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How to Organize Business Cards

Organizing your business cards.

By
Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #116

How to Organize Business Cards

Back home, you want to do something with the cards. Sticking them in piles around the room until you throw them out six years from now is not what I'm talking about. Sit down with your cards while people are still fresh in your mind. Grab the cards of the people you know you'll call often. Type them into your online address book. In the notes field, jot down the name of the conference and what you talked about. Now you can find them by easily searching your address book. You'll have their number at your fingertips if you need to boost your self-esteem with a quick hypnotic Tom Cruise delusion.

Quick and dirty hint: I type the name of the conference once, then copy it to my clipboard with control-C on Windows or command-C on the Mac. Then I just paste the conference name with a single control-or-commend V when I'm entering the next card.

Organize Business Cards by Scanning Them

Just between you and me, most of the cards you get, you'll never follow up on. Aardvark wrangler? There's just no need, so don't bother typing them all in. Just scan them for future reference.

Grab an 8.5"x11" piece of paper. Starting at the bottom of the paper, tape two cards side by side on the paper. Only tape the top edges, though, so you can flip the cards up using the tape as a hinge to see the back if needed. Jot notes about the person just below their card, or on the back of the cards. Then tape two cards above those two, so the bottom edges of the two new cards are slightly above the top edges of the first cards you taped. Repeat this until you run out of cards, or until you have only about four inches of blank space left at the top of the sheet. Continue on another sheet if needed. Along the edge of the sheet, write the name of the conference.

Save the scanned business card images in a file with a descriptive title that includes the name of the conference and date.

Now you can scan this entire sheet into your scanner at once. If you have a flatbed scanner, just lay it down and scan. Otherwise, you may need to get a transparent page protector and slip the page inside that so it can feed through your scanner without jamming. Once you've scanned the front of the cards, flip all the cards over, hinging at the tape, and scan the backs of the cards. Save the scanned images in a file with a descriptive title that includes the conference and date. For example, "Better Living Through Hypnosis Conference, January 2010."

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About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT. 

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