Contact information is fundamental to networking and business communications. However, most business people collect hundreds, if not thousands, of business cards every year, and storing these business cards can seem like a daunting task. If you are struggling to find the best way to store business cards, let’s take a look at five effective ways to do it in this article. Depending on how tech-savvy you are, you can choose between several options for the best business card storage.
1. Several quick tips to organize business cards
Ultimately, keeping your business cards organized is the way to keep all your contact information in line. Organizing your business cards in a particular system saves you from losing touch with new leads, important partners, or forgetting which supplier is potential for your business.
Writing down important information, keeping your business cards safe in one place, and uploading them to your database, you will be able to build your networks and connect with many people in your industry.
So before jumping to the best way to store your business cards, let’s see some tips to keep your cards neat and organized:
- The order of the business cards
The most common order when organizing business cards is by name. Some people order them by industry, company name, job position, or even location. How you order your business cards entirely depends on how you need to access your contacts.
The order you choose to organize your cards should be the way that works best for you. People think in different ways, so you should stick to whichever way helps you remember the information, position, or company name!
- Take time to re-organize your business cards
Keeping old and stale contacts might be a good idea at first, but it can cause frustration when you are trying to find a business card. You need to ensure spending some time every now and then cleaning up the contacts. Ideally, you can set aside time every month or quarter to go through your contacts. By that, you can see if there are any contacts you need to get rid of or any you should get in touch with. This action helps keep the size of your contacts at a manageable level. It also makes searching much easier, especially if you are keeping physical business cards.
Here are some ideas to remove unnecessary cards:
- Contacts that you never heard from again;
- Suppliers you didn’t end up choosing;
- Companies that are no longer in business.
2. Five effective ways to store your business cards
- Use a business card book
If you’d like to keep physical business cards, using a business card book (or a card binder) is a great choice. This is a bit of an old-fashioned way to organize business cards, but it is still a good choice if you don’t have too many of them to store.
Business card books are specially designed books to store business cards. The books include several pages of clear plastic sleeves that have individual slots for cards. You just need to slip business cards into the sleeves with your order. With a business card book, you can easily access groups of similar cards together on a single page or set of pages. Business card books are quite handy when you need to reference cards at the turn of a page. They also keep your cards protected from dirt and moisture. The problem with the business card book (or card binder) is that you either have to bring them to every business event or remember to put your collected cards in there afterward. This can cause a huge hassle for many people.
- Use a rotary business card file
Like a business card book, a rotary business card file (also called rolodex) simply sorts your business cards in a rolling cylinder. Cards are organized in sections from A-Z, which allows you to find the contact information at once. The upside is that it can sit on your desk, and you can roll through your cards at ease. The drawback is that it looks a bit old school and outdated. However, if you are of a certain age or fond of the traditional ways, a rotary is a good alternative to a business card book.
The good news about rotary card filing systems is that they are still available. These file systems are also considered one best way to store business cards and keep them organized. You only need to take a business card, tape it, staple it to a blank rotary card and file it under the appropriate alphabet letter.
- Store business cards in a box
This method is similar to storing recipe cards in a cardboard box. If you are too busy to find the best way to store business cards, this method can still help. You can tie all your business cards together, organize them from A to Z, and place them directly into a business card file box. You can purchase a designed business card file box, but any long, narrow box or container with a lid will also work. For example, a narrow plastic storage container or even use any cardboard business card box in your office. This method can somewhat work if you prefer remembering people by the color of their business cards. However, it may be best to at least try using other ways before sorting with “the box method.”
- Keep photos of business cards on your smartphone
Carrying physical business cards can sometimes cause inconvenience. To avoid this, you can simply take photos of business cards and store them in a separate album in your gallery. That way, you will be able to find them if needed.
Don’t forget to capture both the front and back of the business cards to avoid missing important details. However, you might need to name each file to organize them, and this action can take several minutes per card. Although this is probably not the best way to store business cards, it still works for some people. And most importantly, it is 100% free.
- Download a business cards scanner app
If you live with your smartphone by your side and need to organize your business cards in a particular order, using a business cards scanner app would be the best way to store business cards.
There are various business card scanning apps available, and many of them are even free. Most of them will scan your business cards and convert them into a digital format automatically. This means you will be able to save them as contacts directly from your phone. You can also find the original business card by the image of the card that you scanned. Many apps will also allow you to export contacts into Outlook and many other platforms.
Let’s take an example with Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed is the business card management app that allows you to create an online database of your contacts and get rid of business card piles. Shoeboxed not only allows you to track your business receipts, expenses, and mileage logs, but it also enables you to manage all your contacts, complete with all the traditional information on a business card.
After downloading the Shoeboxed app, you can take a picture of your business card, enter the basic information. Otherwise, you can simply put them in your Shoeboxed envelopes and mail them to us. We will then scan them and enter the data on your business cards. You can view them online and import all your contacts, with all the information on the card, to any digital contact list: Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, LinkedIn, etc. From the first name, last name, address, phone number, email address, company name, and position, you will have all the contact information from your colleagues, partners, and suppliers without having to scan a single thing or enter any data yourself.
So, suppose you met a lot of people at a conference that you recently attended. With Shoeboxed, you will be able to have all their contact information in one place, within a 3-minute process, from beginning to end. This is by far the best way to store business cards in the modern age.
Now you have several options to decide which is the best way to store business cards. We’d love to hear your opinion. Let us know by dropping a comment!