2.    How long does it take you to search for it?
3.    Would it be easier to use LinkedIn or other software? 
4.    Do you prefer an old fashioned rolodex, a binder, divided card holder, or scanning system?
5.    Do you have a vision for how you want to function, but can’t seem to get there?
6.    Do you feel guilty throwing them away?
7.    Do certain contacts fall into specific categories?
8.    Do you really need them? 

Create your systems

Now that you’ve figured out how you use these cards, you can create a system. Think about how you function with the ones you need on a regular basis and then think about the system you want to use. People immediately say they want to scan them because they think it will solve all their problems, but sometimes that creates more work. Do you really want to have another task to accomplish during the day? 

Another system would be to connect with them on LinkedIn and then once connected, throw away the business card. If you choose to hold onto business cards, you could use a rolodex, divided card holder or binder. Categorize your cards as to how you grab them. If you don’t want to alphabetize them, you could file them by profession or by frequency of use. 

One more tip

Don’t spend a ton of money on fancy business cards or ones with a heavy thickness. Don’t waste your money. I’m in offices all the time and I can tell you that it doesn’t matter how much you spend. Most never get looked at again and a majority get thrown away, so if you think you’re standing out from the rest, think again. Use that extra money towards something that will make a difference.

Remember that you are the one that has to function with this system, so create the system around how you function with your business cards. It’s a process and once you create the system, make it a habit to use it and tweak it if somethings not working. The main point is to just get started. Business cards are a headache for so many people, but if you just take a moment and evaluate how you want to function, your headache will soon be gone. 

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner.

 

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