I just returned from the BlogHer conference in New York, and I have a lot of business cards I collected there. This year, I’m determined to save these contacts and follow up as needed, but I’m still experimenting with the best way to save the information.
There are 2 ways you can save business cards: save the cards themselves the old fashioned way, or save them electronically.
Some people store cards in an old-fashioned file while others have elaborate business card notebook systems. I have this complicated system that I like to call, “Two Piles”. The first pile is contacts I need to follow up with for business purposes, and the second pile is new friends, social contacts and blogs to check out. Then I enter them into my contacts as needed.
There are also several digital options for saving business cards. Scanners have made handling business cards easier than ever. There are also smartphone apps that scan your business cards and enter them into your contacts.
I have to confess that I usually save cards from conferences in the paper manner because I like business cards. I love to see the different kinds and some of them inspire me for my next design. However, there are some smart phone apps that store them as images so you can still enjoy them.
No matter how you organize them, using cards from contacts is only as effective as your follow-up practices. Develop a system for taking action by jotting notes on the cards after you meet someone to help you remember details and contact people while they’re still fresh in your mind to get the most out of your efforts.
How about you? Tell us how you organize and manage contacts you meet.