Hey all! I’m here in Mexico…Guadalajara to be exact, and it’s beautiful! My Spring vaca came early this year but I hope you are enjoying my photos and getting amped up for your own Spring vacation! Now let’s talk organization 🙂
Business cards. Why is it when I think of “business cards” I picture this overflowing drawer of the dreadful things. As you may have seen on my Instagram stories last week I spent the other night logging my husbands pile of business cards into my computer. Business cards are a huge “no no” in my house simply because of the technology we have today, why on earth do you need a million little pieces of paper getting lost and causing clutter at your house. If you have that “junk drawer” spilling out with these annoying little guys, here are some recommendations to getting rid of them for good.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s essential for everyone to have and give your own business cards BUT once you receive a business card, don’t feel obligated to keep it. If it’s not an important contact, throw it away at first chance given (without them seeing of course) and if it’s important, snap a photo of it right away (front and back, if needed), then give it back, toss or just put their info into your phone right there and then and skip the paper trail altogether. I know giving a business card back may seem a little odd, but they will most likely really appreciate this because, well, some business cards can get expensive!
When you do accumulate a good amount, perhaps from a networking event or whatever it may be, feel free to jot anything down on the card that stands out to you about that person to help you remember them. Now, don’t go home and throw your pocketful in the first drawer you see (you’d be better off throwing them all in the trash). Instead, place them in your “to-file” folder so that you make time to log them into the easiest system ever, which I will be explaining to you shortly. If you had an event that caused you to come home with an excessive amount or once your pile starts tipping over, plan a time within that week to sit down and log (you will thank me in the end).
Take a moment to actually think about how often you are really going out of your way to grab a business card and if you are, how long does it take you to find this specific one? You may find this shocking, but I am not a huge “app” person. I like to keep my virtual world as simple as possible and I find that most apps are a waste of my time. I also find it more productive to sit down and use my computer in an allotted time for most things instead of my phone. I’ve given most of the business card apps a chance but have come to the conclusion that this is the best way for me. Find those certain apps that work for you and use them. If they don’t work – no need to force it. Remember, virtual clutter is still a thing.
The system I use is through Microsoft Office 365 only because this is what my husbands company works with but it also works with Google Drive (which would be my first choice) and most likely other systems. Btw, this is a perfect job for your assistant to do, just make sure you have any additional notes for them to add i.e. where you met the contact. First create an “Excel Survey,” (Google Form), then enter in title and basic questions. This is going to be a questionnaire you can use to easily file information off business cards. This survey can easily be sent to customers or people you are networking with to fill out themselves. I like to include “notes” and “physical description” to make sure I remember the person. Once you complete the survey Microsoft Excel and/or Google Drive will make an additional page (the back end) of the survey where it easily organizes all information. Play around with doing this a few times so you fully understand and if you have questions please comment below. With this system, you can simply type in name, address, whatever that one key thing is, that you remember about this person to find them instantly.
And you will never have a business card laying around your house again.