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Managing Contacts to Save Time

March 30th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Do you still have stacks of business cards on your desk or tossed into desk drawers?  No matter how tech savvy my clients seem to be, managing business cards remains a time management challenge.

In many instances, I am comfortable with my clients using either paper or electronic means as long as they only use one system and not a combination of several.  For example, keeping both a paper calendar and a calendar in Outlook requires that you remember to update one or the other each time an entry is made.  Invariably something will fall through the cracks.

However in the case of business cards, I strongly encourage everyone to get their cards into a software program because it is so much easier to find someone that way.  Even if you only remember a first name or a type of business, the computer will search for you.  Otherwise you are trying to remember which stack, or which book, might have that card.  There’s too much time wasted here.

To get those cards into your system, CardScan is usually the quickest way.  With its mini-scanner, all of the card’s information is placed into the appropriate slots, and then you can add a group note or an individual note, plus separate them into categories.

I’ve recently been shown a solution that I wouldn’t recommend long-term but that would be handy when you are traveling or have multiple meetings back-to-back.  ContactKeeper has launched a series of products designed to keep cards and notes together.  Each page in this portfolio (3 different sizes) has a slot for you to place a card and then write out the notes and follow-up actions under that.  It’s much more efficient than trying to scribble notes on the back of a card.

The product looks smart while you are out with a client and is organized so that you can easily transfer the card and the notes into your software contact management program without having to rely on your memory for conversation details days or weeks later.

Whatever method you use, get rid of those stacks of cards.  They are inefficient and quickly become clutter around your desk area.  It’s a big step in office organizing.

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Tags: Office Productivity · Organizing Tips

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Melissa Schmalenberger // Mar 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Great ideas! I need to get rid of that stack of cards that are… in three different places….not very good of me if I am a PO. Well I am human and open to change. So thank you for the inspiration!