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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at InPursuitOfHappiness.net.

Are business cards still useful?

Categories: Uncategorized, office life, working mom

3 comments

Last night, I began the process of making new business cards. (I would have finished the process, but I ran out of printer ink at 10:30 pm. Naturally.)

It pains me to spend the time and resources making new cards, even though my job description has changed significantly over the last few months. I still have well over a hundred perfectly good business cards (except for the outdated job description and really old picture). I have plenty left because I almost never hand them out.

It’s not that I don’t meet new people. I do, often.

But I also use technology to collect, store, and organize contact information. If you have an iPhone, I’ll use the Bump It app to swap details with you. If you’re on twitter, I’ll quickly start following you right from my phone. I rely on Google and Apple to work seamlessly together to keep my contacts organized.

I do not refer to a rolodex full of business cards.

Ever.

In fact, I don’t even have a rolodex. I also don’t have other people’s business cards anymore because I recently cleaned my desk and the first thing that goes when I clean my desk is the pile of unsorted business cards that have been collected since the last desk cleaning.

I’ve seen people flip through rolodexes and business cards in old 80s movies. I get that there was, at one point, a good reason for exchanging tiny pieces of paper with people you may or may not ever talk to again. But it seems to me that the business card has become obsolete.

In a digital world, have business cards become just one more piece of clutter we inevitably throw away later? Are we just going through the motions of an outdated networking ritual when we make these exchanges at conferences and after meetings?

When was the last time a business card - yours or someone else’s - actually served a useful purpose for you?



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3 comments so far...

  • I have the same box of business cards that I got when I first started my job about seven years ago. What does that tell you?

    Megan  |  April 12th, 2011 at 11:29 am

  • If you have a Facebook or LinkedIn account all you need on your business card is your name. If you don’t have a business card, but you do have a cell phone with a data plan then you can just look the person up online when you meet them and stay in touch via FB. Business cards are useful when you are at a restaurant and you want to put your name in a drawing for free lunch! Don’t waste your time or money….I’d only get them if the company was paying for them.

    Marcia  |  April 13th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

  • Maybe it’s generational and maybe it depends on your line of work, but I still think that business cards can be useful. Miss Britt, I’m pretty sure we’re part of the same generation, but many of the people with whom I’ve worked as a print journalist aren’t — their cell phones aren’t smart phones, they aren’t on Twitter, they don’t check their email multiple times during the day, and if I asked them to Bump It they’d either be offended or a wee bit too pleased. They’re people who still take notes on paper and who flip through an actual dictionary because they can’t/don’t/won’t trust the internet and can’t/don’t/won’t believe that m-w.com has all the same info as the printed book on their desks.

    I take that stack of business cards from the last conference or meeting or summit or whatever, and when I’m back home I go through each one while sitting at my computer, following people on Twitter and adding them to my contacts elsewhere. Then i toss the cards. Yes, I still have a quite a few left over from my last job, but one of the first things I did at my new one was order business cards. And I found that it was much easier to go around the room handing out cards recently than it would have been to wrangle my iPhone without a WiFi connection…

    Lylah  |  April 13th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

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